The Kind Of Garden Just About Anyone Can Grow


Container-Garden-#1

Of all my retirement projects, my container garden may provide the most small and bubbling happinesses. I started it back in July, from seed. I planted Grandpa Ott morning glories, sweet alyssum, purple basil, and delphiniums. If you are hypothesizing that this led to an all-purple extravaganza, you are quite right. But it took time.

Container-Garden-#2

The morning glories grew first. Like crazy.

Grandpa-Ott-Morning-Glory

The alyssum sprouted too. The basil dilly-dallied, the delphiniums did nothing. I pouted.

Then, before we left for England, I threw some petunias in one of the pots to compensate for my laggards. I set up a drip tubing system, of which I was very proud until I discovered that my 60-year old hose bib and faucet leaked. Cue Operation Cute Little Neighbor Girls to water in my absence.

Container-Garden-#3

Serendipitously, the tubing served as great climbing support for the morning glories. Such is gardening. Upon my return from travel, I thinned those purple trumpets mightily,  in order to add a bougainvillea from the nursery. Also scrounged up two more pots. Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound.

Container-Garden-#4

I filled the two empty pots with petunias and alyssum, also from the nursery. I’ll do seeds again next spring.

Container-Garden-#5

The alyssum flourished, the petunias did not, inexplicably. Such is gardening. Don’t you like my watering can? Is it vain to like one’s watering can and say so? I should mention that all this plant hubbub sits right outside one of the living room windows, and I can see it quite plainly from my perch on the sofa. I have loved experimenting with different shades of one hue. Sustains me from morning,

Purple-Container-Garden-In-The-Morning

to night.

Container-Garden-In-The-Evening

As does the purple basil, which I pinch and eat, regularly. And guess what happened? Those delphinium seeds? About a month and a half after I planted them, this sprouted.

Yup, a delphinium.

Delphinium-From-Seed

I have high hopes. Such, my friends, is gardening, even writ small.

 

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19 Comments

  • Gardening is an act of hope. I do love your watering can. Very Beatrix Potter.

    09/26/14
    7:15 am
    Lisa said...

    @Linda @ a design snack, Yes, if Beatrix lived in California and wrote Rocky Raccoon:).

  • I love your layered container garden! My parents have multiple home-made raised/boxed garden beds which have yielded a lot of wonderful things for them. Their passive-solar house is on top of a ridge, so while it is great for sunlight the ridgetop has thick Virginia clay – raised garden beds to the rescue! Both flora and edibles have rejoiced since then :)

    09/26/14
    7:17 am
    Lisa said...

    @WorthyStyle, Your parents’ place sounds amazing. And passive solar, good for them!

  • A beautiful, colorful garden such as yours nurtures the soul, don’t you think? It makes your sofa perch that much more delightful and the lovely blossoms from all your plantings brings joy to you each day. Love your potted garden and the variety of plantings. I have a sitting spot that overlooks a park and some rolling hills. It’s my thoughtful spot ( like Winnie the Pooh’s!)

    09/26/14
    7:22 am
    Lisa said...

    @Candace, Yes, being able to look up and let my gaze wander is on my top 10 for mental health list. I’d love to overlook rolling hills, too.

  • I enjoyed this! One never knows what will happen when seeds are planted.

    09/26/14
    7:27 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan, Hence gardening’s long-running role as über-metaphor:). Glad you liked it.

  • “Such is gardening” is so true. Another of my favorite sayings is “To plant a garden is to believe in the future.”

    As your container garden is right outside a window, did you know that the very deep purple petunias – and only those, so far as I know – have a slightly spicy scent, reminiscent of cloves? That might be nice for those open window days.

    09/26/14
    7:28 am
    Lisa said...

    @Carol, My petunias have oddly given up the ghost! But thanks to you, I caught a whiff before they left.

  • Flowers in pots are about my speed. They usually sit someplace where I will see them in the course of a normal day, and it’s easy to pinch, weed or water while going about my business.

    If I get things in the corners of my yard it seems like so much effort to tend them, I’m almost certain to forget about them.

    You get extra credit for doing it from seed!

    09/26/14
    7:37 am
    Lisa said...

    @RoseAG, Yes, if you can tend to something as an offshoot of puttering, it’s great. And the from seed wasn’t hard work at all, more like entertainment!

