Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 Summer Garden

"When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden."
~ Minnie Aumonier

Mom tells me she worked in her garden when she was pregnant with me. I truly believe that is why I love to play in the dirt. My past apartment patios have not lent themselves to the most ideal container gardens. That is not the case with my patio now. It is easily twice as big as my last patio and has ample sunlight throughout the day. I am so excited about my garden, and have already noticed growth in the majority of my plants.

In my garden grow a plethora of onions, squash, cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes.
The plant I am most excited about is this one...

It is a German Queen HEIRLOOM tomato!
Which means I can dry seeds from its tomatoes to plant in next years garden.
Heirloom plants tend to be a little more expensive and given I have not had much success with container gardens I figured I would just try one and see how it goes. If it does produce good fruit I can get a lot of seeds from just one tomato so it will be worth it.

I tried to get a shot of the entire garden, but the containers weren't cooperating.

This corner is called "Tomato Tower"

My sister Anne mentioned growing some sort of flower around her garden to keep the bugs away. I don't recall which flower it was, but either way I didn't really like the looks of it so I opted for snapdragons instead. I doubt they will keep any sort of bug away, but they are so pretty.

My friend from church [Vicki] told me snapdragons struggle through the Georgia summer. I can't say I'm surprised...I struggle through the Georgia summer too. So far they are looking good, which doesn't really say much about the summer struggle since it is only March and we have had what feels like a week of rain to keep them plenty hydrated.

On my second trip to purchase plants {because I found additional containers [more on those in a moment] in my closet} I found all time FAVORITE flower ever!

Most people have no idea what a Ranunculus is, and even those that have seen the flower mistake it for a rose. Its nick name is actually the Spring Rose, but I think it is so much prettier than a rose. The crazy thing is there are some 600 species of this flower. They range from the smallest simple flower with just a few petals to blooms with what seem like millions of petals.

Here they are [in the back basket] with the snapdragons.

A wide shot...showing off my awesome watering can.
Note on the watering can: it gets extremely heavy when full of water. And it has this steady leaking stream when I pour, I may have to break down and buy a plastic "can" soon.

The raindrops love resting on the snapdragon petals, I had to stop and take a picture.

The raindrops didn't mind the Ranunculus petals either.

This is a fun project I have growing inside my apartment at the moment.
I am hosting Easter dinner [I hope everyone comes] and I have this really cute idea for a center piece. So in this small glass container I am growing grass. Cat grass to be specific, but either way it should look awesome for Easter. It does need sun however, and we have had very little of that these last few days. Crossing my fingers it will break through the clouds soon.

Now for the special note about the containers in my garden. The last time I tried to grow a garden I had to purchase planters because I just didn't have any. I kept those and used some of them in addition to using 5 gallon buckets some I already had and others I bought from Home Depot. The reason I went with the 5 gallon buckets was based on cost. Each bucket was roughly $3 from Home Depot [lots of stores sell them, that is just what was convenient for me] and the larger plants [like tomatoes] need that much room for their roots. I know this because I did a lot of research online and have a direct line to some experts in the business. HERE is a link to one document I found particularly helpful. It was hard to find information about all the vegetables I planted, but I was able to get a good idea based on the information I had gathered. Point is, 2.5 - 5 gallon buckets were $3+ where 5 gallon planters were $15 - $20, probably because they are decorative. My garden is still gorgeous even with boring white buckets.

I will note that I have seen some very simple planters at Wal-Mart that were only a few dollars. The yellow one in the pictures at the top is one of these, but even that one was $3. The only reason I bought it was because I just didn't have a need for 5 gallons for that particular plant.

I did put pea gravel or river rock at the bottom of all of my buckets and drilled wholes about 1/2" from the bottom of my buckets for drainage.

One more thing about containers: did you see what my flowers are planted in? Go ahead, scroll back up. I'll wait...

Snapdragons No. 1 are in an old enamel pan I bought a few years ago and never found the right home for. Snapdragons No. 2 are in a blue speckled enamel pan I think I received from my mom. Either that or I bought it ages ago. It had a home sitting on an old stool in the corner of my dinning room, but I like this home better. I put some drainage wholes in the bottom with a nail and hammer...super quick, probably because they were super old.
And my Ranunculus are resting nicely in one of my all-time favorite baskets. I don't remember where I bought this basket but it is the most amazing thing ever. It was holding yarn, and quite nicely I might add. But the Ranunculus needed a nice home and in my opinion they look amazing in that basket.

Needless to say I spent plenty on the soil and the plants and if I grown anything I hope I grown enough to at least break even. As one of my experts says "food you grow on your own just tastes better." So I'm good with that.

Now go play in the dirt!


Captivating Eyes said...

I love the idea of using pots! Can't wait to see it all in full bloom!

Anne said...

Wow, what a beautiful garden. Can't wait for your harvest post!

MonikaC said...

I love your garden! It makes me want to go plant something, but I will resist until summer ends here.

Kelly said...


Shauna_Rae said...

How fun for you! I love watching things grow.