Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mid Summer Deck Flowers

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mid Summer Deck Flowers

It has been a terrifically "hot" summer this year.  As we have had little or no rain in quite a while, I have had to water my deck flowers planters, tomato plant and shade garden daily.  This is my first experiment with making my own planters for our newly expanded deck, and, I must say, I am pretty pleased.  Except for:

Mr. Groundhog!!!

I have an in resident groundhog who lives on the other side of the steam in my wooded ravine.  Up until this year, he has not posed much of a problem.  This year, he has eaten most of my lamium that surrounds my forsythia bushes at the back of the house, and has acquired a taste for sweet potato vines. (Only the green variety).  Now, the two large planters that are elevated and made of weather resistant wicker that flank my patio furniture have the green variety of sweet potato vine planted in them.  Mr. Groundhog discovered them about a month ago, and eats them all the way to the soil.  Then, he comes back when they are grown again, and continues on his gourmet adventures!  If it was legal in the State of Ohio, I think I would shoot him!

Now, don't get me wrong, I really love the chubby little guy and have enjoyed watching his forays under my bird feeder stations for the last 11 years. (I am guessing he is the same groundhog).  He always got the leftover scraps of veggies and fruit from the day before from me.  I would just place them under the bird feeder on the ground.

What gratitude!  He is now quite comfortable on the deck, munching his way through my sweet potato vines.  At any rate, thought you all would like to see what the planters looks like at mid summer.
Notice the chartruese color in the planter above.  That is what is left of the Sweet Potato Vine after he had his gourmet feast!
The rectangle hanging planters on my deck railings were new for this year.  I purchased them at Plow and Hearth two years ago and this is the first time they have been used.  I must say, I was a bit skeptical of their plant capacity as they are not very wide or deep.  But, as you can see, my marigolds and geraniums are doing quite well in them.  I still have to water them every two days even though they have a water reservoir at the bottom.

The planter on my coffee table is the one that is doing the best.  I should trim it back, but, with a summer wine tasting party coming up, they would not rebloom in time.
I planted one Better Boy Tomato in a large pot and caged it.  So far it has 18 tomatos and more to come.  My "hubs" counts them every day.  He is a non-gardener and I am so suprised at his interest in this one plant.  My younger son, who also has a deck at his home, is totally amazed by it and wants to try container gardening next year.  He could not believe I had made and maintained all these planters. 
The above is my strawberry ceramic planter that I filled with herbs such as thyme, oregano, majorcan, rosemary and a left over impatient.  The thyme plant on the left side was wintered over on my front porch in a clay pot.  I am suprised it did so well.  I also have a basil containter with four different basils.  I make pesto and tomato dishes for summer fair and this really comes in handy.  You need to keep basil trimmed and not let to set bloom spires.
My Mandeville vine is going absolutely crazy in it's extremely large pot.  Around the base I have planted leftover petunias and marigolds.  The hummingbirds just love this plant, as the flowers are red.  This is the first one I have owned that has done so well.  They really need full sun most of the day and when I had them on my front porch they did not get that. 
At the end of this season, I am going to shop for discounted ceramic planters to replace some of my plastic pots.  Fall is when you get the best deals at the garden centers.  Up to 70% off!  Then, over the winter, I intend on making a list of annuals that I would like to purchase and plant in those containers for next year.  This year was the first and was an experiment.  What do you think?  Did it come out all right or what.  Feel free to leave me some comments.  I really look forward to hearing from my blog followers.

Until my next update.

Rosemary, Garden Gate Designs

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