Pause… and remember gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison

The Gardener's Path - Container Garden Tips

   Happy Mother's Day! Today I get to do a few of my favorite things: writing my blog & planting & digging & weeding... I have some time to reflect on past 'growing seasons; some years it is a 'groaning season' for sure. There was the year of NO rain, the year of plenty of rain (one I think!), the year the peppers did well & the tomatoes did not. The year deer first found my yard and the year ground hogs stayed away. The year I purchased my first Baptisia and the year it flourished. What I remember is that the true gardener's path does not always have smooth stones. Sometimes there are jagged stones or weeds. Sometimes it is decorated with snail trails or moss. Sometimes it flourishes and sometimes there are failures. Just remember to let the path guide you but to stay adventurous too! Here is to another glorious gardening season. In the spring we can all have hope

   Here is a repost of some container gardening tips. I have given you some of the actual container basics in the past search: Container Gardens 101 & watering advice in Watering Container Gardens 101, & Container Gardens - Summer Plants now it’s time for the gardening artist in all of us to shine!
     Before I get to the actual plants, I want you to consider the complimentary colors & some beautiful color blends. (see wheel at left) There are never any right or wrong color choices because whatever you choose will blend like a wonderful English cottage garden. The basics: blues compliment peaches, tangerine/mango & orange. Lots of green foliage compliments the pinks & reds. Yellows compliment the purples. I like white anywhere. These are some basics. I use the purples, pinks & white together for a soft, seamless look. Also blending many shades of a color together is a very sophisticated look. (Think pinks or purples because the selection is endless) Again, there are no wrong colors, the sky’s the limit! Be creative & squint like an artist.
     Containers of the large size have three basic components: the thriller, filler & spiller. The thriller is your centerpiece plant. The filler plants are your lower growers that surround the thriller. The spiller plants will spill & drape over the sides of your container giving a soft look. Look around your yard first before you shop. You may have some plants waiting for you. I use Lamium (pictured at left) for my spiller plant. It makes a wonderful ground cover, but has a spilling growth habit & it’s free! You may have free right outside your door. Also think edible! Lettuces, parsley, basil , well most herbs can be so beautiful and useful in your container.
     Consider the sun exposure you have first of all & then plan your wish list. You will ALWAYS see other plants not on your mental list that just strike a cord. Go for it & try them out. Learning by trial & error is the best teacher. (and reading informational blogs!) Remember: proper sun exposure, watering & maintenance will make all your planters a success no matter what you choose!

Have a Willpower Mental Health Day!

    My friend & I at work were discussing the recent holiday and all the delicious, wonderful food! She said she had no willpower. I agree; it is impossible to expect willpower to be with you on holidays too! So I suggest conscious mental health days for that part of the brain that controls willpower! Say whaaat??!!??
   Face it, we all need these 'breaks' to stay the course in the long run. We need vacations from work to keep us happy and productive. We take mental health 'alone' days to enjoy our authentic selves with no distractions (or at least we should!). So why not put willpower on the shelf for the next grad party, Mother's Day brunch or Memorial Day barbecue, well you get the idea. This would mean going up to that omelet station on Mother's Day and adding cheese to that veggie omelet or buttering that already buttery croissant, having another mimosa ... guilt free, absolutely no remorse! For some, they may be afraid that they may not get back to the foods & portions that work for them in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That may be true, but I really believe, though, that we are too informed ~ too smart for that to happen. We know the good, the bad & the ugly of food choices because we have been educating ourselves. Our kitchens are full of good choices that will be there when reality of a regular day creeps back in.
   So, free the weight (pun intended) off your mind and enjoy yourself. Savor every tasty, delicious morsel of party food! This is one mental health challenge I think we can all get behind. Buon Appetito!