Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy, happy and Balloons

The last essay of the semester has been submitted!!! I was singing the "happy, happy" song at that moment. My youngest drove me to the local big grocery and we picked up some celebratory sushi for a late lunch. I can't actually dance with joy because of my bum ankle, but I'm dancing on the inside!

We've had two days of heavy rain here, no thunder and no tornadoes. It really has been lovely, I like rain. Grey skies and green foliage, as the garden is loving all this water after a week of sticky 80F/26C temps. The rain barrels are full again too.

I have further celebrated the end of school with a few trips to Lowe's & Home Depot's garden departments. This year Lowe's seems to have the better selection and healthier plants. Kudos to them for stocking Balloon Flowers (Platycodon grandiflorum) at the super reasonable price of $3.98 per six inch pot. I went nuts and bought five! About two or maybe three years ago the voles spent the winter eating the roots of my well established plants, killing them and I have been unable to find any replacements. Plants seem to go out of popularity and with fewer local nurseries, I am stuck shopping at big box stores for the same agri-farm produced selections. Spotting these hearty looking balloon flower plants, was a terrific find. Certainly, when they set those marvelous puffy, blue blooms, they will be immediately snapped up. This photo is from several years ago, when this plant was about three feet tall and loaded with balloons and blooms, pre- vole attack.

Home Depot's garden dept. earns praise for re-ordering the excellent six inch pots of gorgeous caladiums that I have purchased last year and again this year for the front porch planter.  See last years posting here: I brought home several plants for the $3.98 price and plan to combine them with three perennial 2.5 QT pots of Coral Bells (Heuchera) in the planter. The Begonias I companion planted with the caladiums last year don't seem to be available anywhere now. The Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), a Missouri native plant, that is at the shaded end of the planter box has done beautifully, so I am going to try another perennial with the Coral Bells. It is much simpler to fill in the gaps with caladiums than redesign the planter box every year. So tomorrow, I will be having a dirt & fun-filled Mother's Day digging in the yard. Happy Mother's Day to all!

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