Saturday, June 30, 2012

Some of the ways I gardened frugally this year with my pots

This is the day I have been looking forward to, ever since March of 2010.  We had had our home paid off, then took out a home equity loan to remodel our small kitchen, making it more functional and decided to cut back on garden spending this year to help make it happen.  (Here's a link to the posts I did on the kitchen.)

One of the big ways I cut back, was in my tub planting.  I didn't buy many plants for them this year.  I saw that things had reseeded into some of them, and left them to see what they would turn into.  In other tubs, I planted things I dug up from the yard.  I took these photos a couple days ago, knowing this was the day I was going to do this post.

This is the west side of the front yard, next to the area where I am trying to plant mostly plants that are native to Nebraska.

Our four year old grandson picked these pansies out in March.  They have handled the heat fairly well.  I stuck the dianthus in from the yard.

I'm not sure if these new types of rudbeckias lived over the winter, or self-sowed, but they sure are filling the tubs they are in nicely.

This petunia is a volunteer from last year.  The foliage of the nasturtium I started from seed is behind the petunia.

They are joined by volunteer love lies bleeding, a lantana, and some marguerite daisies that I started from seed, which are hidden by the other plants.

Ginger mint has lived in this tub for at least five years.

Last year, I planted two varieties of heirloom marigolds, and they self sowed very prolifically.  I moved a number of them to several different tubs.  The love lies bleeding self sowed in this pot, too.  I am assuming it will not get as large as the ones in the ground.

Here's another tub with volunteer rudbeckias.

One of the books I have on prairie plants said these have no place in a natural garden, but I kind of like them.   If these end up not living long, I probably won't plant more, though.

I planted a couple lantanas, a vegetable type of sweet potato plant, and added an orange cosmos that was on sale.  I am hoping they fill up the space, soon.

A close up of the lantana:

I had to move the shade plants out of this area, and since I was trying to garden cheaply, I moved some red blooming heleniums, liatris, and rudbeckia 'Goldquelle' from other parts of the yard.  The coneflowers were already there.  I am also letting a couple love lies bleeding grow in this bed.

I've shown this pot of gooseneck loosestrife with dianthus on the right a number of times.  Planting perennials in tubs like this is a good way to keep the spreaders in check, and to garden frugally.  Oh, and there is another volunteer love lies bleeding in there.

I think the only plant I purchased for this is the one draping down the middle.  The others, I moved from other parts of the yard, and a flower bed at church where I also garden.  It's hard to tell, but a couple of the sedums are blooming.

I forgot what this is, but it was in a small plastic pot that was in a wash tub I got at a garage sale last year.  I thought it was dead, but when it started growing, I put it in a larger pot.  It didn't bloom last year.  I wonder if it needs some special care to bloom.

These mints have been in the tubs differing amounts of time, from a couple to eight or more years.  There are a couple more pots of them against the garage in the vegetable garden.  I use them to make tea.

I forgot to post a photo of the butter and eggs for Wildflower Wednesday.  I'm thinking it's a toadflax.  It has been in this tub around 5 years.  It's another spreader.

That's the butter and eggs in the tub on the right.  Mint is in the red one.  Those are sweet potatoes in the one by the garage.  That one has two tubs in it.

In with the sweet potatoes in the left side are these little yellow flowers that are volunteers from last year, and some strawberry plants.  I figured I'll give the strawberries more room next year.

In the right side, are a pineapple sage, with lemon verbena in the background, and a couple more strawberry plants and sweet potatoes.

Can you tell I like sweet potatoes and strawberries?  Rabbits do, too, so that is the main reason I plant them in tubs.  That's an ornamental one in the pot on the bottom.  I've mentioned that I've done posts on cooking and eating ornamental sweet potatoes, and people doing searches to find out if you can eat them is probably the most hits I get.  I've decided they are worth eating, but the ones that are actually grown for eating are better.

I think this is sweet woodruff.  It has been in this pot a number of years.

I forgot what these succulents are, but I moved them to this pot a few weeks ago, from a wash tub I wanted to plant something else in.

The oxalis that almost got dumped are doing well.  I had forgotten what was in this pot, and they had gone dormant.

Between the rabbits and our dog, Heidi, the back yard is kind of a mess.  I don't know whether it's her or them that have shredded some of the hostas behind the house, and dug in the dirt.  I'm pretty sure it's Heidi who digs in this spot so I planted the goldenrod that used to be here in a wash tub.  I added some of the volunteer marigolds to it this spring.

This pot gets overrun with weeds, but I'm trying to grow false solomon's seal that a friend gave me in here.  I did get this batch of weeds out yesterday.

I gave up on trying to grow plants on this side of the shed, because of all the digging.  You can see that the watering can is in a hole.  I need to get that filled.  I also need to get the dianthus here deadheaded.   I added the ageratum this spring.  The dianthus has survived a few winters in this pot.

Our daughter gave this cactus to Larry, for his birthday, I think.  It has given us fits, because it is actually in three pieces, and they keep coming out.  I had to put them into this larger pot, and they still won't stay in.  I did have it on the ground, in hopes of discouraging Heidi and the rabbits from going into the area, but it apparently didn't influence them.

The corner by the fence is another area that gets dug, so I put another pot of goldenrod in, next to some gray headed coneflower.

I grow a few varieties of lavender in pots that we put in the egress window well over the winter.  I used to put them on the other side of the little fences, but had to put them in here, again, because of all the digging.  These look a little stressed, maybe from winter damage that I didn't cut back enough.  I try to get some dried, but this year, they seem to be getting ahead of me.  I think I got a couple little bunches hung, though.

