Thursday, July 22, 2010

Containers - What's Working And What Is Not!

This is the time of year I go into a funk about my garden, but this year it is not so much the garden as it is my containers.  I am not in despair over all of them but some that I thought would be wonderful, like my hayracks on the shed, I have already replanted.

The insects, slugs, japanese beetles and who know what else have really ravaged some of the plants along with the heat and rain.  Well, it kind of gives me a road map as to what I will try next year - not dahlias, the earwigs have had a feast. 

Front Concrete Planters
Those great petunias have weathered the storm and they will definitely have a place in my containers, not bocapa, all green and no flowers.  I can always count on impatiens, no damage, just need lots of water, fibrous begonias a winner, lobelia (laguna), ivy and geraniums all going great.
Bubble Gum Supertunia

Blue Ceramic Containers
I will use more moss next year to protect against evaporation on the top of the containers.  It already seems to be helping on the ones I have recently mossed.

My tropicals have been stunning this year, crotons, sedums, etc., have all put on a show.  The hanging baskets have struggled to stay alive with the heat even though they have been watered every day sometimes even twice.  My hayracks were been planted with dahlias (big mistake) get mushy from rain, dry up from heat. 
Agave, Red Rosie Hens and Chickens, Creeping Jenny and the mystery yellow (also a succulent) plant that I didn't think was going to do much.  Now I wish I knew the name!

The Rooster pot has come back!
 Oh, what would we do if everything was perfect? 
Cast Iron Containers
Irish Pots in the border with Pineapple Coleus


Pink Impatiens and Orange Reiger Begonia on patio

Fushia Autumnale spilling from the cast iron containers.  It is a bronze and green colored leaf and it really blooms.  I think I would pinch it next year to fill out more rather than getting so long.  However, it is lovely!


28 comments:

Tracy said...

Hi Eileen - Your containers look fantastic! I usually don't have any, but did do a few this year. They don't look that great, but that's my own fault for neglecting them.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! My camera is a Canon SX120 IS and I absolutely love it. My husband's camera is a Kodak, I think about 5 yrs old. I can't wait to get my camera back!

I can't wait to see pics of your $3.48 Home Depot finds!

Edith Hope said...

Dear Eileen, How very, very professional your weblog now looks. And as for your header picture, could any clematis anywhere look better? Absolutely wonderful.

Your containers, whatever you say, are remarkable - so well grown and so colourful. Exactly, in my view, how containers for summer should look. I am particularly drawn to those with a 'tropical' look - most appealing! But the work, I do know, should not be underestimated - feeding and watering - but you are so clearly on top of it all. I do so admire you.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Your containers look really good. Every year I have a few container failures but it teaches me what not to use. Love sweet potato vine but can't use it because the leaves get eaten. Love geranium but it doesn't do well here in mixed plantings.

I found the same things are true in my garden as in yours. Petunias, dusty miller, impatiens, calibracoa, zinnias, sages and pentas do really well here and have no pests.
Marnie

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Tracy, the perennials I found at Home Depot were pink and white flame phlox and Bridal Veil Astilbe. They look a little sunburned, just like lots in my garden, but I think they will be fine. One gallon pots for $3.48!!!

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thank you Edith, the containers seem to have done much better than the baskets. I will have to rethink those for next year, lots of watering and trouble.

I did switch over to the new template designer but I wish we had local blog clubs that we could go to for advice. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to master the technical aspects of inserting pictures, captions, sizing, etc.

I am still not out of the woods on this - a learning experience each day.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Marnie, you are right, stick to what you know works. The plants are so expensive now, it's pretty bad when you have to throw them away midseason.

Eileen

Tracy said...

WOW!! $3.48 for gallon pots is fantastic! I never find bargains like that. Hmm, that tells me that I must start shopping more :)

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Sorry Tracy, the pink one is Pixie Miracle Grace. Original price was $6.48. The checker called them gallon pots, but if you are near a Home Depot, see if they have the same sale.

