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Merme & Maxi's Porch Garden

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by Merme on June 11, 2006 01:32 PM
Because this is our first year gardening entirely in containers, I thought it might be good to post about it in this forum.

First, here is a photo of our porch taken on April 22nd, early in the morning on our House Blessing Day. This will give you an idea of the space we are working with. Our porch faces East.

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Having asked for soil as House Blessing gifts, we purchased several more very large bags. We also bought three 30" windowbox type planters to sit on the rail. We hung two baskets sent to us by Tina/Jonni13. Chenno/Angie sent us two reuseable hanging bags we draped over the rail. A local friend donated an assortment of 5,4,3,2,1 and 1/2 gallon sizes food quality containers from his restaurant.

Triss, Bestofour, Gardencrazy, Lorena, PattyS and CountryHart/Janet all sent us various seeds to add to our collection.

Using links provided by Plants N Pots and Gardencrazy, as well as worlds of information sent to me in PMs by papito, we felt we were ready to go 100% Container! Not an easy step for a girl like me, with Farmer in her blood.

A trip to a very fine local (seasonal) nursery supplied the rest.

Tomorrow a friend is coming to insert the final hooks into the roof beam for the last of the hanging items.

For vegetables, we have planted Cucumbers, Green Bell Peppers, two types of regular Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Carrots, two types of Lettuce, Radishes, Scallions, Zuchinni and Pumpkin.

For Herbs, we have Lemon Balm, Sweet Marjoram, Chamomile and Spearmint.

For Flowers (if I remember them all!) there are...
Sweet Peas, Moonflowers, Celosia, Salvia, Petunias, Nasturtiums, Sweet William, Snapdragons, Laddy Slippers, Lobelia (?), Marigolds, White Zinnia, Sunflowers and Mystery Plant #1 and Mystery Plant #2.

Yet to go in are Hollyhocks and Bachelor Buttons.

Also, we plan on creating a small water feature to house our Lotus once the seeds germinate and they are ready for a bigger pool.

With two hanging baskets already in place, and two types of bird feeders to be hung, the only other things I plan to hang this summer are the Upside Down Cherry Tomatoes. We will add strings to the post nearest the steps for the Sweet Peas and strings to the far corner post for the Moonflowers.

On each step going down the right side (while facing the porch) are 1/2 gallon pots with flowers and herbs.

I hope to get photos soon so you can see better what we are doing.

Best of all, nearly the entire garden is within reach while I am seated in the wheelchair and I have complete access to all the pots, with the exception of the hanging items.

Last summer, when Maxi went away for several weeks to camp, our big garden in the field fell into wild disrepair because I could not manage getting through the field alone in my chair. This year, in our new place, with everything right on the porch, I will be able to tend to everything throughout his absence in July.

Stay tuned: more information and photos later!

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by loz on June 11, 2006 02:22 PM
I can't wait to see your pictures Merme.....you have so many great plants, veggies, and herbs!

I'm so happy that you have a nice sized porch to have all of your containers on. And the water feature with the Lotus will be wonderful.

I'll be watching for updates! [thumb]
by Squirrel on June 11, 2006 03:44 PM
How wonderful, Merme. [clappy] Looking forward to future pix. [Smile] Sue

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What goes around comes around, so be nice!lol
by Tonya on June 11, 2006 03:59 PM
Can't wait to see the pics Merme! I bet your porch is beautiful! It looks like the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the scent of the wonderful flowers! [thumb] Keep us posted!

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by plants 'n pots on June 12, 2006 03:41 AM
but......... what about the wonder egg seeds?!? [dunno] [Wink] [tongue] [kissies]

Just joshin' ya, Merme!!! [clappy] [perplexed]

It all sounds WONDERFUL!!!

What is behind the railing to the left of your steps facing them in the picture? Is that a neighbor's porch?

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Merme on June 12, 2006 06:02 AM
quote:
Originally posted by plants 'n pots:
What is behind the railing to the left of your steps facing them in the picture? Is that a neighbor's porch?
To the left of our stairs is a small porch-like thing with a doorway to the upstairs apt. Their deck is above our porch and makes our roof. Those two doorways are in the center of the building; and the two first floor units have porches on either end. I will try to get a broader picture so you can see better.

