Thursday, July 23, 2009

I have decided not to decorate the deck this season so I won't be posting to this blog. All of my garden posts will be at my main blog, Perennial Passion.

Just click this sentence to visit me there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dreaming of My Deck Flowers

I can tell it's almost February because that is when I start wishing I could go out to my deck and enjoy my flowers. Ah, to be sitting on that glider in the late afternoon sun with a glass of wine.....watching the butterflies..........................

A few people wandered over to this blog and emailed me to see if I was planning to post any time soon. I had not planned to post anything until about May. It will be that long until the 4 feet of snow on top of the deck is finally gone and I can get out there and plant.

In the meantime I found these videos of the deck from last year and I thought some of my new readers might enjoy seeing them.

When the first one ends, click the second one. It's a continuation. (I could not figure out how to get it all on one.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The deck Flowers are Still Going Strong

Down at the bottom of this huge container, the hosta is just putting out its flower. Unlike most hostas, this particular variety has quite a nice flower. See how stout and sturdy the flower is? I find most hosta flowers pretty blah and ugly and I often cut them off, but I like this one. I think this may be 'Sum and Substance'.

The Sedum Autumn Joy in this container is turning pretty pink and it's really loaded with bees. As much as I like the contrasting foliage of the Sedum, I may remove it from these barrels. I don't want that many bees on the deck. The dahlias really drew in the bees this year, too. It's not fun sitting out there with a dozen bees buzzing around you. If I decide not to take it out, I must make certain not to plant bright orange dahlias with it next year! It's a cringing clash, if ever I've seen one. That's why I had cut all the blooming dahlias for inside bouquets last weekend. I see a few more have sprung into bloom.
Late August and September are when most of my deck plants are at their best. Everything is full grown and in constant bloom. I still have a half dozen or so cannas that have not bloomed yet. None of the new ones I planted from Breck's have bloomed. I am especially eager to see what their flowers are like.

The only plants I have on the deck that are not in their prime are the 5 hanging baskets of annuals, and the two wall planters of annuals.

That's the problem with annuals. Just when they get big enough be interesting, they begin dying off. Here they are freshly planted on June 2, 2008. It seems like I spent the whole summer waiting for them to get big enough to cover the baskets.
They aren't terribly bad, but like these zinnias many flowers have gone to seed and the planters look a bit tired.
I have not yet looked outside since it's only 5:20 a.m., but they said there was the possibility of frost last night! FROST! I hope not. It's at least three weeks too early, even for northern Michigan.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I know of no plant with more intersting foliage than the Tropicannas. Just look at these leaves.

The original Tropicanna

Tropicanna Gold

Tropicanna Black

The only one I have in flower right now is Tropicanna Black. It has a vibrant red orange flower.

Black is the tallest of the three Trops. For me it's on the verge of being too tall.

Just a couple of weeks ago one of mine snapped off on a rainy windy day.

Today I noticed it's producing another bloom on a stem half the normal height. I may purposely break some off next year to keep them shorter. I will have to wait and see all three blooming together to see if the taller height may be needed when that happens.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Whiskey Barrel Plantings

My two half whiskey barrels are my favorite containers because they have a large surface area, which makes it easier to design creative plantings.

They can also be expensive to fill. I was trying to see what I could do without spending any money, so I dug up some perennials and used some dahlia tubers and cannas that I already had stored from previous years. One Sedum Autumn Joy plant, a Black-eyed Susan and one clump of chives overwintered in the barrel from last summer's planting.

This year I added a Russina sage plant that I had in my Arbor garden for the past five years. It never grew more than about 8 inches tall and had only 2 or 3 branches. I also stuck a hosta or two in the front.

Here is what it has grown into:

I am pretty happy with it. The only real disappointment was the canna did not grow big and tall as I had planned. But just look how tall the silver Russian sage grew! It's the best that plant has ever grown.

The chives are spilling nicely over the sides. The hosta got buried underneath everything else, but next year it should be better able to hold it's own.

The Sedumn Autumn Joy from last year is HUGE.
It should be turning pink soon, which will be a major clash with that bright orange dahlia. That orange was a surprise. I thought I had planted a more mellow 'peaches and cream' dahlia in these containers. I recently did a little rearranging on the whiskey barrel area of the deck. I love to group containers--there are three containers here.

I have two of these half barrels and I tried to make the groupings very similar.