Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Stroll/August 10

A Sunday Stroll in numbers and thoughts and pictures this week.

1. I'm giving up geraniums. They had some pretty flowers last year, fewer this year. But really, I just don't have luck with container gardening. Over the years I've tried basil, rosemary, lettuce, some annual flowers, tomatoes, peppers, and not one planting has really looked good or produced well. I've tried clay pots and plastic pots; I haven't even had success with the tubs I bought from Gardeners Supply.

They probably need fertilizing over the summer, but honestly there is enough to do in the gardens. If I lived in an apartment or small house, I could devote more time to the pots, and would study the best plants and how to grow them. Maybe the sunny terrace is just too sunny. Whatever the reason, I'm quitting. Years ago I gave up hanging plants because they just looked awful after a couple weeks. I so enjoy looking at other people's patios and porches, and will let that be my pleasure in container gardening.

2. As I noted in the bowl of daylilies post, my daylilies are winding down. There are still a few stars in the garden, and I'm thrilled that I have blooms over so long a time without ever planning varieties.

3. The corn has tassled!

And I can pretend I'm in a mid-west cornfield.

4. I'm giving up the cucumbers because they are too spiny. I have to peel them in order to eat them, and I love cucumber peel. Garden note: don't grow this variety next year. It was Garden Sweet Burpless F 1, but it isn't really "burpless."

5. This year I started a bunch of different annuals, but wasn't thrilled with the results. Maybe if I had an annual bed somewhere they might look better, but just tucking them in among the perennials hasn't turned out so well. Next year, I'm going to grow from seed only the real kings and queens of my annual garden: cosmos, cleome, and lavatera.

6. I may give up green zucchini. I've moaned and whined about my lack of success with the vegetable which is the over-producing joke of the garden. But this year, the zephyr has done so, so well that maybe I'll just grow it as my main zucchini/summer squash crop.

7. I'd like to have a couple more peonies.

8. Onion, leek, and shallot plants are the way to go. We've grown them from seed under lights for years, but have never had such good results. The cost is a little pricey but it is worth it because of how many vegetables we get. I haven't bought an onion for months. I thinned scallions, then small onions, and now the huge ones are in the garden.

9. Time to divide and move the iris to a spot across the road where they can spread to their heart's content, and hopefully look oh, so lovely in a purple "drift" as the perennial gardening books say.

Lastly, we have two new additions this week:

A wonderfully comfortable swing

and an outside place for Raya and Soot to go. Even if it's just for a few minutes, it seems to make them happy for the rest of the day.


  1. What a gorgeous pink flower at the top of your blog - what is it? I have decided to give up on container gardening too. Partially for the reasons you mention AND it is simply too easy for the squirrels. Not only do they eat the plants but they love the loose soil for burying the black walnuts! They win! I give!!
    Linda in Chapel Hill

  2. It is lavatera, part of the mallow family. I love your story of the squirrels. What a sight they must be! Any thoughts of starting your own blog, Linda??

  3. Nan, I'm glad that with your successes you also list some failures. My garden really stinks this year! I'm ready to tear it all out and start from scratch, but I might be too lazy to do it. I do have success with my geraniums, however, so I'll just have to hang on to that.

  4. Joyce, may I suggest just the most uplifting book that I've ever read about gardening? It is the one I'm reading for the Canadian challenge - Tottering in My Garden. Honestly, this woman is so cheerful in the face of lots of trouble in the various gardens she's had over the years. She also cries but starts all over again with fortitude. She offers lots and lots of advice for all gardeners and all types of soil. I love it. And I have lots of failures every year. :<)

  5. Nan on my to do list is to write about my success and failures in this new city cottage garden. This was the first Spring and I was pleasantly surprised. Some pictures posted on my online journal. But squash, zuchinni and cucumbers just did not survive. I still have an abundance of tomatoes and green peppers. I do know I want to plant some asparagus this fall. I miss my country home! It is a challenge to have a minature of what I have had in the past. I am ordering Tottering in My Garden. Thank you

  6. Nan, Your post was really enjoyable to read. The photos are wonderful, particularly the cosmos which are a favorite of mine. Is the white with pink edges called Picotee? I haven't grown that variety, but it is so pretty!

    I can't wait to see your "purple drift" next year. I think it is prefectly logical to give up things that just don't do well for you. We all have things like that I think.

    I'm so glad you continue to stroll each week!

  7. Hi Nan, I'm so glad I found you through the Sunday Stroll. I enjoyed reading about your successes and failures. I have those also all the time.~~Dee

  8. Lovely photos of the flowers. The new swing looks like a great place to relax in the garden.

  9. I enjoyed reading about your successes AND failures! I have sure had mine this year...maybe it's just the year, who knows, since we are on opposite sides of the continent.

    I do have pretty good luck with containers as long as I dump tons of fertilizer and water on them.


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