Yes, we still have several other things to plant, including the Wonder Egg seeds you sent us, Lynne.

Gotta get more dirt!

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by chenno on June 12, 2006 10:19 AM
Merme

[clappy] [clappy] [clappy] \

Look forward to seeing more...

Angie

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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
Plutarch
by penny in ontario on June 14, 2006 02:12 AM
I cant wait to see more pics Merme, now that everything will be in bloom and no doubt look amazing on your porch [thumb] so more pics please [flower] [flower] [flower]

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by Merme on June 15, 2006 02:38 PM
My friend Rich came over this afternoon bringing along another big bag of dirt.

We both thought there were four of the 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled into the bottoms for my upside down cherry tomato plants. As it turned out, there were only two. The rims on the buckets made them look like more!

So Rich put the hooks up in the ceiling beams and we did manage to get two upside down cherry tomatoes up. As soon as he brings more buckets, we will hang two more on the hooks already in place and he will take two right side up plants home for his patio.

We put the upside down cherry tomatoes at the far end, the short side of the porch.

Then he added more hooks across the front. We hung the saucer bird feeder just inside the post to the right of the stairs and the thistle sock just on the outside of the same post.

Then we changed our minds about where to put the strings for the two flowering vines. We decided to put one set of strings on the post to the immediate left of the stairs and the other set of strings on the post to the immediate right. I have both Moon flowers and Sweet Peas, but I have forgotten which one we put where!

The Nasturtiums are blooming like crazy now and ohsovery pretty!

Tomorrow we plant the Sweet Basil and the Purple Basil PattyS sent Maxi.

And as soon as I get some bagged sand and a pump for the pondsai, that will go in as well.

Pictures soon, I promise.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by tamara on June 17, 2006 02:49 AM
Can't wait to see them pics.

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Tamara's Photos
Thinking Spring, Thinking Spring...Nope, doesn't work.lol
by Merme on June 17, 2006 06:18 AM
I really do have to get pictures! I have something blooming out there that I can not for the life of me recall the name of!

Pretty little white flower with the tips of the petals all spikey, feathery looking. It seems to like it's small pot, too.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by Merme on June 17, 2006 11:22 AM
WHIT-HOO! WHIT-HOO!

I am a proud seedling Mama tonight!

Newly sprouted are: Sweet Marjoram, Chamomile, Sweet William and Lady Slippers!

I am still waiting on Carrots, Onions, Spearmint, Sweet Basil and Purple Basil.

But golly, we are having fun!

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by plants 'n pots on June 17, 2006 12:15 PM
Congrats, Merme!!!
It's always sooooooo exciting to see those green heads popping out of the soil,
isn't it?!? [clappy] [flower] [thumb]

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Merme on June 18, 2006 02:22 PM
Melcon6 correctly identified the tiny white flower that was one of our "Mystery Plants".

It is a white dianthus.

Here is a photo of one:

White Dianthus

Aren't they sweet with the feathery edges? A lovely addition to our porch offerings.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by plants 'n pots on June 18, 2006 03:57 PM
Merme - I don't know if the white ones are fragrant, but the pinks are yummy smelling!

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by penny in ontario on June 21, 2006 04:36 AM
Any pics of the porch yet Merme???

I am so wanting to see your lovely porch..pics please!!!

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by Merme on June 22, 2006 04:03 AM
One of the cluster t-storms that went through our area last night knocked over a 30" planter where Maxi was growing two types of lettuce. I don't know how much of the plantings I will be able to retrieve when I go out there later today.

I'm not sure about how to secure these long boxes to the railing without damaging the rail or doing anything the complex owners would object to.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by penny in ontario on June 22, 2006 06:13 AM
Talk to the owner and tell him/her your intention and see if they have any suggestions on how you could do and not damage the railing, they may have an idea for you?

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by Bestofour on June 23, 2006 11:42 AM
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We need more pictures please.

Who lives upstairs?

