Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Flowers: Potted annuals

A young Dakota on our back deck

A couple of weeks ago, we had a few warm, sunny days and I hauled my flower pots out of the garage and put them on the back deck. Our home is built on sandy soil, which allows for excellent drainage, but it is not the best soil for flower gardens. We tend to have hot, humid summers, often with little rain, and our municipality has strict watering restrictions for lawns and gardens. I have planted low maintenance and native perennial plants in the flower beds such as echinacea, sedum, lavender, bee balm, evening primrose, hostas, trilliums, ferns and lilies to name a few. I have a variety of blooms throughout the season and do not plant any annuals except in my flower pots.

I like to have plenty of colour on the deck and plant geraniums, hybiscus, miniature roses, wave petunias, as well as various herbs. To start the season, I often plant ice pansies as they tolerate frost and snow and thrive in cooler temperatures.

I am anticipating the spring weather that must be just around the corner. With the slow start to the season, I thought this prayer would be most appropriate for gardeners everywhere.

Gardener's Prayer
O Lord, grant that in some way
it may rain every day,
Say from about midnight until three o'clock
in the morning,
But, You see, it must be gentle and warm
so that it can soak in;
Grant that at the same time it would not rain on
campion, alyssum, helianthus, lavendar, and others which
You in Your infinite wisdom know
are drought-loving plants-
I will write their names on a bit of paper
if you like-
And grant that the sun may shine
the whole day long,
But not everywhere (not, for instance, on the
gentian, plantain lily, and rhododendron)
and not too much;
That there may be plenty of dew and little wind,
enough worms, no lice and snails, or mildew,
and that once a week thin liquid manure and guano
may fall from heaven.
Amen.

Karel Capel


What are your favourite flowering plants for pots and planters?

8 comments:

  1. I think my favorites are all colors of geraniums and I really love verbena. We lived on sandy soil several times and I relied on perrenials and potted plants also. Now we live in rock hard soil - a red clay mix. I don't know what to expect!

    That poem covers it all! And I think young Dakota was very handsome :o)

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  2. I absolutely love the smell of petunias but have found that some of the waves are lacking in that scent. I always plant an old tough and tattered pot with moss roses- I really like those too.

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  3. -Boy-that sedum really grows like crazy!
    I like Bee Balm, which attracts hummingbirds but it seems to get ratty looking.

    I end up putting flowers in containers that I don't even know the identity of. I've used marigolds and Pansies before because they're easy to take care of.

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  4. How pretty! Everything here is still brown and dead-looking. I was thinking of getting some pansies or geraniums but it may still be too cold. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  5. Yes - Amen to all the elements of that great prayer.

    I love scented geraniums so that if I brush past them I'm greeted with a little surprise of fragrance.

    Your deck is so pretty, but I'm very distracted by the darling pup. His/her name?

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  6. Mary- Clay soil has its own challenges, but it does hold moisture. You will have to show us what grows in your garden this year.

    Lynne- I love tattered and stained pots. Hybrid flowers always lose something in the process,but the wave petunias do well in hanging planters.

    Larry- I have a few varieties of sedum. The Autumn Joy attracts monarch butterflies and bees. My Bee Balm tends to get mildewed. I cut it down after it blooms. Marigolds give good colour throughout the season.

    LauraO- I have nothing in my planters yet, but will get some pansies soon. We cannot put geraniums out until the end of May.

    Cathy- Yes, the prayer is perfect. Geraniums are a favourite of mine. I usually try to winter them in our garage, but give up by January.
    The pup is Dakota, our male mixed breed we rescued from the pound. He is now mature, and is an excellent dog. He is well loved!

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  7. No particular favorites. I like to try different combinations and usually plant flowers that I think will attract hummingbirds close to the house where I can see them.

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  8. Laura- I have seen hummingbirds at a number of my pots, including the petunia, hybiscus and salvia. The parsley attracts Swallowtail butterflies and I usually have two or three fat caterpillars who receive my protection.

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