Monday, June 28, 2010

"The Best Plants Come with a Story." ~ Maria Rodale


I have no talent when it comes to design. I couldn't even manage to put together a little basket garden that satisfied me. This is the end result and it still doesn't look the way I envisioned.

The first two plants were easy (the two on the right). After that, I kept bringing home plants that just weren't right. After trying out about 12 plants, I settled for the two on the left but still don't like the look.



All my leftover rejects went into other pots and more were added to create little butterfly gardens.


Pentas, strawflowers, three annual salvias, zinnias, this wonderful tiny phlox, and some silver accents. Even a little wooden hummingbird in case the real thing doesn't show up.




A little song sparrow with a big voice kept me company. I'm not sure if he is nesting somewhere nearby but he is in the garden all the time. It's unusual for song sparrows to spend much time singing when they have chicks to feed. Wish I knew how to add sound to this blog. You would enjoy hearing his song.




Found several hornworm pupae as I planted some cosmos in the garden. This little pupae will one day be a sphinx moth if I haven't damaged his temporary home. They seem to like nicotiana so I grow a little patch for them. Hope to get some photos but they usually fly very late in the evenings, past the time for good photos.





A pile of cats waits inside. Hocus is 18 and Miss B is about three years younger. Neither is interested in helping me garden anymore. Napping is their main activity.

36 comments:

Heather said...

Good morning Marnie! Your basket looks sweet and so does your pot. Thanks for the tour around your garden - everything looks happy and healthy!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

My favorite is the pot with the hummingbird.
We love hawkmoths too. They are so fun to watch in the evening.

Phillip said...

I think you did a fantastic job. It looks great.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I really like the basket, but I understand when things don't work out the way you had them in your head. My James is 17 and also sleeps A LOT! Love the "pile of cats" description. You always make me smile.

Cameron said...

Marnie - I think you've designed your combinations quite well. Very lovely!

Oh, your sweet cats are so cute.

Freda

Louise said...

Hocus and Miss B are very beautiful cats that would grace any home.

I like your little basket, and love your hummingbird garden. I bet the real thing will show up soon.

But, that hornworm, ick. I've always known them as tomato worms, and had to spend quite a few summer days picking them off of the tomato plants when I was a kid. They gave me the creeps. I must admit that I didn't know that they matured into such beautiful moths, though. I have some nicotiana this year and will have to keep an eye out for them.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I think your containers and baskets look really pretty. I need to remember to try planting a basket, I like how that looks.
I've seen pupae like those before in the ground when I'm digging, but could never figure out what they were. I wonder if that is the same as what I find?
Don't you love when birds keep you company out in the yard? :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Here's a suggestion for next year: at the garden center, gather a group of plants together I try them out on top of an upturned pot inside a container about the size of the one you're going to use. Keep fiddling with it until you find the combination you like. Of course you're your own worst critic. Your containers look lovely to me.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think your basket and other arrangements are quite pretty. The hummers will appreciate all of those bells to stick their beaks into. It is aggravating not to be able to get the "look" you are striving for. Your pile of cats are sweet. It is amazing that they are so close.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....how wonderful to just be able to nap when you feel the need. At their ages, they should be enjoying life just how they want and need to.

I can imagine the song of the sparrow.....is there anything more beautiful than bird song?

The containers are very pretty, especially the one with the added hummingbird. I do hope that the real bird arrives.....that would be wonderful.

Ah.....seeking perfection again,we all do it. Our own worst critics......enjoy your containers, they are delightful.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Marnie, I love your basket full of color.... It's absolutely gorgeous!!!!

AND--all of your flowers are beautiful. My mother used to grow Zinnias --so they are special to me.

Love the little Song Sparrows also. They really can SING, can't they????

Take care of those precious kitties... How adorable.
Hugs,
Betsy

perennialgardener said...

I think you are being way too hard on yourself Marnie. That basket looks pretty nice to me. :) So jealous and how lush & pretty your garden looks right now. Mine is just barely hanging on with all this heat and no rain we've had for weeks.

Balisha said...

I love that you grow a little patch of nicotiana for the hornworm.Your container garden looks lovely to me...Balisha

Ruth Welter said...

I found my way here through another blog...what gorgeous garden photos. You may think you cannot design but you certainly can, everything looks so lovely.

Ruth

Dawn said...

So that's what those little casings are!
I had a song sparrow come to the empty feeder and sing! It was neat. As always, I love seeing the flowers and kitties!

Susie said...

I think you did a great job on the basket Marnie.

