Blooms of summer

I have to remind myself about the enjoyment part of gardening. Every day I mentally say “what needs to be done in the garden today?” I spend a lot of time doing things in the garden. For example, yesterday I potted up 25 or more chrysanthemums to their final pots. You will see them next fall. Right now my first flush of roses needs to be deadheaded, but today I am a bit under the weather so I just went out to enjoy the flowers. A rare pleasure.

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Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

There is a chill in the air

Like it or not, it’s time here. The Hood Canal area of the peninsula had a freeze last night. I think my area near Puget Sound got down to 34* or 36*F. Today I started loading my unheated greenhouse with tender plants I want to save. During the past two years The lowest low in January was 26*F on one or two overnights. Plants inside have been safe. I hope we have another of those average winters ahead.
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Another plant craft Pinterest follow up

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Why look at drab terra-cotta pots when you can add color to the garden? One of the things I most enjoy about spring and summer is the return of color in the garden and this is an easy way to splash color.

To get started you might want to check Wal Mart garden center for cheap pot prices, but other places will have them on sale soon. Last year I painted the red pots and filled them with geraniums which wintered over in my green house. This spring I added the yellow ones. It’s easy. First you should use Thompson’s Water Seal on the inside and bottom of a new, clean terra-cotta pot. I used a cheap, foam brush to apply. Then I checked out the local Habitat for Humanity store for inexpensive paint. The outdoor yellow latex was under three bucks. I painted two coats of yellow and could have put on a third.

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I like unique, trendy plants and I also like to use them in prominent places, so here you see Proven Winners Lemon Slice Superbells. I saw this plant in a garden magazine a few months ago and have been on the hunt for it!

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The second yellow pot has Proven Winners Nemesia, Blue Bird and another generic orange Nemesia. Color! Contrast! Joy!

Getting ready

I like the idea of reusing plastic containers but hate the drudgery of cleaning and disinfecting them. I tell myself that I am preventing possible fungal problems later. I hope that is true. Today was the day.

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I wash them in hot water with dish soap, rinse with clear water then give them a quick rinse in bleach water. Notice the tongs for use with the bleach water. The fun part now begins. Stay tuned!

Container garden progress

This year I was inspired to try growing plants in containers  as decoration for the garden. Pinterest and #gardenchat gave me interesting ideas. The yellow pansy pot has lots of textures. It was inspired by a free pansy plant I got at the NW Flower and Garden Show. This spring I removed a fence but left up two sections to see what I could do. The red pot is one of a trio that I saw on Pinterest. Do you grow in containers? Where do you get ideas?

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Red pots