Here's another pot of lavender with some coneflowers, monarda, 'Jacob Kline' and a gray headed coneflower dipping down.

I can't remember what the plant on the left in this pot is, but the right one is Jacob's ladder.  This is their second season here.

This double wash tub is one of my favorites.  I saw it in someone's front yard with a for sale price on it, and called Larry to tell him I wanted it, and would he please go get it when he got off.  I don't remember how much it was, but the price was displayed, and was very reasonable.  These marigolds are from the vegetable garden, which still has oodles of them in it.  I only planted three in each one, because I remembered the ones last year got pretty large.  I hope these get a little larger to fill out all of the space.

There are certain plants that we normally get each season.  We didn't get all of them this year, but I did get these sun coleus plants for Larry for Father's Day, because he always wants some.

I also picked up this hanging pot at 40% off for him, but as you can see, it got too dry, and is in stress.  I need to trim back the petunias.

In the shady part of the deck are the houseplants that live in the house in the cold months.

Larry has kept this rabbit foot fern a number of years now.  He has to water it in the shower in the winter.

I like angel wing begonias.  This one needs to be trimmed, it looks like.  The bay plant has been in the pot awhile.  It was on the front porch awhile, where it was getting too much sun.  It likes shade when it's hot out.

We like our little succulents, some of which need some attention.

Our daughter gave me the calla lily for Mother's Day.  I've never grown them before.  I put it in a larger pot.  It's a little stressed.  I hope it comes out of it.

When I brought this tub home from a garage sale, Larry asked if he could have it for a water garden.  He added the pump this year, and it seems we've had more birds visit it than in the past.

I forgot what kind of iris this is, but it has a bloom or two off and on most of the summer, if I'm remembering correctly.

On the west side of the back yard is my small herb garden, which now has a number of bird feeders in it.  This is a pot of garlic chives that have been there a few years.  In the place we lived for 18 years, before moving here, I had garlic chives try to take over the garden, and found that they did not stay pulled or even dug out, so it took me a few years to be brave enough to grow these in the pot, but I have been faithful to deadhead it before it can go to seed.

This tub of woodland phlox moved with us 13 years ago, and even though they say they prefer some shade, these have done fine, except the violets need to be pulled out from time to time I think that's a sunflower trying to bloom quite small.  The squirrels planted corn all over our yard, and in the neighbors'.  A couple of them are letting it grow.

A couple of my rosemarys did not survive winter in the house, so I got a couple more, which are doing well.  I tried to get the baptisia plant out of the tub of thyme this spring, but in order to do that, I was going to have to take the thyme out, too.  I'll probably end up cutting back the baptisia.  The basils I planted from seed inside are doing very well, but I need to be making some pesto, because they are starting to want to bloom.

I planted nasturtium seeds in this tub.

One of the two yellow summer squash plants in the tub next to the nasturtims was found by a squash stem borer.  I hope this one won't be.

 This is the rosemary that survived winter inside.  We need to get our deck painted.  At some point, we'd like to take it down and put in a smaller patio.  Larry's dad built it, though, so even though it's clunky, and not what we would have chosen, it will be hard to see it go.

 I took the rest of the photos today.  After I paid the loan off, I went to a few estate sales.  At one, I found some flower frogs.  In line, I told some ladies that what I was really looking for were wire baskets that people put liners in for planting flowers, but that I wanted them to put over plants to keep the rabbits from eating them.  One of them told me where a sale was that had lots of baskets and, I thought she said pots.  Well, when I got there, I was disappointed to see it was wicker baskets she had!  When my eyes landed on this tub, though, I was glad I was there.  None of my other tubs have diagonal corners like this one does!  A month ago, I may not have gotten it, but I was in a celebratory mood, after paying off the loan.

I didn't think I was going to plant anything in it yet, but when Larry and I went to Fazolis to celebrate being debt free, I saw that Westlake Hardware's plants were 75% off, and so, I planted more ornamental sweet potatoes, a couple ivy geraniums and some annual phlox.  I think I forgot to include photos of Larry's miniature roses that have survived a few winters in the egress window well.  They looked a bit bedraggled this spring, and have not totally come out of it.

I replace the parsley from last year that was blooming with some that I got for 25 cents each.  I have some coming up from seed in the herb garden, but those have normally been for the swallowtails.  I feel bad, though, because now that Larry is feeding the birds again, there are a number of them hanging out, and they will probably assume the caterpillars are for them, too.

These are the tubs by the garbage cans on the east side of the property.  I need to move the plant that I think is rigid goldenrod or something like that out of the tub with the Virginia mountain mint.  This evening, I planted the stevia that I got for a quarter, and the two gazanias that hadn't been planted yet.

This is another pot of mint.

I am so tickled and relieved to be debt free. We could live on what Larry earns right now, and the little bit I would get if I retired in the next few years, but then we wouldn't be able to afford to get old.  Health care is very expensive, so we need to save up in case we need it.  There are also repairs that the house and vehicles will need. Since I know I won't be able to retire for awhile, I have asked to have fewer hours starting next year, so that I can spend more time gardening, and hopefully, working out with weights to improve my bone mass, since they say I have osteoporosis. I think that is going to work out, since the woman who worked fewer hours last year wants more.  I am looking forward to this change.

Well, I hope you are finding time to get outside in the parts of the day that are not quite as hot.  I saw on the news how large the area of temps over 90 is.  Oh, my!  I have been praying for those affected by all of the fires, not just in Colorado.

Have a great and safe weekend, and if I don't do another post before then, have a great Fourth of July!  Normally, the daylilies are just starting to bloom, but now, some of them are almost finished, and some are stressed from all the heat.