All your blooms look so nice and fresh. All of mine are so tired looking from the killer heat we are having.

Northern Shade said...

I love the blue spilling over the wall in your header.

Your wicker basket of plants looks cute, with the little blooms over the sides. I like the way your butterfly garden is surrounded by the plants on the ground around it. The butterflies should see the open for business sign soon.

BeadedTail said...

I think you have a great eye for design! The basket looks wonderful! I love your pile of cats too!

tina said...

I keep meaning to tell you I really enjoy the daily quotes you put on the top of your posts. I too have found those hornworms love the flowering tobacco for some reason. It is so nice you plant extra for them.

Southern Lady said...

I love your basket, Marnie. I think your flowers are perfectly combined. I wish I could hear the little songbird. I'm sure he sounded lovely. Carla

joey said...

One of your biggest fans, I so enjoy all the love/care you put into all that you do, Marnie. Catching up after being away, so enjoyed your wildflower post also. Off again on Thurs for almost 3 weeks. My posting will be sporadic ... (Where did June go?)

sunnycalgirl said...

Wonderful pictures! Being very new to blogging and getting up, all was a challenge. I recently set up playlist on my blog. It's really fun to add music...

garden girl said...

Love the quote Marnie, and I couldn't agree with it more.

Your basket is lovely!

Rosey said...

The basket has plenty of color and I bet will attract numerous butterflies! Good job!

Rose said...

I think your basket looks great, Marnie, but I understand what you mean. My attempts at design never quite turn out the way I envisioned them. Right now I have a very tall mystery plant in one of my planters that was a seedling I started indoors. I thought it was a Zahara zinnia, but as big as it is, I'm worried I may be nurturing a weed:)

Hocus and Miss B have earned their right to frequent naps. My cats don't like to snuggle together, but Tarzan finds Sophie a very comfortable pillow. He's even into giving her massages occasionally:)

Darla said...

i like it all..

Judy said...

I don't see a problem with the baskets you have made, but then I have even less design sense than you do. I am happy if everything lives...

Msrobin said...

Doesn't your camera take videos? That would capture the sparrow's song! I simply can't bear to cut down all my roses, there are hundreds of blooms! I just go out each day with my cup of soapy water, and drop them to their death. Over and over I do this! I would never poison them, I just talk big when I get desperate. Too many birds and butterflies visit here for that.

walk2write said...

I don't think there should be any rules about basket design. Yours is very appealing. About that sound on the blog: I tried for several hours yesterday to upload a video to both YouTube and Blogger and failed. The new post editor on Blogger doesn't allow uploads so I had to switch back to the old one temporarily, and it didn't work either. Frustrating! Oh, well. I'll soothe my nerves by looking at your pics.

Sherri said...

I think all your pots of flowers look lovely! I love the picture of the little sparrow-he looks like he is singing his heart out! What a nice treat for you to be serenaded while gardening! I have a mockingbird and a towhee that loves to sing to me while I'm working in the courtyard-it's wonderful!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

The containers look lovely! I wonder what kind of moth will come from that cocoon?

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I guess I don't read well, you told us it will be a Sphinx moth.

Eileen

*Ulrike* said...

Marnie your pots look great, but I know what you mean about not finding the right look! I love to hear the birds sing while I'm outside. They sing more in the mornings and late evenings. Your cats were probably saying to each other, there she goes again, we saw that last year, maybe she might run a mouse or something out!!
Take Care,
Ulrike

Kirsty said...

I really enjoyed finding this blog! You're flowers look beautiful and so does the bird and your kitties. I love all the bird photos down the side of your blog, I like in Australia and so have never seen pretty much ALL of this wildlife.
Most of my blog readers are from the States so I've realised it would be a good idea to share some Australian wildlife with them!
Thanks for the inspiration!
=D - Kirsty

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Your containers are inspiring me to think more about mine. I usually wait until the last minute to plant some of them. I also love the pile of cats. Sphinx moths are amazing, but I hate hornworms. It's just the way it goes. :) ~~Dee

Kathleen said...

Great shot of your cats! It's so great they get along and lay together like that.
I think you're selling yourself short on your basket arranging tho ~ it looks good to me! and everything is blooming ~ that's the goal, right?! I think the biggest hurdle for me with containers is getting the fertilizing right. Remember the year I burned everything? Now I try to do it sparingly but I think to get those gorgeous "over-the-top" containers you have to do that part. Do you have a method or schedule for that?
ps Would love to hear the song sparrow. Wish there was a way to do that!