Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Dirty Talk

Speaking of the dirt that goes into containers, and raised beds, and gets spread as top-dressing in the flower garden. Of course. What did you think an old lady was going to talk about?

Yesterday I transplanted the strawberry plants I bought two or three weeks ago, poor things. I put them into the raised 4 x 4 bed, along the far edge. They are blooming like mad, even trying to make little strawberries. You are supposed to cut off all the blossoms and baby berries before transplanting. Could I do that? No. I also transplanted the remaining marigolds into the raised bed, and put the coleus plants up front where they will appreciate the dappled shade. The tomatoes and green peppers I transplanted on Thursday are doing well and are already visibly larger than before!

Late yesterday Ruth asked if I wanted to go to Penticton with the "planting crew" this morning to buy the flowers for the park. Do I look like someone who would turn down a greenhouse trip? Not by a long shot! So this morning five of us were off in Annabelle's van. I have already confessed to a wicked addiction to plant life. Well, this morning I was overcome by my vice once more. I thought I was planting primarily vegetables this year but the flowers of the world had a different idea.

But could you have resisted this luscious pink rose? I couldn't. I said I was going to plant a rose this year. I had a larger one in mind, but this one works too. It's a mini rose so it might be the one plant I am able to bring inside this fall. I hope I can keep the cat from eating it but I suppose if he did try to eat it all he'd get was a mouthful of stickers for his trouble.

They had fig trees, but I have just about busted the budget for this year, so if we are going to have fig trees they will have to wait until next year. You have to have a male and a female, so it's best to buy one male and two females, and they have to be kept from freezing in the winter, which might prove a bit of a challenge for us. Some people dig their fig trees up every year and bury them for the winter but I don't know if I want figs that badly.

I bought this Golden oregano, okay that qualifies as an herb rather than a flower - I have planted three different kinds of oregano and I don't even like the stuff. (Maybe it's better fresh. That's the argument I'm using. This one was such a striking chartreuse colour I had to have it.) Look at it here next to my purple violas. Lovely. I still have to transplant the oregano but it will tolerate shade so it will be one which stays up front for good.

And I found a gorgeous, vigorous "Lady Fern". "You are MINE!" it said, and as everyone knows it's not polite to argue with a Lady.

Oh, watermelons. Two. Sugar baby. I had planned to grow some from seed but what the hey. For 79 cents each I decided I would forgo babysitting those finicky seeds. The plants have already been planted in the large SIP sitting at ground level in the hottest spot in the place. Here's hoping. I also bought two cantaloupe plants. Cantaloupes do well here. Apparently in the years while the first orchardists were waiting for their trees to begin producing they grew cantaloupes in the rows, and boxcar loads of them were shipped out of the Okanagan every summer.

I may have to move the basil I put in pots to the back, where they get more sun. They are looking a bit dejected. I think I may have to switch plants which require full sun in and out of the vertical planter up front. It just doesn't get sun long enough to power up the sun lovers. But then lately we haven't had enough sun to power up the sun lovers in the normally sunny spots. It was supposed to be sunny today but was overcast all day long.

I planted a hanging basket and a planter box. The hanging basket is full of pink, white and silver flowers/foliage. The box is full of purple foliage and white or blue flowers. I had been lusting after a dark-leaved begonia with large white flowers that a neighbour grew last year. And of several hundred begonia plants I saw I found only three with dark leaves and white flowers. The third one had mold on it so I put it down very quickly. The other two came home with me and will form the "anchors" at either end of the planter box.

I've been busy transplanting succulents into the cobalt blue pot I bought earlier. It's such a pretty colour it doesn't even need plants. I put a pink-flowered rosemary in the top, and several different kinds of hen-and-chicks and sedum in the "pockets". Now if we can just get some sun....

Now I turn my attention to choosing what else to plant and where to plant it. I'm thinking:

1) crookneck squash and the cantaloupe will go into a child's wading pool in the community garden.
2) carrots and radishes
3) okra - the short variety, into the raised bed.
4) okra - tall variety - into the bed under the willow, as soon as the tulips quit blooming
5) royal burgundy bush beans - raised bed
6) Chinese painted lady beans, in containers on the tiers.
7) Purple peas - in containers in the community garden.
8) zuchinni - in big containers on the tiers.

I'll look to see what else I have for seeds. I have dozens of packets of seeds. I thought I had mesclun mixed lettuce seeds but find I don't have. This doesn't especially worry me as we are not big green salad eaters to start with. Sal likes salad greens so I usually try to grow a few for him. I will grow two containers of rye grass for him, so I can switch them out on a day in-day out basis. He grazes them pretty vigorously, so a single pot is not enough.

And that is the garden round-up for the day. I am tired but perfectly happy.

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