Flower Power

As I write this on a Friday afternoon, there is lightning, thunder and a lot of rain outside. A practically-perfect day, in my opinion, mostly because Mother Nature is watering all the gardens for me and I appreciate the help this time of year!

Every year, My Carpenter, tries to get me to agree to automatic sprinklers in the beds, or at least drip hoses, and every year I assure him I don’t need the help. He thinks I’m being a control freak because our well is a low-producer and July and August are such water guzzlers. He says I’m worried something might leak or forget to turn itself off, thus wasting precious drops. While I am pretty water-conservative (especially in the hot, dry months), I actually like dragging the hose over, under, and around things in the garden. It keeps me up-close-and-personal with each plant. I notice things…I pull a weed here, pluck a few dead-heads there, question whether that “flower” might really be a weed run-amok, and make a mental note on what needs moving this fall. But all that watering can take at least an hour each day, so I really do appreciate Mother Nature’s help on days like this. Besides, the gardens and lawn always look so refreshed and lovely after a summer thunderstorm!
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Think Outside The Pot!

A simple way to add character and joy to your garden, deck or patio is to plant flowers in unexpected containers. Pots are nice…they come in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and colors, and guests usually ooh and aah over the carefully-placed flowers. But I’m hoping they laugh in delight when they see what I’ve planted in my husband’s old boots or an old cookie jar missing its top or a garage-sale-50-cent teapot…or my latest plantings in thrift-store purses!

A few years ago, my church started holding an annual Spring Tea. It isn’t so much a formal event as a fun one, with exotic teas, delicious sandwiches and desserts, a speaker, and a hat contest. I have been in charge of centerpieces (they become door prizes at the end of the tea) and I scour thrift stores and garage sales for unique containers (mostly homeless tea pots for the past two events). One of my favorites the first year was a beat up, old, metal lunchbox…the manly, rectangular kind. I planted both the lid and the box, and since it was a lunch container, chose to fill it with food stuff like lettuce, chives, and other herb starts taken from my garden.
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