The inspiration: This postcard from a nearby nursery, Meadow View in Lenoir City, Tennessee that was received in early spring announcing their open house to begin the planting season. (Hanging baskets, buy one get one free.)
This card was tucked away into the notebook for future reference. We have an old wheelbarrow just like that, blue even, sitting in the garage with a chronic case of flat tire. Our wheelbarrow pushing days came to an abrupt end a few years ago with the over exertion of stone moving. Read about the big stones here-The Stone Purchase. A trip to the doctor revealed good news and bad news. The good news, no surgery needed. The bad news, no more heavy lifting. The trouble is, heavy lifting seems to be a part of life, especially if one gardens. The Financier helps when asked, but usually I am alone and wanting to move something heavy. Or pick up a grandchild who has arms extended upward lovingly. But we digress. The point being made is there was a wheelbarrow available to make into a planter. Onward.
The wheelbarrow is dragged out of the garage to a spot at the corner, flat tire end propped on a log of Ferngully to make it more level. Holes are drilled in the bottom for drainage after playing hide and seek with the proper drill bit. A large bag of Fafard potting mix from Mouse Creek fills the container. Forgetting to bring the postcard along, plants are selected from memory of the colorways, all simple annuals. The planting list: Celosia plumosa ‘New Look’, 2-four packs; Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’, 2-four packs; Alyssum, Lobularia maritima ‘Snow Crystals’, 2-four packs; Calibrachoa ‘Terracotta’, 2-four inch pots, Calibrachoa ‘Cherry Rose’, 2-four inch pots; Calibrachoa ‘Strawberry’, 2-four inch pots; Marigold ‘Nancy Orange’, 1-four pack minus one missing. The planting occurred April 19, 2010. Pieces of cedar one by twos were laid across to keep felines and other diggers out. (Photo number two.) By April 24 growth was apparent and some of the wooden pieces were removed so as to not block the plants as they reach for the sky. (Photo number three.)
Pleased with the progress, the new camera, Canon SX1 IS is brought out for those crazy perspective shots. The Butterfly Japanese maples in front of the entrance to the main house look like they are right behind the wheelbarrow instead of over one hundred feet away. Photo taken May 16, 2010.
Close up of the Celosia taken June 2, 2010 as we prepare to go on the family beach vacation. The plants selected are everyday annuals, nothing rare or exotic. There is a bright mix of colors with spikes of blue and red and blobs of orange.
But that worry was needless for upon returning home, little has changed in the wheelbarrow. It is dry, quite dry as is the entire garden for little rain fell in our absence. A good long drink perked up the plants though. Photo taken June 22, 2010.
So here is the inspiration next to the finished product. Not quite the same, but with the same kind of vibe. Alyssum in our climate is fried by June so cannot be the main spiller. I prefer the blue Salvia to the purple Angelonia for the thriller. We should have used more Marigolds for the fillers but couldn’t resist the red Celosia. To be honest, this is way sooner than the planned big reveal of this project but something happened that we wanted to share and couldn’t wait to tell you about a little guest.
We went out early in the morning with the camera, well before sunrise, because we have a daylily that is reported to stay open during the night, H. ‘Moondazzle’, and a night shot was attempted. That was a flop, but while we were out, we remembered that the marigolds in the wheelbarrow needed deadheading. Such luck that the camera was in hand, for a dark spot on the quarter sized orange flower that was at first thought to be a slug or insect of some kind turned out to be an itsy bitsy
toad tree frog? (thanks Lisa). The flash from the first shot scared him and he was walking away as I fumbled with the macro setting and just barely captured his image. It could be said that he was was gone in a flash.