This past weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada, which is traditionally marks the start of the gardening season. While there is no guarantee there won't be another cold snap, the odds are it is safe to plant out tender annuals.
With numerous window boxes, several urns and hanging baskets to fill, I start slowly and plant them up as time and money permit.
On the front porch and in a large concrete urn at the back, I placed pansies in cool shades of blue and purple. Pansies are so cheery. I just love them!
Right beside the back door there is a little metal hook in the shape of hand with the palm turned upward. Often I hang my trowels on one of the outstretched fingers at the end of the day.
To celebrate the arrival of warmer weather I filled a little wire basket with some purple Campanula. This hanging basket is a case of short-term glory. Soon enough the flowers will fade.
Then I'll cut the plant back hard and put the Campanula somewhere in the garden. 'Dark Get Mee Campanula' are supposedly hardy, but I haven't had much success with them. Who knows, maybe I'll be luckier this time.
For the summer, I think I'll drop in a pot of thyme. Only a couple of types of thyme seem hardy here and this isn't one of them, but I so love the look, smell and taste of this 'Golden Lemon Thyme', I splurge on a few pots each year.
The urn in its spring glory
Tulips and Forget-Me-Nots line the path between the four raised beds
When spring pansies start to fade in summer heat, one of the pots of lemon thyme goes into the tall black urn between the four raised beds. There the thyme bakes in the sun, but it never seems to complain.
This makes me think that thyme will be the perfect choice for the little wire basket.
Quick Wire Basket How-to: To make the basket, I bought a length of coconut liner. I rolled the liner out and with a permanent marker I traced the bottom of the basket. Then I cut out the circle and placed it at the bottom of the basket.
Next I cut a rectangular length of coconut liner that matched the height of my wire basket. The basket is fairly small, so to make the liner more manageable I cut it into two shorter lengths. I inserted the two pieces overlapping them just a bit.
I removed the thyme from its plastic pot and slipped it into my basket. To finish, I gave it a good drink.
For my large hanging baskets, I wanted to do something a little different this year, so I went for some edibles. I bought one basket of strawberries and plan to pot up a second with strawberry plants I already have.
Though one of the raised beds is filled with berries, I didn't get a single strawberry last year. I am not sure if the birds got them all or it was some other creature. This spring, I may see if I can get netting of some kind.
If it was birds that ate my berries, I may just have made their thievery that much easier by hanging the berries in baskets. The baskets just might have to move to the porch as the strawberries ripen.
I also bought a basket of cherry tomatoes. The red and yellow 'Tumbling Tom' tomatoes were completely potbound, so I removed them from the plastic pot and transferred them to a much larger basket with a coconut liner.
What's your experience with coconut liners?
I find the water drains through really, really quickly and the plant and soil don't get enough chance to absorb the moisture. To compensate for the sieve-like drainage, I place a second piece of liner at the bottom of the basket. The water seems to slow down when it has to pass through two layers of liner.
To fill out the basket I added several types of thyme.
This metal bucket was a dollar store find. A few holes for drainage was all it needed. The wicker furniture in the backyard has red seat cushions, so I thought the bucket might look nice planted with red and white petunias.
I have a number of vintage watering cans, which I use to water areas of the garden that the hose doesn't reach. I also have a few decorative ones. One such watering can has an open top making it the perfect vessel for a container planting.
This weekend I finally got around to planting it up. I punched a few holes in the bottom forever committing the watering can to a new life as a container. Then I used 'Hula Pastel Pink' Calibrachoa, white 'Techno Heat Lobelia' and purple petunias to fill it.
The metal hangers with the decorative bird are from Walmart.
One final project was a birdcage planter I made for the front porch. I have always wanted to make one of these container plantings. For instructions on how to make one of your own, click here.
Enjoy the start of your week!