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by Merme on June 23, 2006 01:53 PM
Upstairs is a single guy whose finace visits regularly. They are a young couple, work full time, very quiet, drive nice cars.

She always grins a greeting when we are outside at the same point, but he has only spoken once, and that was to ask Maxi and his buddy to stop slamming our front door please, cuz the bells were driving him crazy!

I know when he does his laundry and vacuums; otherwise they are as quiet as church mice.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by Merme on July 08, 2006 02:14 AM
Although I STILL do not have pictures to share, I wanted to give an update on Maxi's porch garden which he has been caring for so diligently!

The white dianthus which started out as a single tiny flower on a sea of delicate greenery has sprung up to be a lush pot of blooms! Just that small amount in it's handsome growth pattern reminds me of an entire field of flowers... it is such an amazing little plant.

I think the nursery mislabeled the plants we purchased as Salvia. It does not look like any salvia I've ever grown before, but it is so pretty anyway.

In the past, all my Salvia have been spiked plumes standing straight up like a feather. These have tiny colorful petals on several stems that spread out at bit instead of a single spike. But the color is awesome.

The hanging baskets of mixed nasturtiums are going crazy! Those skinny looking little plants have spread and flourished in those baskets and bloom in a marvelous array of colors. I can not even begin to dedice which color I like the best! Althugh this is our first time to grow this flower, I would grow it each yaar it is so lovely and easy to care for.

Our Polka Dot plant had gotten rather scraggily and far too pale indoors even next to the sliders. Bill told me they like lots of light, so we set it outside on one of the steps.

The scraggily parts have gotten sturdy and the cclors have deepened again and all around the old growth is new growth filling in the pot and it all looks so healthy and happy! That is a pretty plant on a step to welcome visitors. We have marigolds on the step above and lemon balm on the step below.

The moonflower vines are nearing the top of the porch rail climbing their strings which go all the way up the post. The sweet peas are still shorter but starting to work their way up the strings. Even at this height, they look great!

All the herbs are doing very well, as are the vegetables so far.

When Maxi leaves for camp in two days I know I will be able to access every part of his garden with ease. Caring for it in his absence will be my pleasure.

This experiment with a garden specifically for a disabled person and a child is working out wonderfully and it is not too much for either one of us.

Neighbors seem to be enjoying it real well, too.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by Tonya on July 08, 2006 04:42 AM
Sounds wonderful, Merme! I am so glad you and Maxi can garden together...it is such a special bonding experience in my opinion.

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by penny in ontario on July 08, 2006 04:50 AM
Thats wonderful to hear Merme, i am gald that the garden is a sucess for you both, and that the neighbors are enjoying it too is a bonus [thumb]
Take some pictures when you can..and..if you cant the way you have described it sounds wonderful [flower] [flower] [flower] [flower]

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by Squirrel on July 08, 2006 09:32 AM
Merme, hearing you describe yours and Maxies garden is almost as good as seeing it. Looking forward to pix when you can get around to it. Am glad everything is growing so well for you both. Hugs, Sue

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What goes around comes around, so be nice!lol
by Triss on July 08, 2006 09:54 AM
Sounds beautiful Merme!

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by plants 'n pots on July 10, 2006 08:11 AM
Merme - I'm so thrilled for you and Maxi on the success of your garden. No matter what size, it's always so rewarding to see plants grow and flourish under your care! Your descriptions, as always, make it so easy to see exactly how things are - and since I experienced the wonder of Maine flowers just last summer, I can imagine how glorious it all is!

I, too, am anxious to see pictures!

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by angelblossom on July 10, 2006 09:12 AM
Merme you gave a good visual discription, it sounds very nice!!! wont be long now before the moon flower blooms for you ,the smell in the evening is sooo nice!!!

I'm really looking forward to pic!! [thumb]
It's so good to hear the gardening set up plan worked out for both you and Maxi.. [clappy] [clappy] [flower] [flower]

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Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up!  -  -
http://photobucket.com/albums/e374/2thtek/  -  -
by loz on July 13, 2006 01:26 PM
I can just picture it all, and I can't wait to really see it! It sounds really nice Merme...plus it doesn't sound to hard for you and Maxi to take care of! [thumb]
by Merme on July 13, 2006 02:47 PM
Our two 5 gallon buckets of upside down cherry tomatoes are something else!

