Annuals

 

A great way to use up some plastic water bottles or empty plant pots is in the bottom of your new container planting!

Instead of filling the container from top to bottom with potting soil, making the container very heavy & spending a lot on soil, you can place recyclables in the bottom third or so.  Of course it depends on the size of the container & the plants you will use.

Instructions:

Most important is to make sure the container has a drainage hole.  Next, place some coffee filters or a piece of landscape fabric (available by the roll) over the opening.  Doing this will prevent the soil from clogging the hole which in turn will cause too much moisture for the plants.  Remember, more plants die from drowning than drought!

Add whatever recyclables you have on hand & either step on them or press down hard until it feels solid, adding more if necessary.  Use another layer of landscape fabric to cover plastics, keeping the soil from falling down to the bottom.

Fill the rest of the container with soil & add your plants of choice.  Water immediately & then again with a water souble root stimulator to get your planter off to a great start!

Happy Gardening,

Althea

 

I am so glad I took a few minutes to add a handful of tulip bulbs to my large container last fall – I am rewarded with a beautiful spring arrangement!

After removing the spent summer annuals and leaving the Teardrop Ivy in place, I placed  the bulbs down about 6″ and then planted Kaleidescope & Redbor Kales, Violas, (I think they perform better than Pansies) along with pink and white Dianthus.

Next fall, (Gardeners are always planning ahead!) I may try some daffodils and even a hyacinth or two!!

Happy Gardening,

Althea

I love using shrubs & small trees for the center of containers as they give such a presence or bones to the arrangement.  In a few years, they may outgrow the container and then I will transplant it to a coveted spot in my yard!   Recently I planted the orange variety of Sango Kaku (Coral Bark Japanese Maple), ‘Baihu’, as the main component for winter interest because the fun color of the bark.  For the companion plants, I chose the variegated foliage Snapdragon,  a bronzy Sedge, Parsley along with orange and dark red Violas and the existing Ivy.  All of these plants do great in full winter sun, but when the summer sun arrives, I will replace the annuals with a heat tolerant plant such as Vinca.  As an experiment, I am hoping the foliage of the Maple will shade the Sedge from the summer sun.

Happy Gardening,

Althea

Any pretty container can become a wonderful centepiece for your Valentine’s Day dinner.  I used this wonderful old silver casserole dish that belonged to my Grandmother Ruland.  While looking for shrubs at a local big box store, I found a 6-pack of Cyclamens that I thought would fit perfectly into this pretty dish.  I lined the container with a plastic grocery bag & just popped the plants into the dish ( watered them first).

My container should last for quite a while as I long as I keep them moist and place in some bright light once in awhile.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Althea

Putting together arrangements for a fall outdooors wedding was great fun, especially using the homeowners’ wonderful collection of containers!

In this photo of a great wheelbarrow base with a tub attached, I used a nice variety of textures & colors to complement the setting.  The Bronze Sedge(Carex evergreen grass) set off the blooms of the Indian Summer Triloba Rudbeckia and the Black & Blue Salvia – a favorite of Hummingbirds.  The low growing annual yellow Lantana added the loose, trailing element.  All of these Perennials are sun lovers, but can take quite a bit of shade in temporary containers.

Once the wedding is over as well as the fall season, the perennials are great to add to the garden for future years of enjoyment.

Happy Gardening,

Althea

Early June here in Atlanta has been wonderful weather for gardens – low humidity & cool evenings!  Going through the garden with my clippers rewarded me with  plenty of blossoms and foliage to fill my milk glass vase.  Ferns, Solomon’s Seal, June Hostas and Threadleaf Cypress branches set up a perfect base of foliage to support the Perennials.  I then cut Yarrows, Aster (early blooming this year), Route 66 Coreopsis, Daisies, Coneflowers, Mullein Pinks, as well as Hydrangeas and a couple Lantana stems to fill it out.

I’m looking forward to the Phlox and Black-Eyed Susans to bloom in the next couple weeks to add to my vases!

Happy Gardening!

Althea Griffin

Perennials & shrubs are the mainstays of my garden, but annuals can be a good thing!  They are a great fill-in for areas where the perennials have finished blooming & leave a void.  Vincas, Impatiens, Begonias & Lantanas are all easy to find this time of year & will provide you with color throughout the fall.

Althea