4/10/15

Annual Potting

The sewing room has been abandoned the past couple of days in favor of getting the annuals planted. I needed to go to the grocery store yesterday, and since my grocery store is the same place I purchase my annuals, I decided to do everything in one fell swoop.

And, as is my propensity to question things of little or no consequence whatsoever, I just now asked myself, what the heck does that even mean? "One fell swoop" indeed. Well, my friend Google stands at the ready when these questions pop into my head, and so I asked the Google and it answered:

To do something in one fell swoop is to do it suddenly or in a single, swift action. "Fell" here is an adjective meaning fierce, savage, cruel, or ruthless. This sense of fell is otherwise archaic, preserved mainly in this idiom. 

As with so many phrases of this kind, the first documented incidence of its usage comes from Shakespeare's MacBeth. If you want to know more about "one fell swoop" just click right here and be englightened.

As I was saying before my tangential self took over . . .

I picked up my annuals prior to doing the grocery shopping yesterday:


Also, I received the seeds I ordered recently:


I'm planting three kinds of lettuce this year. The Buttercrunch and Red Sails have been good producers for us in the past. I'm also trying a green loose-leaf this year called Green Ice. Also, I'm going to plant several different colors of sunflowers. Since I don't seem to have any success sowing the seeds directly into the ground (methinks the birds are eating them), I'm going to start them in little pots this year, and then transplant them. Finally, I'm going to plant a couple of rows of zinnias in the vegetable garden. 

I've kind of given up on vegetable gardening until Mike retires in a couple of years, and he can help me with it. Instead, we've purchased a CSA (community supported agriculture) share this year. Someone else can do the watering and the hoeing, and we'll just enjoy the fresh organic vegetables.

When I got home yesterday and started unloading all the flowers and vegetables, a nosy little cat found the catnip and catmint in about ten seconds flat.


This morning should have been a walking morning with my friend Sue. I've had a "catch" in my ankle for the past couple of days, and so we just met and had oatmeal. Do you ever get a catch like that where it feels as if you need to crack a joint, and it won't crack? It usually doesn't last this long, but this one seems particularly stubborn. Anyway...

That didn't stop me from getting out and planting the annuals in their designated pots. As you might guess, my little multi-purpose cat was at the ready to help out.


Gracie did her usual job of holding the quilt onto the couch. They have a way of flying off, and Gracie is there to make sure that thing stays put.


So I started with these three pots on our patio. I used to have three matching terra cotta pots. They kept breaking and crumbling at winter's end. For a while I was replacing them, but they aren't cheap. Finally, I replaced the last broken one with plastic. It isn't quite as large, and it doesn't match. I figure now that I have an unmatched set, the remaining two terra cotta pots will stay intact into the next century.


They're looking a little sparse right now, but they'll fill in quickly. For these I planted two colors of pansies, two colors of snapdragons, and a small dahlia.


There are also four large pots lining the stairs that lead down to the greenhouse. In one of those, I planted Gerbera Daisies. I love Gerbera Daisies. Year after year, they do poorly in this spot, but I keep trying. One of these years, I figure I'll hit the jackpot. For now, they are pretty.


In another, I planted dianthus. This pot was completely full of dianthus the past several years, and they are a perennial. For whatever reason, they were knocked back this winter, and so I'm replanting. I suspect November's ice storm did them in as it did so many things in our garden.


In this pot, I planted four different colors of marigolds. I have mixed results with these, usually depending on the appetite of the squirrels in any given year.


And in this last one, geraniums. I used to plant petunias here, but the deer and squirrels chowed down on them until there was nothing left. They do not seem to have an appetite for the geraniums.


So that took care of my potted annuals. Also, I planted the catnip and the catmint. Catmint is new to me, but I'm told it is a cousin of catnip. I plant it in among a rock fortress to keep Gracie was rolling on it and killing it. Eventually, she'll be able to roll in it to her heart's content, but while it's little like this, it needs protection from cats that are, shall we say, rotund. You can tell this is the cat garden by the cat.


I said, "You can tell this is the cat garden by the cat." Will somebody cue the cat, please?


Thank you.

Unfortunately, the rock fortress doesn't protect it from the noms. Realistically, this is probably just the first planting of the catnip and the catmint. 


Also, I planted this sun sugar cherry tomato in one of the whiskey barrels on the patio. I used to plant these down in the greenhouse, but I never wanted to walk down to get them when I was in the kitchen. It's a better choice to have it up closer to the house. Besides, it makes it easy to walk by and pluck them off at will. They are so tasty.


And that was all the planting I did today. The rest of the items I have for planting can all be done in the greenhouse. We're expecting rain this weekend, and so I can do those things under shelter. I still need to get my lettuce seeds started, and I'll get the sunflower seeds planted too. Also, I have hanging petunia baskets and a couple of herbs. The herbs will be outside in the culinary herb bed, but I want to spray it for weeds before planting them.

As for the rest of the garden, the Andromeda is in its full glory right now.


And the wisteria has a lot of open flowers.


And by that time, my cat and I were getting kind of tired. We went inside and followed Gracie's lead in becoming couch potatoes. Gracie was still there.


And now Smitty has joined her.


His paws are worked to the bone.

And now that I'm thoroughly dirty, it's time for a shower. I think I'll probably spend the rest of the afternoon working on the next block for Lisa's retirement quilt.


I'll applique the hair, cheeks, and lips, and then embroider the rest. Some of it will be hand embroidery, some free motion machine embroidery.

And that's pretty much my day. Are you ready for the weekend?

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love the 'instant' flower garden when planting potted beauties. Not sure how our annuals have faired the winter as we wont be uncovering beds for another week - nights are still cold. Luckily there is a lot of wild catnip that grows around the farm - sure the furkids will love the fresh stuff over the dried used during the long winter.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

I always pot up some annuals each spring (too early here) ... and Gerbera Daisies are always some of the annuals I put out. I don't have any better experience with them than you've reported ... no matter how well I care for them, they just don't seem to do well yet I keep hoping that this year will be "the" year. I can't wait to pot my annuals, but I suppose I'll wait until after we get back from Hilton Head ... I don't know how well they'll fare without some attention (at least some watering) for two weeks.

Doreen Auger said...

I think that I'm exhausted just reading of your exploits!!!!! The snow here yesterday kinda took the 'shine' off the Spring-like feel but today's forecast is for mid 60's. We'll see!!! Love Gerbera Daises!!!!!!!!

Dana Gaffney said...

Beautiful! Now I need to go get some geraniums. I've slowly replaced my terra cotta pots since they dry out a lot faster than the others, I love the look but hate wasting the water. So what did Smitty think of the Cat Mint?

gpc said...

I look forward to finally being able to plant some things for me to neglect and kill this summer. We are about a month away from any such pleasure. :)

Linda said...

BEAUTIFUL POST !
msstitcher1214@gmail.com

quiltzyx said...

Even in this early stage your pots look wonderful! We got a teensy bit of rain Tuesday night, so my weeds have perked up again.
Ms. Gracie is doing a fine job of holding down the couch quilts. Way to go Gracie!

Kate said...

Wow that's a lot for just one day. Your garden is going to be lovely!

Brown Family said...

Very pretty flowers!