A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of my new herb tower, or “wee potager” as my friend, Nicki, likes to call it. I stacked up a galvanized washtub, and a smaller bucket, and planted with a cherry tomato, in the bucket, surrounded by herbs in the washtub. I thought you might like to see how well it’s doing. The tomato plant is as tall as I am (close to 6′ feet), and the herbs have filled out very nicely though I did lose one spicy globe basil. For some reason, none of my basils are doing well this year, no matter where they are planted, except for my African blue basil, which is slowly becoming a monster plant and bee magnet. But that’s for another post. 🙂
In comparison, here is the potager right after I set it up. You can see that there has been plenty of growth in a very short time. I even have some tomatoes starting to ripen. And in spite of several days of 97 degree weather in a row, the galvanized metal doesn’t seem to be getting too hot for the root systems. I think I’m on to something here. I will be doing a lot more gardening in these tubs and containers. They are cheap, long-lasting, and apparently work quite well. In fact, rather than going to the expense of buying watering troughs for my container vegetable beds, I believe I will just stick to washtubs. I can grow plenty of bush beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuces, and the like in tubs, and line them up along the same area where I had thought to put the troughs. Why not? 🙂 Are any of you using galvanized containers in your gardens? I’d love to know how they are working for you!
I just love plants that make more plants! If they reseed for me, or they root easily from cuttings, I’m thrilled with them. Mostly. There ARE a few that carry the whole “making more plants” thing to extremes, and I get pretty sick of those. But for the most part, it’s a happy benefit of gardening, and a way to fill up empty beds without constantly putting out more money. And sometimes, it even looks pretty in the process.
I have a longish, narrow window above my computer, and I’ve had different things on display there over the years, but today, I gathered up some of my collection of cobalt bottles, and filled them with cuttings in water. Mostly coleus, but a bit of ivy, and some scutellaria (purple skullcap), too. Most will root, though sometimes, you have to try again. In the meantime, they look bright and cheerful, and I’m happy to have more plants inside. Fingers crossed that the cats don’t decide to jump up there and check them out. 🙂
No, I didn’t grab this little guy right out of the nest, I swear! The babies fledged last weekend, and for several days, we’ve been watching the parents feeding them from various locations around the yard. The babies will sit on a bamboo stem and flap their wings and beg, and the parents race around finding things for them to eat. They can now fly longer distances, but don’t have a great deal of control. Yesterday, Mark came running in to announce one of the babies was in our garage and couldn’t find his way out, and the parents birds were outside, having conniption fits. I’m sure he would have eventually flown to them–the bird, not Mark–but we were ready to close up the garage, and he needed a bit of…steering. I tried to direct him to one of the doors, but he ended up dropping to the floor behind some brooms and mops. At that point, it was easier to pick him up and take him to the front yard, where his anxious parents were flying in circles, making pitiful noises.
I stopped long enough for Mark to take this picture. You can see that the baby is colored a similar plain brown to the mother, though without the wash of orange here and there she usually sports. All the better to remain inconspicuous, and harder for predators to spot. The difference, of course, is that he has a dark beak, in contrast to both parents, which have bright orange ones. When I let him go, he flew straight to the viburnum hedge with his parents hot on his little stubby tail. 🙂 And no, they will not reject any bird or egg handled by a person because they can “smell that a human has touched it.” This is an old wives tale. Very few birds have any sense of smell at all, and replacing fallen babies into a nest will do nothing but make them happy. So that’s one bit of advice you can ignore.
Hopefully, this little guy will continue to thrive and add his voice to the many cardinal songs in our neighborhood.