Jun 5, 2007

Green Thumb Blessings

"Do you have indoor plants? Do they thrive or do you lack a green thumb?"

This question was posted as a QOTD on one of my groups last week, so I thought I'd answer it here, complete with pics! I am going to expand it to indoor and outdoor plants.

Me and My Dad - 1970

Growing up, my parents planted a huge garden. When I was old enough to take an interest, my Dad tilled up a 4x4 section in the yard and gave me seeds left over after his plantings. It was up to me to see what I could grow. Combine that with my mother's love of plants, and you have a green thumb by genetics.

My indoor plants consist of:

Basil - This plant is 3 years old. I started it from seed, and it has been replanted three times. In the summer, it sits outside on my porch. I bring it indoors during the winter months.

Amaryllis - This is a bulb that normally blooms in January or February with huge gorgeous red, pink, and white varigated flowers on top of tall stems. Once the flowers fade, the stems and flowers are cut. The plant is left to grow and store energy. When warm weather arrives, I set it outside until fall. Then I cut the leaves and store the bulb in the basement until January.

Bamboo - I bought this plant a few years ago when visiting Chinatown in Chicago. It really needs to be replanted. I think it's root bound in that little bowl (but I like that bowl!). This usually sits on the end table in my living room. This year, I decided to set it on my porch with hopes it will liven up some with warm weather and sunshine.

??? - This one is new, which is why I can't remember the name of it. I bought it last week to replace the Majestic Palm that died last year. It's about 2½ ft. tall. It will sit in the corner of my living room. Currently, it's sitting outside because I need to replant it into a prettier pot and I figure the warm weather will do it some good.

Maternity Plant - These are rather neat plants. My mother gave me this plant when it was about 4" tall. Now it's about 3 feet tall, and this is after numerous cutting the tops off! My mom is amazed at how big my Maternity Plant is. The smaller one is about 8" tall. The interesting thing about this plant is that it produces "babies" (thus the name) that are the size of lady bugs. You drop the babies in dirt and they grow into the plant. I've started lots of plants this way! Anyone want one?

And now to my outdoor gardening adventures! Last year, I hardly had any time to make my outdoor area look nice. This year I think I went a bit overboard in my attempt to make it pretty. LOL Nothing wrong with pretty, right? Here's what I have going so far:

Notice how the pots match? While garage sale-ing this past weekend, one place was giving away flower pots and they had one that matches these! So I snagged it up and have plans to plant more flowers. The best part... The pot was FREE. Isn't that little turtle the cutest thing?

Coleus plants have such a striking appearance. When I was little, my mom grew these plants indoors. I've got these sitting on my porch.

Here are my tomato plants. Hopefully, this year will result in red tomatoes instead of lots of green ones! Take a look at how huge last year's plants and tomatoes got: HERE.

I created my "little corner of the world" with a small flower bed. To the left Morning Glories are growing and hopefully will climb the fence creating a wall of color.

To the right, I've planted pole green beans which will climb the fence and produce fresh green beans. That's IF the critters don't eat the sprouts like they've done in the past. One year, I had to replant 3 times! In the center of this garden is a wild violet plant surrounded by Impatients. The camera is actually a bird feeder, but I like it for decoration purposes. Adorable, isn't it? Not pictured is two large planters that I have plans to fill with flowers. I'll have to show those later.

This year I decided to try hanging planters. One planter I started from seed and is just barely started so no pics. The other is quite large and I filled it with pretty pink and purple blooming flowers.

Many times I've mentioned how wonderful Freecycle is. A couple weeks ago, someone was giving away Lily of the Valley. I shared some with my mom, and started planting some behind the garage. As you can see, I still have more to plant.

I thought sunflowers would make a good addition to the yard, so I started some plants from seed. Hopefully, the neighbors won't mow them over when I plant them next to the fence.

And finally, these are plants I *still* need to plant in pots or put into the yard somewhere:


stitcherw said...

Beautiful plants. I wish I could grow stuff like that, but I seem to kill most anything I try to grow. I loved looking at all the beautiful colors of the ones you have.

Kendra said...

A tip to protect the sunflowers...buy a small roll of chicken wire and make protective cages for them. Cut a section of wire and roll it into a tube (maybe 10-12 inch diameter??), then "tie" it with some small gauge wire or baling twine or twisty ties...whatever will hold it. We did that with our baby trees and bluberry bushes to protect them from the mower's edge and wandering critters.

They wouldn't have to be in them long, as sunflowers grow at an amazing rate. Ours seemed to grow as we were watching them.

Erica said...

Beautiful plants Meari! Good luck with everything. I'd love some of your maternity plant, but it would get confiscated at the border. Darn customs! :-)

I did find another word for sunflowers this year - "bunny food". I have a few bunnies hopping about and they found my sunflowers. Now I have sticks. Hope yours don't suffer the same fate!

And the tomatoes? Do you pull the suckers off the plants once they start blooming? It does help to get them to go red faster.... The other option is to cut back the leaves once they're formed - then they'll get more sun and ripen faster. Good luck! :-)

Janice said...

Loved the plants Meari! Beautiful colors! I have never seen a maternity plant.

glenda said...

lovely flowers. I have a black thumb, which has been verified by my mother lol!! Enjoy your pretties this summer.

Jenna said...

You are wonderfully blessed with a green thumb, indeed! I just loved strolling through your virtual garden. :)