Grow Poppies

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When i first started gardening many years ago, i initially went to what I thought was pretty. I bought 3 bags of beautiful white asiatic lily bulbs which were on clearance at my local k-mart. When i got home and planted them, they smelled rancid, the bulbs were mush, and i knew that i had been played!

So i started researching. Gardening was a topic that interested me, and was something i wanted to involve myself in whole-heartedly. I quickly saw blooms and blooms of poppies, alliums, hollyhocks, and daisies, and i knew that gardening was for me.

3 years ago i planted poppies, and i’ve been adding ever since. Their paper like blooms make me smile like no other, and i love their painted appearance. They’re tolerant to pretty much anything, and don’t require a lot of TLC. You can start from seed, or you can buy them.

I prefer the oriental poppy, a perennial that comes back every year versus some of the icelandic poppies around this area that are tagged as annuals (technically a self sowing annual, meaning the seeds will drop and sow for next year’s bloom in spring.)

 

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Weekend Project: Living Fire Pit Lid

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Every morning when I get up, I water the ferns, the planters, and some of the new additions around the garden.

This past week, I noticed our sad, rusted fire pit, which rarely gets its use on the back porch and thought, “Ew” and “How can I make that better?”

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It’s old, 5 or 6 years?, and it totally works… But how could I make it pretty?!

Grow something in the lid!!

First, I removed the wire around the frame of the lid and put a backing of chicken wire around the perimeter. To that I laid in some cardboard and some landscaping fabric.

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Since this isn’t the most ideal growing environment, I doped up the soil with blood meal, bone meal, and osmocote which should provide nutrition to these plants throughout the summer months.

Spread the soil around the base creating a domed layer. Then it was planting time!

I was inspired by mosaics of concentric rings of color. I decided to stick to moisture tolerant, low maintenance succulents, which would be low growing, and keep the shape of the dome relevant. These succulents also provide the chill and thill in this container of sorts. I used large red succulents, jade, and an aloe Vera plant to provide more thrills and the spike effect in container gardening.

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After the planting was done, I placed preserved sheet moss around the perimeter of the container. The moss acts as a mulch, retaining moisture and blocking weeds from growing between my succulents.

The end result is a fun weekend project that someone with a little patience, a little elbow grease, and some creativity, can go out and grow something that wows!

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Grow It to Know It

Not knowing it all is something I struggle with. Knowledge is power! Knowledge prevents future mistakes!

I go to nurseries all around the area, and admire the personality of each of them. The prices are usually pretty decent too. If you’re patient, you buy a couple perennials, a couple flats of annuals, spend a lot of money and hope for the best.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is not growing from seed! Growing something from seed helps you connect to your seedling. You get to understand its habits, what it likes, what it doesn’t tolerate, etc. You start to ween it from its hot house habitat, and start leaving the lid open. You let them sit overnight uncovered on the driveway.

I have started so much from seed this year, and I feel an obsession beginning! I also feel I’ll have to wait nearly half the time to fill my garden with perennials, as it’s much cheaper, and look forward to winter evenings browsing through seed catalogs for the hottest heirlooms, and the prettiest flowers to fill my gardens and hopefully inspire you to fill yours as well!

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