Monday, May 24, 2010

Garden Update: Dahlias...Alive, Planter Planted, Epic Weeding

So about three years ago I went to the nursery with Mom and Dad for Mothers' Day, which was notable not only as a demonstration of why our family can't really be trusted to behave in public (we downloaded the lightsaber app onto Dad's iPhone and promptly became completely unmanageable), but also as a total giant planter score. Big dramatic planter pots can be pretty pricey, and certainly more so than I'm willing to shell out when I have lots of excitingly plantable dirt surrounding my home. When Mom and I stopped for a bathroom break, we had to walk through the sale zone, and found a gigantic white clay planter with handles marked down from $65 to a practically-free $30. I was stoked and hauled it right out of there.

And then it sat on my driveway for three years.

In the spirit of the Getting Stuff I Like Doing Done Summer, I put it on my list of gardening things to accomplish. I got a $100 gift certificate for our wedding last summer, so I rounded up my Local Plant Advisor - Mom - and off we went to Southern Exposure in Rutland, MA (run by one of my neighbors, as chance would have it) to find some plants for my planter. I wanted at least one traily plant and one to give it some height, accented with some great color. Here's what we came up with:
From top spiky left: "Red Spikes" Cordyline, "Survivor" Geranium, "Margarita" Sweet Potato Vine, variegated golden sage Salvia, and Million Bells.
The Red Spikes will get nice height, and I just love the combo of foliage. I really like the Salvia because it looks like a lizard ( that weird?). We came home and potted the whole thing right up, and it looks awesome. I can't wait for them to fluff out and really develop. We got a bunch of other plants too, and I'll have to write about them some more later because I want to take pictures of everything to go along with the descriptions. Mom is such a wealth of knowledge that I'd like to pass it along.

Oh, and also, there were chickens:
Maximum cute factor!

I went on a weeding binge, which was long overdue. The dandelions have been freaking epic this year...I assume they're colluding with the chipmunks, but I can't prove it. It seems like they're knee-high as soon as James the Lawn Guy pulls out of the driveway. (Side note: When James started mowing our lawn, he was in high school and using our mower to mow our lawn. Now he has a trailer and a ride on mower and the whole thing. It hasn't been that long. Why am I working a desk job again?) There is now a heap of murdered weeds on the driveway waiting to be carted back to the mulch zone...I'm going to let it stay there for a day or two as a warning to the rest of the dandelions.

The dahlias are mostly potted up and growing. My Memorial Day project is the installation of a raised garden bed in the back to house said dahlias, so they should be in the ground this weekend. Mom paints her dahlia stakes this great purple color and I'm thinking about painting mine as well - they just look so festive! The bed will be 8'x5' and it will be a great chance to provide the dahlias with nice loose, healthy soil from the get-go. Can't wait until they start blooming!

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