The plants have grown to the point that they are now touching the porch rail below. They have gotten huge, hanging upsidedown on the short end of the porch.

The leaf lettuce is so pretty in the 30" long planter. It is about 6 inches tall now and I will be picking some soon for my supper.

The radishes are also prospering and they will be ready soon as well.

We've had so much rain yesterday and today, everything is got a good big drink and now is starting swimming lessons. But I think it is all far enough along to stand up to the drenching.

One always worries about container gardens in a heavy rain because run off is more difficult to attain.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by penny in ontario on July 14, 2006 04:07 AM
Sounds great Merme and Maxi will be thrilled to see the progress when he gets back from camp!

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by Bestofour on July 14, 2006 02:25 PM
Did you two plant any patio cucumbers? You've got a salad growing there if you did.

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by Bestofour on July 14, 2006 02:26 PM
Did you two plant any patio cucumbers? You've got a salad growing there if you did.

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by Merme on July 24, 2006 05:10 AM
Yes, Sheri ~ we have patio cucumbers and there are already some in progress! Maxi will be thrilled to see his cukes when he returns.

[flower] A NEW BOUNTY FOR OUR PORCH GARDEN! [flower]

Today in church I was given some plants in 4" pots to add to our porch garden....

Eucalyptus
Peppermint
Chocolate Mint
Varigated Pineapple Mint
Curly Mint

AND a 6" pot of an ornamental midget variety of purple cat's tail.

These were all grown by the premiere nursery in our area and donated to the church for our annual summer fair. The ones given to me were leftover from yesterday's big sale. I am delighted and I know Maxi will be thrilled.

These mints are pretty and ohso fragrant!

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by penny in ontario on July 24, 2006 06:00 AM
[clappy] [clappy] [thumb] Thats great Merme that you have more to add to the porch and you are right...those really are fragrant ones too.
Great to hear!!

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by Triss on July 24, 2006 08:31 AM
Awesome new additions Merme!

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Merme on July 24, 2006 10:14 AM
One of the little boys who has been helping me while Maxi is away stopped by today to ask if I needed anything? No mail on Sunday and of course, in this rain there is no need to water the garden!

So I showed him the new plants and told him to smell each one. He really liked the peppermint and was surprised that you can actually eat these things.

Then I showed him the eucalyptus and told him it is what they often put in cough drops and he sniffed it, saying "That is just what it smells like!"

He was so amazed that people grow the things that get added to items he is used to buying.

It tickled me to watch him enjoy and learn.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by penny in ontario on July 25, 2006 01:36 AM
Thats so nice Merme that you have a little helper while Maxi is away and it sounds like he learned some important things too [thumb]

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by Merme on August 11, 2006 06:56 PM
Yesterday Maxi harvested an Early Girl tomato and we had it with our dinner. It was THE sweetest, best tomato I've had in years! There just is no comparison between home grown and store bought. The flavor took me right back to earlier times in my life when home-grown produce was widely available, and boy did we enjoy it.

Now we can't wait for the next bit to harvest!

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by penny in ontario on August 12, 2006 01:43 AM
Things that are home grown always taste better dont they...maybe its because we ahev watched the progress of the little thing and seen it become somthing so yummy!!!!

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by plants 'n pots on August 12, 2006 08:28 PM
So exciting Merme! I haven't checked my tomatoes in a few days - guess I'll have to take a look tomorrow.

And you are absolutely right - they taste so much better fresh off the plant! [thumb]

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by Tonya on August 13, 2006 04:03 PM
I was eating a tomato sandwich when I found this...homegrown tastes so pure and perfect compared to store bought...no comparison! Glad you can teach this to Maxi! [kissies]

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by chenno on August 17, 2006 10:38 AM
[thumb] I could not agree more, nothing like that flavor!

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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
Plutarch
by penny in ontario on August 18, 2006 02:20 AM
Any more updates Merme?

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