Monday, June 27, 2011

my view, june

As the leaves filled in on the tree right outside my office window (above), things got a lot shadier! Now I never have to pull down my shade during the afternoons, when the sun is especially bright here.

Does anyone recognize the tree in the closeup? It has little white flowers and lots of purplish-red berries in the fall and winter. We have looked in every resource we can think of and have had no leads.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

this year's garden

It is already the first official weekend of summer, and I realized that I never told you about this year's container garden. Well, there is one. And it's my best yet, if I do say so myself. 

Things started out a little rough. You may recall my post about starting seeds. Well, of all those dozens of little sprouts, two have survived. They're some variety of pepper, but in all the insanity and disorganization (I do not recommend labeling your seeds with generic non-sticky Post-its), I'm not sure which. Maybe we'll get lucky and they won't be the same. Nevertheless, I learned a few things in the process -- most importantly, I think, is that when the editor of Birds & Blooms offers you her spare grow lights, you should take them even if you have a south-facing window. Anyway, I humbly accepted a very robust tomato plant from my dad and purchased two other peppers from the garden center, so we won't go salsa-less this summer (perish the thought).

Once my ego recovered and my thumb started to regain a little tinge of green (and it finally warmed up), I made a few more trips to the garden center. Now we have three herb planters (with a few flowers mixed in), two hanging flower baskets (with a few herbs mixed in) and one pot designed to attract butterflies (no luck so far). Here they are:

Herb planters, clockwise from top left: cilantro,
Tuscan Blue rosemary, chives, Opal Innocence nemesia, mint,
sage, purple viola, Lanai Royal Purple verbena, Italian parsley,
Greek oregano and Angelface Purple angelonia

Butterfly planter, clockwise from top left: Graffiti Purple
pentas, Bandana Pink lantana, fuchsia portulaca, yellow viola
and portulaca foliage

Hanging basket no. 1, clockwise from top left:
Aromatica White nemesia (yeah, really a dud so far),
Supertunia Citrus petunia, Electric Lime coleus, Landmark
Yellow lantana, lemon thyme and Bandana White lantana

Hanging basket no. 2, clockwise from left:
Superbells Saffron calibrachoa, Dark Opal basil,
Superbells Coralberry Punch calibrachoa, Sweet Georgia
Deep Purple sweet potato vine and fuchsia portulaca

Looks like the colors of the year are yellow, purple and pink. Wonder what that means? And what have you planted this year?

PS: I got the idea for these photos from a spectacular book about container gardening, Continuous Container Gardens by Sara Begg Townsend and Roanne Robbins. I've been working with Roanne for an article I'm doing about winter containers...she's fantastic.