Archive | April, 2015

Hanging Basket Project

19 Apr

This year we decided to try a little project with some plain black plastic nursery pots, to add some ‘bling’ and make them look like more than they are, lol. Last year we got fuchsias already blooming, but that wasn’t in the budget for this year, so instead I’ve been plotting how to take a slightly larger 12 inch across, short regular nursery pot from the freebie like at a local nursery, and turn them into nice looking hanging baskets.
To do this, we are gonna try using spray paint to make some designs on the side. We will use blue painter’s tape and contact paper to make the designs, spray paint for the actual paint, and maybe a little detail work with finger nail polish and flat glass marbles. We’ll see about the latter… Lol
Ok, so first step is to scrub down the pots!

  

Who’s you are scrubbing, inspect the pots for cracks, especially the rims if like me you want to hang them, and scuff marks that will mess up your painted design. I had to reject a couple because of big scuffs in the design feild, and one that had a cracked rim.

Rather than paint the whole pot the base color, we decided to make a stripe around the pot. This will save a lot on paint, and will look cool. The simple way to do this is to use a wide painter’s blue tape around the edges-

  
Smooth down the edges good so paint can’t ‘leak’ under the tape.
Paint the base coat next. The way we are doing it, the base coat will be the deign part, as we are cutting the designs on a Criket cutter from the contact paper as a resist. We will then spray the background color over the top. That means the color we are using now is what we want in the design, not the background. We decided on purple, for this part.

  
I actually used two colors of pLet this dry thoroughly before you mess with it. 

Now I need to mark the baselines on the side. We are doing a repeating symmetrical pattern, so I need to mark where my four baselines are to make them even. I’m not gonna be too overly picky about this… But do want to make them roughly equal around the pot, divided into quarters.

I didn’t want to mark up the paint, so put arrows to insicate my lines on the tape-

 
One arrow on the top, one on the bottom. I can eyeball it from there.
Touch up any scrapes or scuff marks (doh!)

  

Once the first coat is thoroughly dry, the you can apply the docorative cut outs. We are using contact paper cut on a Cricut. Cutting contact paper is kinda fussy apparently, but if we can get it on nice and flat it should give us a nice image.

  

I’ll let these dry overnight, and see if I can remove the stencils in the morning.

April 29th re-visit:

Ok, so it’s been more than overnight, lol… So shoot me. It’s been busy around here, and the weather turned cold and raining. Soooo, been a while since I had both time and decent enough weather to go outside and paint.

Plus, the first one didn’t work as I expected- the purple came up with the stencil quite a bit-

  
I still like the way it looks, so I’ll still use this one, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. So, now the rest of them got a quick primer coat, in black, under the base turquoise coat. Yeah, I flipped the colors, lol. Hopefully these don’t come up the way the purple did. So, base coat done for now!

  
I’m hoping it doesn’t rain again before these have time to dry off, and I can get them inside again. Man, the smell is giving me a horrible headache, out here in the sun! Hope they don’t stink up the house too much tonight. Still need to cut the designs for the rest of the pots, so this is as far as I can go for today. 
Oh, and I used a glitter spray paint over the top for the first one, but half way through the can got stuck open! I had to quickly paint another pot, this little oops may cost us the sparkle if we can’t replace it, but it did make for a cool all over kinda hippy drippy pot I’m kinda liking! *grin*
  

This one and the other I’ve already finished got a clear coat to hopefully keep em from scratching too much or shedding all their glitter in the first wind storm. I used my trusty little hand drill to drill holes

  
Is it weird I prefer little hand tools like this to a power tool? Plastic is easy to drill anyway, took me longer to find the drill bits than drill the four holes on the first one, lol. 

At least now I can plant something! Grin

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Nursery hop- Earthworks Fuchsias

6 Apr

So Saturday the 4th of April, we went down to Covington to Earthworks Fuchsias. It’s still early, even this year, for the baskets to all be in full bloom, but there were already several varieties blooming some. We went mostly for the little 2 inch starts, so I figured getting them early was probably a good thing, both for availability and for getting things started here.

So, we mostly got a ton of starts, but also “splurged” on two gallon sized ones (for just 6 bucks each! Great deal, especially since the ‘San Carlos’ is already starting to bloom!)

So these are the varieties we got, in no particular order, and some notes where appropriate-

‘San Carlos’- a dwarf floriferous type, already fully budded out, in a decorative little 6 inch “gallon”, small classic red and purple flowers. Still mostly buds, but the hummers are checking it out!

