Friday, May 30, 2008

Containers for Smells and Tastes

I went in a new direction for my deck containers this year. Usually, I plant them up with colorful annuals for a bright show at the front of the house. This year, I planted mainly herbs, tomatoes, strawberries, and scented geraniums.

This pot contains a tasty collection of dwarf globe basil and Red Robin cherry tomatoes. I planted another larger pot with indeterminate (very tall) golden cherry tomatoes, purple basil, lemon basil, and thyme.

I am partial to these Vietnamese blue glazed pots. I recall that resident lawnmower man spotted this one at the Ten Thousand Villages store. I planted "Nutmeg" and "Apples and Cinnamon" scented geraniums (technically they are Pelargoniums) in this pot, hoping to get a sniff when walking up the front sidewalk. I can't honestly say that the nutmeg geranium smells too much like nutmeg, but the apples and cinnamon is not too far off.

The sloped flower bed is looking nice with creeping phlox (pink) in bloom. Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) is a great evergreen mat-forming perennial that is easily divided. I started with one plant in the yard 4 years ago and divided it into at least 12 plants. I don't find it invasive and it's not unattractive when not in bloom.

Did you catch that pile of sod stacked up in the left side of the previous picture? RLM has been working on the most recent yard projects. We're removing more lawn, which is a pleasing thing in itself. About 5 feet of lawn next to the house will be replaced by stones and gravel, since that lawn gets cooked by heat reflecting from the house and it looks terrible most of the time. In the middle of the lawn, I want a rocky outcrop to make an alpine/rock garden. It will start as soon as we haul in some blast rock and maybe get some machinery to move around some huge stones. Isn't that so exciting?

A rope outlines the perimeter of my rock/alpine garden:

Here we have a Mentha "Julia's Sweet Citrus" and a lemon scented geranium. I bought the mint and geraniums as a mail order from Richter's Herbs. I'm quite excited about these plants and plan to add mint to fresh summer dishes and drinks. The Victorians were fanatical about collecting scented geraniums, so we'll see if this summer of smelly plants gets me hooked. I'll definitely take cuttings of my favourites and keep them for next year.

Aside from the containers, here's my very small raised bed vegetable and herb garden. I am growing all of four broccoli plants, which were started indoors and are now planted out. I've never grown broccoli before in my life, so it's just another novelty in my little garden, just like the purple carrots that are sprouting so nicely now.

I know the rest of the North American gardeners are probably harvesting their first peas and greens, but with our long bright days, we'll catch up soon. At least our dandelions are thriving!


Cicero Sings said...

Your garden is coming along nicely. My carrots, beets etc are only just up so you aren't terribly behind! We bought a few annuals at market yesterday so will get them planted today sometime. We figured we needed a few flowers to brighten up the garden.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Love the sloped flower bed. Planning to have a feature like that in the near future in my small space. Your photo is an inspiration. Thanks.