Monday, September 30, 2013

The Work Garden

Everyone's heard of the 'work wife'.  I have a work garden...a garden that I putter in during my spare moments at work.  I've bought a couple things for the garden, but mostly the plantings are overflow from my house or seed-grown.  I've designed it to be low maintenance and low cost.  Panicums, zinnias, and sunflowers above.

The main part of the garden is a basically a giant raised bed above a driveway.  It's hot.  It's dry.  Any supplemental water has to be carried from the kitchen.  I've picked only tough customers for this bad neighborhood.  No time for coddling.  Lavenders, coreopsis and chasmanthium above.

A shipping container as a background.

Lablab beans on the security fence.

Zinnias, irises, coreposis, and hypericum provide a sense of seclusion for the picnic tables.

It's pretty nice for a part-time garden.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On Deck

Sitting on our deck outside of our kitchen, drinking coffee or a beer, I'm almost surrounded by pots and troughs.  The small hypertufa pot above, a throwaway that I cast to use up the leftover mix after a casting session, has turned into a beauty over the years.  With its erodium blooming, it makes a great centerpiece.

I cast this smallish hypertufa bowl over a yard-sale tupperware bowl about 5 years ago.  I learned the hard way that it's too small for anything but drought-indifferent plants like sedums and semps.  

The fig has fruit for the first time this year.  It is a cutting from a friend (who was given it by an elderly neighbor) that I've grown for three years or so.  It lives in the ugly plastic pot in the middle picture.  I haven't planted the fig tree in a hypertufa planter because I put it in the basement each winter.  

I had assumed that it was a regular brown fig.  Imagine my surprise as the first fig ripened to a lovely yellowish-green last week.  Maybe it's worth lugging that plastic pot indoors each winter after all...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Heleniums. Why Doesn't Everyone Grow Them?

The heleniums are amazing this time of year.  They pick up when the cone flowers finish, and just keep going.  That's 'Red Jewel' above.

This was labeled 'Helenium Autumnale' at the plant-club sale where I bought it.  I think that it was member-grown, which could explain its generic name.  It's still great.

'Kanaria' (Canary, duh.  It's yellow,)

A random, unmarked Home Depot helenium planted in my garden at work (yes, I have multiple gardens...I'm an addict).  This plant has tripled in a year.  I think it's been blooming for about 6 weeks.  Such a good value for $13 that I'll forgive the lack of cultivar tag.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Low-Maintenance Yard

My neighbor has taken low-maintenance to a new high, er... low.  As an absentee landlord with no tenants this summer, he's had his lawn mowed once this year.

That ties his tenants' record of once last year.

Wonder why I get so many weeds in my yard?