Monday, July 4, 2016

Confessions of a Pot Addict

Sometimes one is just not enough. Sometimes 87 is better. As a matter of fact, it is 86 times better. But 88? Pure crazy, I tell ya.


Last I counted I had 87 containers full of plants. But I may have counted wrong.


Annual rudbeckia hirta and monarda citriodora

Anything and everything that doesn't fit into my garden beds, is stuffed in a pot.


Colors are blended and hopefully flow into each other


Seed grown bat faced cuphea lounging in the oregano

but if they clash, who cares?


All annuals that attract pollinators are grown by seed over the winter and 
I fill in the gaps with organic herbs.


Perennials live in the pots forever so I add organic fertilizer 
and granulated mycorrihizae to the soil to keep it fertile.


I bought a pot of basil at the grocery store when my plants were too small to harvest.
 I stuck it outside and thought it would immediately die but it thrived and grew 
so I had to buy another pot.

 I had no choice.



Pineapple mint with seed-grown Jupiter's Beard

A copper watering can? Stick a plant in it.


If sticking plants in pots isn't enough, I create funky art and stick it in the pots. 
It's like decorating the garden.



Agastache that would die in my clay loam thrive in a container so what's a gardener to do but buy more containers? 


Sweet potatoes fill the two pots in front of the miscanthus. I'll harvest these in the fall and cook them for Thanksgiving.


Pots fill my patio steps



 'Pandora's Box' daylily


and house some of my impulse-buy daylilies.


 Just in case they need a little motivation.


Even the cracks in the patio pavers are sprouting plants.


I scattered rudbeckia hirta "Denver Dasies' seed last fall but 
squirrels ransacked the pot so only a few came up. Furry little jerks.


 I don't bother with fillers, thrillers, and spillers, I just add stuffers and fluffers and call it a day. This gives the plants more room to grow and requires less watering.


 A bit of variegation keeps everything from being too green.



To keep the soil from crusting over, I break it up with my fingers so the water penetrates the soil instead of running down the sides. A sharp stick is used to poke holes in deep soil to increase water absorption. Plus, this gives me an excellent excuse for poking things with sharp sticks. It's an excellent stress reliever.



'Red Hot Mama' lilies blown over in a storm were brought inside.

Even my watering can is occasionally pressed into service.

70 comments:

  1. I'm amazed by so many pots in the garden, love it but it's a tremendous work to keep them growing and blooming, only the watering is already quite a job. You have some really beautiful pot corners in your garden!

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  2. I have over a hundred pots. I have a problem.

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    1. Me, too, since I'm sure I miscounted.

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  3. I think the pots give your garden a boho feel. Love it.

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  4. Hi Tammy, I love container gardening, too! But since the climate changed so drastically here in Southern California over the last couple of years, I try to restrain the number of pots that I have. First they take up more water than when the same plant is planted into the ground and secondly watering all the pots every day in summer is not fun anymore, it is just plain work.
    Your post has inspired me to actually count how many containers I still have in my garden!
    Oh, and before I forget, I love, love, love your 'Red Hot Mama Lily', so gorgeous!
    Have a wonderful trip to England! Please post about the English Afternoon Tea in Bath, I am dying to see photos!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. If I was in CA I wouldn't have many pots, either. I have to pretend to be a lady during the entire tea. I may explode.

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  5. I always thought I have lots of plants in containers but no way do I have 87. Now I want to count mine. I will look up granulated mycorrihizae, maybe my container plants will benefit from it. I grow lots of Oriental and Asiatic lilies and Peruvian lilies in containers.

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    1. The mycorrhizae has made a difference in the health of the perennials. I think it's worth it.

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  6. and me who thought I had a lot! What an exuberant girl you are! But you must spend a good part of your life watering. They certainly look gorgeous!

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    1. I water a lot but don't mind. The results are worth it. :o)

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  7. Inspiring! Gardening on the pot is a good way for me, cause we only have a limited land.

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    1. It's a great way to squeeze in more plants.

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  8. Poking things with sharp sticks - I need to do more of that myself! I haven't counted my pots recently - they proliferate like rabbits. I just bought some plants to replace those I lost in the horrific heatwave but, in the interest of ensuring their health and happiness through what could still be a very difficult summer, I'm thinking of tucking them into pots for the time being. You gotta buy plants when they're available, right?

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    1. Absolutely!! Every year I tell myself I won't buy any more pots but new pots always seem to show up....

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  9. Oh, I like the Pineapple Mint/Jupiters Beard combo! Very impressive, Tammy! I have to keep my annual pots in check a bit because of the budget. I wish I could throw more perennials in pots, but they just don't make it through the winter well here. I do bring some in and put some in the garage, but I'd do more potted perennials if I lived in a warmer climate. Love the "grow" sign and the birdhouses! Wow!

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    1. My pots stay outside all year. If our winters were as harsh as yours, I'd have a lot less.

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  10. Holy pots, batman....so incredibly jealous! And truly inspired as well.

