Thursday, August 1, 2013

Juncus Gem continued

And here's the end result!  I realized I had the pot a little too high because unforunately I drilled the root holes a little too high.  It looked better higher out of the ground but to give the plant as much room for root growth as possible I decided to lower it

When I took the pot out, it was obvious from the night's rain that my drain tray idea worked to pool the water.  Now I wondering if maybe it will result in stagnant water but hopefully once the roots start growing out of the bottom of the pot then it will use the pooled water.  Also, as I mentioned, it will be easy to remove the drain tray if I have to.


Here is the garden with it's new perennials.  I've added two fountain grasses on the right in front of a tiger lily my friend gave me.  The juncus spiralis in the middle.  Two new day lilies on the left to accompany the one I already had (one came from my friend again).  I've shown the before and after.

It's still looking pretty bare here but surely but slowly it's growing 

Here I added two small blue fescue to either side of the siberian irises (mid-left).  To the far right by the wall is an ornamental grass again that my friend gave me.  It isn't much right now but hopefully next year it will fill out nicely.


And finally, I removed the asiatic lilies that were awkwardly placed next to the irises and added them to the right side of the sedum (middle) to complement the ones on it's left side.  You can't see them because of the oversized zinnias in the front (plants always seem to grow taller than the package says).  I also added a wormwood in the right hand bottom corner to provide root shade for the clematis and as a complement to the white of the euonymous on the left hand corner.  Another great thing about the city consultant visit was they were able to tell me the names of the perennials that were already growing in my garden.  Otherwise I would have NO idea what a euonymous is, and don't even bother asking me how to pronounce it!

I cut the zinnias for a bouquet so you can't see their blooms here in the front

A Juncus Gem in my Garden

This picture is with the spinach harvested.  The peas have grown up the trellis, and the rest are the nasturtiums.
It's been almost two months since my last garden update so as you can imagine there's been lots of changes.  I certainly haven't been having a bumper vegetable crop but the few peas I have had are so sweet; the lettuce tasty; and the spinach disappointing but the tomatoes, carrots and squash are yet to come.  I don't think the onion and garlic I planted from kitchen scraps have taken although the garlic was sprouting when I first planted it.  I've learned so much and one thing I won't do again is companion plant nasturtiums.  The variety I grew were huge and took over the bed but their multi-colored blooms are really pretty.  I was prepared for the squash:  it's outgrown the trellis I made and is now taking over the fence!

Pretty pathetic looking romaine lettuce :)

Psst scroll over each picture to read more about it.

It was tasty enough though.
Pea pods amid the  plentious nasturtiumsI like growing peas.  The vines are tiny little arms reaching to grab anything.Good thing I raised them off the ground I'd say

My flower garden is still in progress.  The zinnias grew to oversize and are blooming and the marigolds have just started.  I had a rep from the city in for a consult about water-conserving and native plant gardens.  So I've picked up a few perennials as they gone on sale which brings me to the Juncus.

I cut the zinnias for a bouquet so you can't see their blooms here in the front

It's still looking pretty bare here but surely but slowly it's growing

 I saw this gem of a plant with it's crazy curls and when I read the growing instructions which said it needs lots of water I thought "Perfect!  I'll put it in the trouble spot where my neighbours eavetrough overflows and nothing else will grow there."  When I got home I thought "But what about when it's not raining?  It gets really dry there."  That led me to the Internet of course and after combining mine and a few of others' ideas, I've come up with a really cute feature for the garden.

Notice the bare spot whee nothing has grown.

The juncus plant needs tons of water and is best planted in a constantly wet spot, or near (or even in a few inches of) water.  It also spreads it's roots and starts shoots.  I thought that maybe transplanting the juncus to a larger pot and burying the pot in the garden might hold some of the water.  I drilled some large holes in a pot to allow some but not all of the roots to reach the bed.  I dug a hole in the bed just deep enough for the pot to be about 2 inches above the surface.  This was only for the aesthetic appeal.

As I was digging it started to rain and the hole began filling up.  This tells me that once the rain reaches the clay-filled native soil it isn't draining well anyways.  I still wanted to make sure the soil sta
yed wet enough so I came up with the idea to put a plastic plant drain tray underneath the pot.  I hoping this way some of the water will pool.

If it doesn't seem like the plant is thriving and I want to check the drain tray, I can simply pull the pot from the ground, which hopefully will mean less disruption to the plant.  I also made sure that the plant wasn't directly under the leaky eavetrough to prevent damage to the foliage during heavy rains.

Finally, I topped the soil in the pot with white stones and I think the end result is fantastic.  Unfortunately, I lost too much daylight for my flashless cellphone to take a picture so I'll have to post the results plus the new perennials tomorrow!