Eileen

Becca's Dirt said...

This summer heat is horrible this year. You are not alone with drought and heat. That's about all a gardener can do - water and wait.

joey said...

i'm very impressed, Eileen ... all looks stunning! Mine look anemic compared to yours ... they must miss me when I'm gone (and I'm off again)!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I think your containers look beautiful, you have so many nice combinations. I like the idea of adding moss to help keep the moisture in.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Catherine, I wish I had added it earlier, it would have saved the plants in the hayrack. I hope you do not get this heat, high 90's again tomorrow. We have had hot weather in this area other years but never this long of a stretch.

Eileen

allanbecker-gardenguru said...

Whenever a client asks me to plant flower pots, I cringe because I have had bad experiences and disappointments similar to yours.

Is nature trying to tell us something and we are not listening?

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Allan, I think it was my own fault. I took a very low profile container (the hayracks) and did not prepare them the way I had many other years. The moss on top is a necessity if you want to preserve moisture. Hindsight is always a learning experience.

Eileen

meemsnyc said...

Your containers look really nice!

Darla said...

Your combinations are just beautiful. The insect damage has been so bad here this year as well, sigh. Thanks for the tip about moss for moisture control.

Bernie said...

Great post Eileen ... since I started adding potted plants to my courtyard garden about a year and a half ago I've been on a never-ending steep learning curve.

Similar conditions ... heat, humidity, torrential rain, strong direct sunlight, lots and lots of insects, hungry wallabies ... so many lessons to be learned as a result of all this!

Still, your containers are looking fabulous. I wouldn't call my efforts 'containers' ... they're more potted plants ... but I do have any idea of just how much work they are ... and how heartbreaking it is when things don't work out well.

Karen said...

I have learned a lot from reading your posts on the containers. Yours are beautiful, everything looks so fresh and healthy. Does the yellow flower (I think possibly portulaca?) close during part of the day? I have a large planter of just portulaca in various colors which is fantastic in bloom, but rather boring when the sun isn't out. ;-) Learned a lesson again, need to mix up my plantings!

Thank you!

Maureen said...

Well you have a lot of plants that look absolutely wonderful so forget about the rest. I've learned that there will always be successes and failures so I don't take the failures to heart...and that changes from one year to the next so I just take each year as it comes.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Darla, I actually have some more moss soaking to put around some of the other containers. I wish I had done this earlier.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Bernie, if anyone would know about heat you would! I am going to prepare better next year.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I am not sure if it is a form of moss rose, not a double flower. Whatever it is, I love it and now don't know what to ask for next year!

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Maureen, what a great attitude. I need to remind myself of this more often and not worry about everything being perfect.

We can always begin anew the following year.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks memsync for your nice comments.

Eileen

Karen said...

Hello Eileen, I'm back and wondering if the yellow flower is by any chance Portulaca oleracea? I bought a seed mix in 2009 called 'Ornamental Purslane ‘Toucan Hot Mix’ from Park Seed and they grew beautifully. This year I was unable to order the seed from anyone. Doing an internet search I found the supplier had a crop failure, but I did find the plants at one of our local greenhouses. I do love them for their bright colors, but was leery since the foliage resembles the common purslane weed. So far, no self-seeding, which is too bad, I could use some 'weeds' like these!

Karen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I think you've got it! Yellow Toucan Purslane, sure looks like it. I only bought two plants at a small parking lot nusery that's no longer there. I will probably have trouble finding it next year.

Thanks for being such a great detective.

Eileen

Zoey said...

Hi Eileen,
I think the moss is a great idea! I can never find it in my small town.

I was looking at your pics below and saw that one that Barb said was a weed. I think it's feverfew...grows like a weed, but really an herb. Someone probably already suggested that...I did not read the comments.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Zoey, I order the medium bale of oregon moss each year from Kinsman. It is really a nice color and goes quite far. I just didnt use it soon enough this year, thinking it would cool off!

Eileen