I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

My $20.oo Deck Garden

Hi everyone! We're having a bit of a storm this evening. I have the curtains wide open so I can enjoy the lightning flashing above the ugly locust tree as the day fades to too early darkness. Mo is happily napping, though he did have a brief bout of being sick just now---not storm nerves! No he stole a slice of salami off a small antipasto plate we humans enjoyed on the deck, earlier tonight. So naughty, but just imagine the deliciousness of a spicy salami compared to the  dull dry brown kibble of  his everyday meals.

My deck garden will be happy for the rain, we had a bigger storm early today, at dawn. The garden pleases me this year. It reached its peak of prettiness last week, end of July, I think. Note to self to be more ruthless cutting back  the zinnias.

I believe I spent less than 20 dollars this year! Most of the seed packets were bought last fall when the market had them on sale for a dollar each.  I kept them over the winter in the freezer. The big expense was the $6.oo elephant ear bulb, and a few heirlooms from the spring flower show.[not all of these were used, including lost pack of Whirligig zinnias; and the the freezer yielded more common zinnias, sunflowers and marigolds from the dollar sale. The pollinators/ mix packs are gifts to folks who buy my bee inspired sachets.]

The pots, pushed together, create a tiny version of an English cottage garden, or so I tell myself, and form a sweet outdoor space for me and Mo, friends and family, too, to enjoy. The pots form a barrier to keep Mo from managing to fall of the deck, raised one story for hurricane safety.

Here is Mo trying on his rainbow sweater. I like to knit for a change from sewing sometimes.

I do love the zinnias, these are Cut and Come Again and State Fair.

 I love the palest pink zinnias, some so pale they begin almost white, then slowly deepen. [Zinnia blooms last a long time, weeks, even.]

More pink zinnias, different shade with dark centers and golden stamens.

This is my heirloom Green with Envy.

 A few varieties of marigolds.

I love marigolds but I don't like this one with the very prominent ferny leaves, kind of icky.

Sunflowers are just starting in August. These are Lemon Sunflowers.

This is a huge  volunteer sunflower! What will it be? Looks like a Russian Giant.

I have also been interested to watch and see what wildflowers have bloomed this year from last year's Pollinator Mix. Catmint?

Yes two pots have only mystery weeds, a drawback my dad impressed upon me when as a teenage gardener I wanted him to let me make a property ''fence'' area or ditch with prairie  wildflower seeds. He'd always grump and refuse, saying after a year or two only the the ugly weeds would survive [and ruin his lawn, lol.] He instead planted a hedge of small rose bushes---floribunda? Ugly little flowers, gorgeous red berries, lethal thorns---for his birds and wild critter pets in that spot, and gave himself his first heart attack, one 100* Illinois day. [Age 49!]

 But the in this seed pack last year were the lovely coreopsis, which did bloom twice again as I followed Mel's instructions to deadhead them.

The borage returned. A heavenly blue, and the Nigella from Mel too, also blue. Plus maybe dill or coriander? [at front]

The pretty white cosmos .

The bees did come, and wildly pollinated the lime tree. I have dozens of baby limes forming. Big harvest! I don't see honey bees here but many other bees and butterflies, even cute chubby bumble bees love the lime tree.

The other seeds that were a fail previously but finally woke up and grew are two kinds of ornamental prairie grasses. I thought they'd be pretty in the fall  with  new mums or a small pumpkin, because this year I am determined to cut back and clear up the pots by mid-November, not let them straggle on through December, and then be too frozen to remove.
And a few mystery plants: what is this tall ugly thing? With it you can see the early blooming nigella that I let go to seed for next year.

And this oddity, growing in the marigolds? It looks like a zinnia but the leaves and shape of the plant, almost a vine, aren't ''zinnia'' at all. A single petaled calendula?


This week I am making a baby quilt, modern in style. I hope it pleases my friends.

Have a good week!



gone to the beach.....