The Weekend Gardener

After a month of nearly non-stop travel, it’s wonderful to be home this weekend for some much-needed relaxation and a bit of gardening.  Early Saturday, I began the day by changing out the containers on the front stoop.  In my previous garden, these reddish-brown glazed pots were sprinkled throughout the landscape, but here they make a nice accent clustered together and they’re much easier to water.

The collection of containers includes four pots plus a deep birdbath, which holds a couple of large stones for perching.  After pulling out winter pansies and violas from three of the containers, I potted up the remaining plants for transplanting, except for a variegated boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’), which was pruned into an upright oval.  New Jolly Gardener Premium Potting Mix replaced the old, which was set aside for use as a soil amendment in other parts of the garden.

Ready for replanting!

Ready for replanting!

The containers receive about 90 minutes of light as the sun crosses over the top of the house at the middle of the day, but like the rest of the garden, conditions are mostly shady.  It’s always difficult to choose plants that work well in low light and yet still provide an eye-catching display.  This season’s selection includes a white and pinkish-purple Torenia hybrid, white flowering New Guinea impatiens (I. hawkeri), and a mix of foliage plants for color and texture (listed below).

The tallest pot holds a cone-shaped yew, which creates a nice backdrop and adds some structure to the arrangement.  Two additional pots were stuffed with a mix of plants, while the final container needed only a ring of groundcover to accent a rusted metal agave sculpture.

Dividing a hanging basket of golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia).

Dividing a hanging basket of golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia).

I found two hanging baskets of golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), which was easy to pull apart for planting along the edges of the container.  This is a much better option, I’ve discovered, than purchasing smaller plants in individual cups.  As a bonus, it’s also less expensive.

Here’s what the pots looked like today (Sunday):

Twenty-four hours later, when the plants have had a chance to perk up.

Twenty-four hours later, when the plants have had a chance to perk up.

Though it’s not the best time of year for woody propagation, after finishing the containers, I decided to see if some of the clippings from the boxwood would root.  I removed the hangers from the baskets and filled them with a measure of the recycled potting mix before trimming the cuttings into 6-inch pieces.  The bottom third of each cutting was stripped of its foliage and held for 5 seconds in liquid Dip ‘N Grow before being firmed into place.

Preparations for boxwood cuttings...

Preparations for boxwood cuttings…

and the end result.

and the end result.

In all, 15 cuttings were stuck.  The baskets were then moved to a shady location where I can keep an eye on them to maintain moisture.

Believe it or not, Tim and I were still able to get downtown for our favorite breakfast at Mary Beth’s, followed by a stroll through the Saturday Farmers’ Market and Artisphere, an annual performance and visual arts festival.

Synergy Violins at Artisphere 2015, on the plaza of the Peace Center, home to a 2100 seat concert hall, a 400 seat theater, and an outdoor amphitheater on the Reedy River.

Synergy Violins at Artisphere 2015, on the plaza of the Peace Center, home to a 2100 seat concert hall, a 400 seat theater, and an outdoor amphitheater on the Reedy River.

Sidewalk chalk and the Artisphere banner on the pedestrian bridge, with the Peace Center's amphitheater in the distance to the right.

Sidewalk chalk and the Artisphere banner on the pedestrian bridge, with the Peace Center’s amphitheater in the distance to the right.

Reedy River Falls, downtown Greenville.

Reedy River Falls, downtown Greenville.

If you live in the Upstate, you might like to know that many of the choice plants for the containers where purchased at Roots on Augusta.

Here’s the promised list:

Purple foliage plants:   Purple heart (Setcreasea purpurea), purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’

Chartreuse foliage plants: Kong coleus, golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), Everillo carex (C. oshimensis ‘Everillo’)

Variegated foliage plants:  Variegated box (Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’), Hosta ‘Risky Business’, variegated creeping myrtle (Vinca minor)

Foliage for texture:  Creeping wire vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa), and ferns

17 thoughts on “The Weekend Gardener

  1. An Eye For Detail

    Very nice combinations in those pots! The only trouble with Creeping Jenny, I have found, is that it just spreads everywhere. I like it, and I guess I like that it spreads, but hmmm…it has come down from hanging containers to plant itself in some choice spots in one of my gardens! On the other hand, the bright green is a great contrast to so many other plants!

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Jessica–The rocking chair is very comfortable and a lovely place to sit and greet the morning. If the back porch is ever built (still waiting for a building permit), it might have move inside, though I doubt I’ll find anything I like nearly as well for a replacement.

      Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Mimi–I’ve tried to get away from using so much chartreuse, but it’s a great lift for the shady garden, especially as a ground cover, as it helps the eye move through the layers of plants.

      Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Susie–I’ve only had the yew since autumn and have just given it a first haircut. Over the few years I’ve been here, I’ve had other tall shrubby things in this spot that were moved to the garden when they became too large. I really like the yew, though, and hope it works for a bit longer.

      Reply
  2. johnvic8

    We have agreed to use “Creepy” Jenny only in pots…and watch them carefully. Your pots hold great promise. We were in Greenville this weekend but disappointed that we weren’t able to get downtown to see the Artisphere.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      John–It was a great weekend to be in Greenville. Sorry you missed Artisphere but hope you had a terrific visit with your family. Happy Mother’s Day to the arranger!

      Reply
  3. rickii

    Reedy River Falls looks like something out of a movie.
    A little gardening, with time left over for a little culture.: sounds like the perfect weekend.

    Reply
  4. Marian St.Clair Post author

    Chloris–I wish I had bought a few more of these pots when they were available as I can’t find this color any longer. Everything now is aqua, turquoise, or lime. Great colors for a beach house but horrid for a garden, don’t you think?

    Reply

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