Outside (or over) the Box: You Can Grow That!

It's time again for the monthly post called: You Can Grow That!
Sometimes you have to break out from the quotidian, unleash that pent-up creativity, throw caution to the wind. You get the drift. Or at least pretend that's what you were doing when life (or your garden) throws you a curve ball.

It was during our version of a coffee klatch that she said it. As my neighbor and I fought through the under (and over) brush that has hijacked my garden, I commented that I had quite a bit to do. She agreed. The last time we’d gone on our “garden klatch” was when the peonies were in bloom. 

What’s changed since then? Well, it’s a lot greener, taller, more expansive and yes, overgrown. Paths are in there somewhere but I’ve had to estimate their trajectory in order to navigate from one spot to another. The floppers are overwhelming their neighbors, the neglected are showing signs of stress, and the weeds are boasting a symmetry and a sense of righteousness that should only be entrusted to purposefully-placed plants I'd purchased.
But if I’d been stricter about which plant grows where, I’d have missed out on some pleasant surprises. Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’ has a dedicated trellis draped over a nearby fence so it could climb to a lofty position over its more compact neighbors. 
If it had “stayed inside the lines,” however, I would not have been rewarded with its whimsical course over the top of the boxwood. 

If I'd weeded more assiduously, I wouldn't have enjoyed the Corydalis sempivirens that had seeded itself in a rocky patch I'd used to place a planter each year.

And if rules weren't meant to be broken, I wouldn't have planted a lavender-dianthus garden in an Earth Box. Three lavenders and two dianthus plants arrived in early June from Goodwin Creek Gardens.

Earth Box newly-planted on June 9.

I decided to re-purpose the Earth Box into a decorative planter and use it for my little band of plants that preferred similar soil types. Like a cook making soup, I mixed what I had on hand plus things I'd gathered from my local garden center. The final product included a bag of regular potting mix, Ted's Special Cactus mix, some Turface and Vermiculite.

The Earth Box is designed with a reservoir for excess water and a small hole at the bottom for overflow. I left the screen at the bottom of the pot in place, but not wanting to leave anything to chance, I had several more small holes drilled into the bottom of the planter. Although "self-watering" planters certainly have their place, I prefer to have better control over my plants' moisture needs.
Not quite a month later, this photo was taken July 6.

When I first planted the tiny specimens, I decided there was room for a Hippeastrum bulb I wanted to bulk up for fall planting indoors. I added 'Zombie' to the group.

Dianthus 'Queen of Sheba'
By late July, they had filled in nicely, and today I noticed what looks like a flower bud on the Dianthus 'Queen of Sheba'. The photo shown here was taken at Goodwin Creek Gardens in May.

Although all of the plants except the Hippeastrum are hardy to Zone 5 or 6, I think I'll either overwinter the planter of Dianthus and Lavandula in my garage, or wrap the pot in an insulating material and keep it in a spot protected from desiccating winter winds where it can get rain and snowfall. It's always good to have an experimental garden to play with in the off-season.

On July 27, the plants had filled in nicely, yet still have good air circulation.
For more ideas on what to try in your own garden, head over to the website:

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are finding enjoyment in your fully-grown gardens. Letting things go can, at times, have benefits.