Sunday, April 4, 2010

Outdoor work: Deck planters

It's been a busy outdoor weekend over here, so before I return to the regularly scheduled "spring clean yourself" installment, let's take a minute to enjoy the results of three outdoor planter projects I accomplished on Saturday. (I also did a little planting in the front yard, and I maintained our herb garden and tried to get grass to grow in the backyard, but those will be subjects of later posts.)

I had two planters leftover from last year, and I picked up one new one on Saturday. So I had two flower boxes -- one is 24" and the other 32" -- and one round planter to work with, and I have these handy Cobra Co open-end flower box holders to attach them to the deck railing.

I love picking out flowers and plants, even though I really have no idea what I am doing. I spent about an hour walking around our local garden shop just admiring everything and, as always, feeling overwhelmed by the options. For the deck I've discovered the plants that do the best are the ones labeled "sun to part shade" because we get some intense afternoon sun, but the rest of the day the plants are at least partially shaded.

Let's start with the flower boxes. I planted some different items in each, but the unifying factor are these "Strawberry Sizzle" geraniums.

Planter 1
Here's planter 1, the larger planter, with two geraniums in the middle, one "Outback Sunset" lysimachia on the right, and a cute, white-flowered plant on the left...I appear to have lost the info on that one! (Anyone able to identify?)

"Outback Sunset" lysimachia

Cute, unidentifiable white-flowered plant

Planter 2
Here's the smaller flower box, with the two geraniums at either end, and a "Dark Dancer" white clover plant in the middle.

Planter 3
The round planter allowed me to branch out a little and try some different flower combinations. Last spring I bought this planter at Costco filled with a gorgeous geranium and tropical plant/ivy mixture. It sounds odd, but it was quite pretty, and it held up through most of the fall (and it was super cheap! -- $20 for the planter filled with multiple, beautiful plants).

I wanted to bring in some variety in colors and plant sizes to this arrangement. I settled on a "Snapshot Purple" snapdragon as the centerpiece (I have a thing for snapdragons), added another "Dark Dancer" white clover plant, a "Senetti" lavender plant, a "Goldilocks" lysimachia, and another cute, unidentifiable white-flowered plant.

Here's the end result

"Snapshot Purple" snapdragon

"Senetti" lavender plant

"Goldilocks" lysimachia (I love the bright green color and cannot wait until it grows and starts to cascade down the outside of the planter)

The planter sits on top of this small metal table my friend Zoe gave me years ago. I think it's time for it to be repainted (look closely for the rust spots). Color recommendations, anyone?

The best things about planters are that they take little time to create (I planted all three of these in less than 45 minutes), they are easy to maintain, and many of these flowers will bloom into the fall, which means lots of color on our deck for about half the year.

I might add one more planter to our deck sometime soon, but for now I've spent enough money on the deck foliage. Here's the tally:
  • Two planters from last
  • One open-end flower box holder from last
  • Soil and mulch from last
  • 24" flower box...$10.99
  • Open-end flower box holder...$10.99
  • Geraniums: 4 @$5.99 each...$23.96
  • White clover: 2 @ $3.99 each...$7.98
  • White-flowered plant: 2 @ $6.99 each...$13.98
  • Snapdargon...$9.99
  • Lavender...$9.99
  • Lysimachia: 2 @ $4.99 each...$9.98
  • Deck total: $97.86

1 comment:

  1. Don't know if you still want to know, but the cute white flowered plant is sweet alyssum or snow in summer.