  • Oh, I don’t dare plant anything in Southern California. We just don’t have water. My sylvan glen is turning into a desert! Lucky you. Doesn’t it feel good to plant and actually have the plants grow and flourish?

    09/26/14
    7:52 am
    Lisa said...

    @Sandra Sallin, We don’t have a lot of water. But these plants in pots only need about 2 watering cans worth per week. I’d rather let my small lawn die – it’s a commodity – and enjoy the individuality of flowers.

  • Starting from seeds, I admire your perseverance. I’m a pony pack gal myself. Want to see what I’m getting.

    09/26/14
    7:53 am
    Lisa said...

    @déjà pseu, Ha! That can be the title of your autobiography. Pony Pack Gals Want To See What They Are Getting:).

  • I have that very same pair of green Crocs. You have no idea how absurdly thrilled that makes me.

    09/26/14
    7:57 am
    Lisa said...

    @Jan’s Sushi Bar, Hooray! I’m thrilled too:). I love my green Crocs, they remind me not to take myself too seriously. Of course, plants do that too.

  • So satisfying, isn’t it, to plan a project like that and see it flourish so beautifully! I really want/need to get back to the garden — I’ve been letting P do way too much of it, and I miss it. . .
    I’m curious — will those keep on growing through the next few months, and flowering as well? Most of our herbaceous perennials and all the annuals will have disappeared here by the end of October. . .
    (and echoing Sue in the True Confessions — I rarely have the patience or discipline for nurturing seeds)

    09/26/14
    8:01 am
    Lisa said...

    @Frances/Materfamilias, I don’t actually know what’s going to happen! This is the first time I’ve planted without the thought that I’d refill with the next season. The bougainvillea should, except I now believe it’s not getting enough sun and may have to be moved…

  • Lacking enough sun, and a long enough growing season, I probably couldn’t do this combo. I’m still figuring out the sun in our new home, and unlike California, we have been plagued by overly wet gardens for part of this year. Dark purple petunias went into my pots this year, and thrived for awhile, and then quit. Just as I thought about pulling them out, the nights turned cooler, and the petunias came back. I would love to see such a pretty sight from my front window, but shaded by a large oak tree, this will likely never happen!

    09/26/14
    8:02 am
    Lisa said...

    @Ellen, I guess you’d have to find a set of fast-growers if you started from seed. And those who tolerate shade. Wonder what that Venn diagram looks like. Hmm.

  • Oh such a thrill. I have been continually amazed over the years, how such a simple thing as a few seeds in a pot can bring such enormous joy. This summer my pots were abandoned as I was away far too much of the summer, and fall is advancing too rapidly to have much hope for a long growing season. But there is next year.

    09/26/14
    8:05 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, And besides, you have a whole hill as your container right now;).

  • Enjoying your spirit of experimentation and flexibility; also, what a joy to have little girls come over to help. Gardening to me is most fun when it involves a community or at least neighbours.

    09/26/14
    8:05 am
    Lisa said...

    @Duchesse, I used to encourage the neighbors to pick when we grew tomatoes in the front yard raised bed.

  • Watching things grow is (more than?) half the fun, don’t you think?

    09/26/14
    8:09 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kathryn, Yes. I was like a little kid, squealing and poking packages on Christmas.

  • Your high WASP hands have turned a delicate shade of green and it suits you!
    Show what you grow and share what you know…our Victoria Horticultural Society motto.
    Hope you keep your hand in…

    09/26/14
    8:09 am
    Lisa said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, I will absolutely do that.

  • as a keen gardener I am 11/10 proud of you x

    09/26/14
    8:09 am
    Lisa said...

    @Faux Fuchsia, You and Hostess must help me keep my standards high!

  • I’m going to try this next Spring and hope it turns out half as well.

    09/26/14
    8:10 am
    Lisa said...

    @GSL, You are so kind, sir!

  • Your gardening has gone so much better than mine, but I think your weather is more conducive. Due to the very serious lack of water here, I am not planing anything.

    09/26/14
    8:11 am
    Lisa said...

    @dkzody, I’ve been amazed at how much garden I get for how little water. As I said above, my little lawns are bearing the brunt.

  • I maintain 3 sites in Florida; a French Bakery, a clothing shop, and an Episcopal Church’s memorial garden and front beds in New Smyrna Beach. Gardening never ceases to amaze and amuse!

    09/26/14
    8:11 am
    Lisa said...

    @Holly Rose, Ooh. Would love to see photos!

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