    I'm so bad at keeping pots watered that I try to keep them to a minimum, but I do LOVE them so. And my restraint is about to change as I've included an extension on the drip at the end of each row of beds so that I can add attach drip lines for pots. This comes just in the nick of time too as in the past, I've collected bowls as souvenirs whenever I went somewhere, but my cabinets are full. Just wait until I get that drip going in the front ornamental gardens (planned for next year)...decorative pot collection, here I come!

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    1. I don't mind the extra watering. But I love the idea of an automated system that would do it for me.

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  11. I don't have nearly that many. What a relief to know I have so much breathing room before things even start to get serious!
    They look great and things do seem to mix together better when they're potted up like that. Weird that I think my favorites are the grasses on the steps!

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    1. The grasses are so tough and I never have to worry about broken branches or stems during a storm.

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  12. So much easier to weed too! Why didn't I think of it? Oh, we have, but we don't have combos of plants in our containers. Just trying to contain one kind of plant! Missed coming by your blog, CM! Loved the visit! xo

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    1. It is easier to weed!! I never thought about that!!

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  13. Okay so far. If you start putting them in brownies, though, you're a goner.

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  14. Hello Tammy, that is a lot of pots! I don't think the Nomadic Collection even has that many, though if you count the staging pots, that might trump it. How do you keep them all watered in your dry roasting hot summers?

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  15. I know not all Agastache are the same, but A. foeniculum seems pretty happy here in my crappy heavy clay 'soil'. 'Golden Jubilee' has reseeded copiously and the straight species (added to the garden more recently) is starting to do the same. I love them both and so do the bees and other pollinators!

    As for pots, I rarely water my garden at all (maybe 3x this year so far?) so I think the only thing I could grow in a pot would be a cactus ... which I'm tempted to try in order to grow an Opuntia. Now that one I do think would rot in my clay soil, but perhaps I'm wrong?

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    1. I grow that agastache, too, and it does well in my soil. But many others need better drainage so into a pot they go. I water a lot but it doesn't bother me because I love the results.

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  16. You will be celebrating the big 100 before you know it. I think The Queen sends a telegram to mark the occasion.... something like that.
    I have relatively few pots, so I have to make do with poking the compost heap with a sharp stick. Very satisfying indeed.

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    1. I bet there is a telegram in my future!

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  17. I am a bit of pot addict also, though I have nowhere near 87. I should count them, though - might be around 30. So I have something to aim for. I wanted to grow more R. hirta in my pots this year but it was hard to find plants for sale. I suppose you grew yours from seed. While cleaning out the garage I discovered two large plastic nursery pots. I couldn't bear to throw them out, so now I'm two closer to 87.

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    1. I direct sowed them last winter but many of the cultivars didn't do well so next winter I'll be starting them under lights.

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  18. I counted mine--27, but I'm lusting after another so it may be 28 soon. Wow--87! Impressive. All of them look full of love and flowers, so, good job with that!

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  19. A pot addiction solves may problems (read: gophers). Your pot arrangements are very photogenic.

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    1. We don't have gophers but the chipmunks like to hide in between them and torture the dogs.

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  20. I just love how you decorate your garden! Your pots are fabulous, and the colours certainly do flow into each other! I'm a pot addict too but haven't dared count them yet, you may have inspired me to do just that now. Sweet potatoes eh? I really must try growing them. How sweet that plants grow in the cracks and crevices too, I love that and the words "stuffers and fluffers".xxx

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    1. Sweet potatoes are the only vegetable I grow. The vines are really pretty and I love the way they flow around the other pots. The plants aren't arranged to look like works of art but are just stuffed in with fluffy stuff added for a bit of floof and filler.

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  21. Wow! Now when my husband complains I have too many containers (25? 30?), I can say I know a gardener who has 88! If I get any more raiding voles in my garden, I may have to resort to nothing but pots:) I love your method of fluff and stuff!

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    1. Your hubs needs to quit his complaining!! As a matter of fact, you need about 50 more so it's time to go shopping!!

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  22. This summer I tried things other than flowers in pots. I put strawberries and herbs and tomatoes in a hanging baskets. The only issue I'm finding is watering. Miss watering even a single day in the intense heat we are experiencing and the baskets are toast. My tomatoes we doing great, but yesterday I forgot them. This morning they looked like death. I was heartbroken! Fingers crossed they recover. I loved being able to harvest cherry tomatoes each day.

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    1. Baskets dry out much faster then pots do. They're pretty but are so labor intensive to keep moist.

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  23. OMG ! Tammy girl you have made me laugh so much ... thank you ! ... poking things with sharp sticks .. yup ! fantastic stress buster especially when it does some good for a potted plant.
    But ? ... you are insane girl ! ... that many pots would drive me over the edge trying to water them all and have them look good ... stuffers and fluffers is perfect ... forget that fancy who haw crap and plant what you like !
    You are doing a spectacular job and by god your stress levels must be fairly low .. keep poking girl !
    Joy ;-)

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    1. My stress levels have been so high over the past year the soil in some of the pots probably looked like Swiss cheese! Keeping them watered doesn't bother me. I use the watering can when the rain barrels are full or the hose when they're dry. I also have a few pots on my front porch. :o)

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  24. I love pots. So I am wondering 1) how do they winter over or do they? 2) do you replant every year? 3) how to do keep everything watered? 4)Fertilizer? I ruined my pots this year by overdosing with Miracle Grow. How pathetic is that? Yours a sensational.

