Monday, June 4, 2007

A New Obsession

Okay, let's get this out of the way right off the bat. Call me a fraud if you must. Just a few weeks ago I declared my dislike for container gardening. A few days after that I stuffed a strawberry planter to the brim with herbs. Today I'm forced to come clean about the latest addition to my garden: a bright new orange container featuring snapdragons, licorice plant (helichrysum) and hens and chicks (sempervivum).

So, now I've got two giant urns, a window box, a strawberry planter, and my newest container. By some garden standards, this is a modest collection to be sure. But my humble display has really captured my imagination. It started with the urns. They transformed a bare deck into an inviting space. The cheery window box out front made our house a home. The strawberry planter added fragrance and function to the back porch. My newest purchase has brightened the deck with a jolt of colour. And, most important, it fulfilled my desire to garden even when getting into the garden wasn't possible.

This has all happened so quickly. I sense an obsession coming on.

Oh, I've got it bad. I used to plant containers only to promptly forget about them. Much to my dismay, they withered away. After planting this latest container I did some research on my newly acquired plants. I read somewhere that letting licorice plants get too much water is bad news. They'll just rot away. And I already knew that hens and chicks thrive in dry conditions. With the pot on the back porch in the middle of a rainstorm and with the forecast calling for rain all week, I had to act fast. My socks got soaked as I pulled my container creation into the safety of the kitchen. Meanwhile, I have been religiously watering all my other containers and keeping them neat by deadheading.

My newest obsession was fuelled in part by my husband. Thoughtful guy that he is, he brought home a magazine dedicated entirely to container gardening. Page after page of amazing plants in even more amazing combinations with other amazing plants. I have great plans to plant towering bamboo and banana in containers to bring shade to my sun-drenched yard. And every available space around the deck now appears to me the perfect spot for yet another container. My husband doesn't know it yet but he has unwittingly unleashed the container gardener in me. Why have just one container, when many, many more will do?


Stuart said...

I'm so envious of your helichrysum. We used to have a bunch of creeping over our walls until the plumber had to move it so he could fix the water heater. It never came back so we ended up losing it. I'll be back to admire your plant for sure.

Owin & Irena said...

Hi Stuart. Thanks for dropping by. Too bad about losing your hen and chicks. I'm in love with mine. They're the first I've ever had. I hear they are very easy to care for and that the offspring are plentiful. So I'm sure to be expanding my collection.