Friday, June 24, 2011

Container Gardening

For several years, I've wished to have an herb garden, of sorts, and the soil in my yard being what it is -- clay! -- I haven't done much (read: much of anything). Gardening Daughter planted some Thyme, Basil and Parsley in a small bed next to the entrance to my carport (photos here).  The Basil died out after the first season, the Parsley wintered-over, is in its second and final year and is going to seed (yay! perhaps it will reseed itself there). The Thyme has flourished and I frequently pick a few sprigs for cooking.  But, it's not well-placed for a satisfactory herb bed.

I have two 24" plastic pots with saucers that have, over the years contained various growing things.  Those things having died out over the winter made the pots available again.  During Youngest Daughter's visit,  she and the other daughters (Eldest and Gardening) decided that these would make suitable container gardens for some herbs (and other stuff I like).

I now have two large containers of plants, some edible, some not.

I'm quite taken with  False Dracena/Cordyline, that spiky stuff one can often see in container gardens (flower gardens, usually).  I like it so much that both my pots have a red/purple variety in the middle, surrounded by, among other things (divided between the pots): Sweet Basil, Spicy Globe Basil and Purple Basil; Fennel; one Jalapeno Pepper and one Sweet Banana Pepper;  Curly Parsley and Flatleaf Parsley; Catnip (you know I'm going to have a treat for my kitties); and Purple and Green Sweet Potato Vines.

Gardening Daughter told me that container gardens, whether veggie or floral, to be pleasing to the eye should have "Thrill," "Fill," and "Spill" ( Thrill - something tall and eye-catching - that would be the Dracena/Cordyline, Fill  -the herbs, and Spill - the Sweet Potato Vines which will, eventually, spill over the edges.)  I'm quite satisfied with the results.

Yesterday morning, examination of the pot containing the Sweet Banana Pepper revealed that some critter with teeth (squirrel or raccoon) visited this pot on Wednesday evening and evidently liked the taste of this fruit. I suppose I should be glad the plant wasn't pulled out of the pot.  I've harvested only one pepper to date; this one is a goner, but there are a couple of blooms, so I may yet have some more.

The weather forecast for the last few days, and the remainder of the week, has predicted thunderstorms, albeit with only a 30% -40% chance of rain.  So far - nada!  I've had to water both front and back plants every day. The large pot of Million Bells by the front door must be watered twice daily.  Ah, well; it's only money (for the water bill.)

Tomorrow is also a day. Perhaps it will bring some rain.


Snap said...

I have all my herbs in pots, minus the thrill, fill and spill! Just the herbs! Unfortunately, not everything came up this year. Oh, well ... try, try, try again! Stay cool!

Abby said...

Mmmm... basil! I will have to remember "thrill, fill, spill" when I next do my containers. I have not had anything eat my peppers, ever. THAT is strange! Didn't you try growing potatoes in straw last year? I'm guessing field mice or voles ate the seed potatoes, which is why not much grew - I had the same problem using straw last year. I'll be curious to see if the parsley reseeds itself in your clime.

Marvin said...

Back when we could still get a TV signal, my wife used to watch P. Allen Smith's gardening show on AETN. He had similar instructions for proper arrangement of a well-organized planting. I don't remember the whole thing, but do remember that having something "tall and spiky" was one of his requirements. Looks like you have a beautiful "tall and spiky" component. Hope your containers do well.

smallgardendesign said...

Very Interesting. i have a garden and init i have all these plants like this.

small garden design

Arkansas Patti said...

I haven't heard of thrill, fill, and spill before. Good plan.
For the first time I have planted veggies in hanging baskets and it really works. Everything is eyelevel so it is easy to tend and gnawing creatures can't reach them.

Rose said...

I think container gardening is a good idea....I have never grown herbs at all. Putting them in containers would be a nice idea.

rhymeswithplague said...

(1) Mrs. RWP and I definitely have brown thumbs when it comes to herb gardens.

(2) My eyesight is definitely going: I thought you said "a small bed next to the entrance to my airport."

(3) We do have a Dracaena marginata in a large pot in our keeping room. It (the plant, not the keeping room) has proven simply impossible to kill.

Good luck with trying to keep the critters away from your crop!

Jinksy said...

Shows you're growing good stuff when the wildlife appreciate it too! LOL

KleinsteMotte said...

Planters are the only garden we have and they are a joy.
Could you send me some info about having blog team partners? I'm curious to learn the benefit.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Wish I could send you some of Iowa's rain! Nice photos.

NitWit1 said...

We spent the morning looking at s
tones at several stores for stepping stones and a small path near our front steps to a fence gate and water spigot. Funny, they all had the same brand and were within 1 cent of the same price. We made the Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart and Orschelens.

I think we have settled on two patterns from which to choose or knowing my husband who is in charge of this project, he is liable to mix and match. Should be interesting.....stay turned

Moannie said...

I think my garden was laid on builder's rubble and consequently I too have all my herbs in pots and containers creatively prepared by me. I have lined fruit boxes with black bin liners and used crates, window boxes and even old saucepans. For some reason every pepper or chilli gets nibbled away; who knew bugs had a taste for hot and spicy?

Patty said...

It seem even if you leave food for the squirrels or raccoons, they will still damage something they have no business even bothering.