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    1. They winter over fine because our winters are so much milder than yours. I add new annuals every year but many of the perennials stay year round. I use an organic Dr Earth fertilizer in each pot. I avoid Miracle Grow. It doesn't feed the soil and can burn the plants. I don't mind keeping them watered.

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  25. I love the splashes of colour all your pots and their plants give to your garden. They certainly mean you can keep adding plants without worrying about space in the soil. I'm interested in the sweet potatoes, too - I love to eat them but haven't got around to growing them. I wonder if I could try them in pots here.

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    1. Sweet potatoes love heat so they might do better in pots than in the ground for you. I have a big patio so without all the pots there would be too much grey. I love how colorful they are, too.

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  26. That's a lot of pots! I love your large groupings of pots, especially the ones on the stairs. I don't plant many containers, as my lack of attention and watering makes it close to a death sentence unless said plants are succulents or very drought tolerant!

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    1. These are right outside the kitchen so I see them all day long, which is a great reminder to keep them watered.

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  27. Your title totally made my day :)

    I wish you a wonderful start into the new week :)

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  28. Wow 87 pots, it's amazing Tammy. It's a lot of work to water them all, I have 10 only. Love your 'Pandora's Box' , it's so beautiful.

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  29. We have the opposite soil problem --too sandy, nothing thrives. But it's too cold to plant perennials in pots here, so I make my husband build raised beds :-)

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    1. Too much drainage is as much of a pain as too little but raised beds sound like a great solution.

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  30. Your addiction is certainly attractive and it sounds like it makes you very happy! Hello, my name is Peter and I'm also a pot addict. Having a lot of ground that's been taken over by mats of bamboo roots, pots are the only answer in parts of my garden. Sometimes things come home and get plopped in the middle of beds in their black plastic pots to see if they'll work and they end up staying, their roots occasionally growing through the drain holes and ripping the pots apart as they grow into the ground. The obvious cure for our addiction is more pots!

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  31. Wow! I am really just starting with pots but I went on a local garden tour and one man's garden begins in his driveway which he has turned into a pot garden. Enormous pots. Little pots. All kinds of pots with all kinds of plantings - and he pretty much begins anew every year. A better man than I.

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    1. Pots are so tempting because they allow you to extend your garden and grow what might not thrive in the native soil. Plus, they're pretty!

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  32. Oh, I feel I should probably go and count how many pots and containers I have, but I am afraid of the result. I started with 700 when I moved house last year and I am probably down to around half of that now – but honestly, I have no idea.
    Planting here has been very slow and I still have plants in pots that were lifted from my previous garden. But I also like growing plants in containers, like you I don’t have ideal soil for everything I want to grow so container living is the answer. I don’t mix up pretty, crammed full containers in May that are totally pot bound by end of August – instead I have ONE plant per container and put them close together for the same effect, just on a larger scale. That also gives the freedom to move them around according to flowering time.
    But I never get enough containers and I have always plants waiting for one becoming available or me buying some more :-)

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  33. You need an excuse to poke things with sharp sticks? ;^)

    Great pots! Your garden looks wonderful, and potted up.

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  34. Your pot garden is so beautiful. What do you do with the pots/plants during winter? I have heard that plants in pots during harsh winter die. Also, the ceramic pots crack. All your pots seem ceramic. How I would love to have such beautiful pots and garden like yours. All my pots are black plastic and veggies grown in them.

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  35. Your pot garden is so beautiful. What do you do with the pots/plants during winter? I have heard that plants in pots during harsh winter die. Also, the ceramic pots crack. All your pots seem ceramic. How I would love to have such beautiful pots and garden like yours. All my pots are black plastic and veggies grown in them.

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  36. Beautiful pots! I get it. I have 80+ pots in and around my garden, too. And I'm forever chasing the perfect match of pots and plants. Too many plants, need a new pot, too many pots, need a new plant!

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  37. I love all your pots!!! This is my 3rd year to plant in pots and I am having so much fun with them. I have found that in Middle TN if the pots I buy come from Vietnam that they winter much better with no breakage so far during our winters. It sure makes gardening much easier with some plants and the ability to move them around the garden. Love seeing all of yours!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  38. I have loads of pots too. Many of them contain my maids in waiting and will hopefully find a home one day. The problem is when you go away and see the look of horror on the face of the designated waterer. Nobody volunteers for the job more than once.

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  39. Wow you have some gorgeous pots! I'm glad I'm not the only one who is a little addicted to container gardening! You are going to England, to Bath?? That is where I am from!! Bath was my closest city and I absolutely love it! Hope you have a fantastic time!

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