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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ka-Ching! I heard the bell ring...

Today we shattered our heat record. Although I haven't seen the official temperature, we had thermometers around here read 89 degrees. It was just too hot to dig and divide anything, so many plants were fully wilted.

I decided to play around a bit and do some perennial pots. If you have pots that will over-winter without cracking, perennials are ideal to plant in them. I've learned that it's worth it to spend the $$$ and purchase concrete planters when I can get them. We've had one set for 25 years now and a few more for 10 years or so.

I have a number of plain green hosta that are hard to sell. I really don't understand why people shy away from them, they have a lovely light green foliage and flower like crazy. The name tag was faded when I divided them so I don't know their name but they are still lovely. I've learned that you need plain hosta to make the variegated ones show off better.

Two nice sized divisions were added to the two planters.

Next I went way back by our shed and mercilessly hacked out a chunk of fern that is native to our area (at least it popped up here on it's own).

The ferns are just starting to come up although with this heat I expect them to come on full force now.

There were a few pansies left over from another planting so I stuck them in to fill a spot until the Hosta foliage and the fern grows. The last plant though was the big surprise, it's the one that is terribly wilted on the right.

Not 10 feet away from these containers begins a wooded lot. There is a massive spot in the woods filled with Lamiastrum, another plant that arrived on it's own. I was wishing I had a variegated perennial to add to the pot when suddenly it happened, the bell began to ring.

The garden centers around here sell "specialty annuals" in 4 inch pots to make extra special, sophisticated planter arrangements. I'm positive I saw pots of Lamiastrum last year selling for $3.49 and here it is running rampent through the wooded lot next to us. So I carefully pulled out a few pieces. I say carefully because the woods is also filled with poison ivy. Rather than take a chance that I was taking more than the Lamiastrum, I did not dig it up with soil but instead just wiggled out the roots, that's why it's wilting so much but I'm sure it will perk up in a few days.

I bet in two weeks when I photograph those pots you won't believe how nice and full they look. Best of all, I know from past experience that those pots will be fine for three years before I need to take the plants out and divide them.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings :-)
Melanie

4 comments:

Becca said...

I love surprise found plants. I have been in my house for a year and a half and we are getting things this year that weren't there last spring. Maybe its because I have been taking care of the flower beds, but its still nice.

I find geraniums everywhere here (its native, and obviously plentiful) so now i have to move the plants to the flower bed so we can hopefully have a small patch of grass in the back.

Frances said...

Hi Melanie, perennials in long lasting pots is the best and easiest way to do containers. I have long tried to get just the right combination for four seasons of beauty that can take the winter wet and cold. Your combo looks perfect and I agree completely about the solid green hosta for the eye to rest. We have good old Royal Standard, it can even take full blazing sun and dry soil too with fragrant white flowers in August here. I wouldn't be without it. The lamium looks like Hermann's Pride, love it.
Frances

Gail said...

Hi Melanie, I was hoping Frances would comment, I knew her experience with green hostas was positive. I am terrible with containers...need to go to container school. It's getting the right container that's hard...I think i might be cheap! gail

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Melanie, I'm no expert, but just yesterday I took some large pots that I've recently purchased and put in hosta, fern and lamium! And, I dug each of them out of my garden, where they are in an abundance! What a nice surprise to see that I'm on the right track! (My pots might not last, however, because they are of this new synthetic material. They look just like yours, though-with the pedestal. I know they are 'cheaper' and I guess I'm cheap, too-like Gail!). Just kidding, Gail;-) Perhaps, if and when they 'crack', I'll purchase concrete. My problem with that is I just cannot carry them from the store to the car and into the garden-and I don't always have my husband to help out, as he travels and isn't home for a week at a time. Which brings me to the 'impatient' part: I just cannot wait a whole week to plant something if I have the pot...I'd go nuts waiting and waiting for him to get home!!