Friday, May 11, 2007

Budget Barrel Planting, etc.

As soon as I got home from work last night, I dug out 1/2 of two Sedum Autumn Joys to use in my two barrels. These barrels flank an entrance to the deck and I like to plant them exactly the same.

The Sedum is simple to divide. Just stick the shovel in the approximate center, jump on it a time or two, and pull out half of the plant. It couldn't be easier.

This is a 'Peaches and cream' dahlia that I've overwintered for two years. Last year it had nice enough foliage,but it did not bloom.

I decided to removed it and planted half in each barrel.

I had a bag with overwintered sweet potato vine tubers. I don't have much luck with getting them to grow from saved tubers, so I planted about 4 in each container to increase my odds.
I was very happy to find some purple fountain grass and purchased two of them ($7.00 each). I left them right in their black pots and buried the pot in the barrel. I did this because I plan to overwinter them and it will be easy to remove the pot this fall.
Did you notice the grass-like foliage sticking out the Sedum AJ? A couple of drumstick allium came with the portion I dug out. I just left it for an accent plant.

In the back of each barrel, I planted 'Tropicana' canna tubers. You can't see them at all, so it looks bare, but believe me, these barrels are chocked full. There are two different Tropicannas which will bloom in two shades of orange. The dahlia is a light orange (if it blooms). The chubby stubby leaves of Sedum AJ will be a wonderful contrast to the huge canna leaves. Even when not in flower the whiteish cauliflower-like heads should look good.

About the end of August, the Sedum will give a big burst of pink changing over a three week period to a rich Burgundy, which will be a perfect match to the Tropicana striped leaves. The two week period of pink and orange together might turn some people off, but I happen to love the punch of pink and orange together.

I am excited about these planters. I bet nobody else has the exact same barrel planting. I like to be unique. And how much did this uniqueness cost me?

Only $7.00 each!

Woo hoo! I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled! These big guys usually cost about $25 each to fill with plant material.

The hanging ivy in the front was free. I found it growing in the pile of dumped plants from last year.

In my old sled planter (one of my favorite containers), I planted my Persian Shield that I overwintered for the second year. It's a sorry sight for sure, but it will improve in the next few weeks. It looked the same last year, but made a dramatic recovery in a short time. I used both of the orange nemesia, a "New Wonder" scaevola in the middle side to drape over in a cloud of heavenly blue (you can't see any blue since it's not in bloom yet). I also used the "Toucan Tango' brachyscome as well as some fiber optic grass. I envision a spectacular mass of purple, blue and orange in about 4 weeks time (Yes, I do have a wonderful sense of optimism when it comes to these planters!)

Isn't this fiber optic grass neat? I've never grown it before, but my friend at work did last year and she really liked it. It should give interest and a sense of movement to the sled planter.
So the Persian Shield was free and the other plants were $3 each...$15 for this planter. I would have liked to have spent about 50% less (I used 5 of my premium plants in just this one container), but sometimes it takes dollars to bring your vision to life. :)

This will be my last post until Sunday as I'm heading out after work for a little get-a-way. Sunday is Mother's day as well as my 18th wedding anniversary.

I hope you all enjoy your Mother's Day celebrations!


  1. Your plantings look great and like they were real bargains.

    I've grown fiber optic grass before, it is fun to have as accent plant or even in a container of its own.

  2. A true visionary! I like all your ideas and the planters look great! I almost bought the fiber optic grass at Longwood Gardens the other day but opted on the planted with the fern, begonia and a few other plants as a Mom's Day gift (Sean was with me and paid for it). I do plan to try and go to LG every week, so I'll pick up the grass next time. Since I have the free pass (usually $14 a pop), I can treat myself to a plant if I want to.
    Happy Mother's Day to you too!

  3. I can't wait to see how the planters look when everything blooms. What fun! I hope you have a great weekend getaway! Happy Anniversary!

  4. Happy Anniversary, Zoey and enjoy your getaway!

  5. I love seeing how your garden progresses throughout the growing season. You have such vision :)
    Have a wonderful Mother's Day and a Happy Anniversary!

  6. The containers look great - can't wait to see them as they fill out. That grass is cool.

    Hope you have a great weekend - Happy Mom's Day - and Happy Anniversary!!!

  7. Good job on your containers, Zoey, I bet they'll be great. And I like your imaginative use of colors too. Don't you love that fiber optic grass? I had some one year but I believe I killed it. Though I really enjoyed it while it lasted.

    Your tulips are so natural looking, what a great setting for them!


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