‘Strawberry Delight’- a semi double upright, but it has the most amazingly textured foliage with a really interesting red vein on it. The plant is beautiful even if it’s not in flower yet. I just hope the flowers are as nice as the leaves, and not so double the hummers won’t use it! This one is also in a gallon sized pot, as the little starts didn’t look near as nice.

And in two inch starts we got these;

‘Alice Hoffman’- pinkish tinge to the new growth with pinkish purple veins on new leaves too… Suppose. To be one of the hardier ones we got

‘Eden Rock’

‘Drame’- pink red ballerina like flowers

‘Queen Elizabeth’- one of the stars of what we got in the mixed baskets last year, and Beth insisted we replace it, since those I have no idea if they are going to come back or not?

‘Golden Marinka’- Beth loves the gold cused foliage, and they said this was one of the more sun/heat tolerant types, so it may end up in a basket in the front courtyard.

‘Mistress Birdie’- loved the name, and appears to have small, quirky little flowers. We will see

‘Marcia’- another small one

Fuchsia denticata- species, not hardy, but love the tricolor narrow flowers, and the narrower leaves are nice too. More tropical looking than the typical hanging basket types.

‘Doc’- got this one for Herb, who is a doctor. He has to have this one, lol

‘Grumpy’- cause well, half the time I am, lol

‘Janice Ann’- three of them, for the tipsy lots this year (instead of the Cupheas)

‘Old Sommerset’- interesting variable variegation, speckled now but may end up zoned on some leaves, and pretty flowers

‘Red Warrior’- red and dark purple flowers

‘Phyllis’- beautiful puckered foliage

‘Dying Embers’- red and black purple flowers

‘Balkonigan’- beautiful flamed purple petals

‘Hermiena’- white and “deep wine red”, hopefully it lives up to the picture, lol

‘Tom West’- classic pink and white and green variegated foliage basket type, again for the courtyard possibly

‘Machu Picchu’- beautiful pale orange pink flowers, a bit longer than typical ones, probably not hardy here, lol… But pretty

‘Grandma Mac’- a local heirloom variety, apparently it was on an old homestead, and the family kept propagating and moving it as they moved it along, calling it by this name. Supposed to stay fairly short, so gonna use several for Herb over on his mound for summer color.

‘Dancing Flame’- one of the basket types, no idea if it’s hardy, lol, but incredible flamed pink and purple petals. 

Also got a heliotrope, cause I liked the one they had in the center of the basket last year so well, and 6 Nonstop Begonias, lol. Beth likes them, I think they remind her of Dad. Oh, and a sixpack of pansies, lol. 

 Now what to do with them all,  lol… Some will definitely go in baskets in the back deck and hopefully in the entryway. Still have the triphylla types inside (‘Gartenmeister’, ‘Billy Green’, ‘Mary’ and ‘Fireworks’). Hopefully I find good spots for them all…

What’s Blooming- April 6th, 2015

6 Apr

the weather has turned cool and cloudy, but as is usual this time of year, kinda blustery to stormy and with ample sun breaks. Basically, the kind of weather where if you like what you see, get out there now! If not, wait five minutes, it may change, lol.

Because of that, seems like daily there are different things popping into flower, and other things finishing up. The early spring Tete te and Dutch Master daffs are basically done, and the tulips are pretty much in full swing. 

Oh, and had the first confirmed sighting of a male Rufous Hummingbird last Wednesday! He was nectaring on the Ribes sanguineum ‘Pokey’s Pink’. I thought I saw a female earlier in the week, but couldn’t see for sure as she was carefully staying hidden in the bushes. But a flash of rufous might have been seen? Or I could have just been wishfully thinking it was there, lol… Hard to tell with these guys sometimes. But got a good look at the male on the Ribes, definitely rufous! Haven’t seen him since, may have just been migrating through.

Acer circinatum

Acer macrophyllum

Anemone blanda

Anemone nemerosa ‘Vestal’

Asarum caudatum

Barbarea orthocerus

Bellis perennis

Brunnera macrophylla ‘variegata’

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Looking Glass’

Caltha biflora (red and silver leafed forms)

Camelia sasanqua ‘Kumasaka’

Camelia sasanqua (striped pink)

Camelia (neighbor’s light pink)

Cardamine hirsuta

Chaenomeles x speciosa

Choisya ternata 

Chrysanthemum partheniacum

Claytonia sibirica

Clematis montana ‘Rubens’

Corydalis lutea

Corydalis scouleri

Corydalis solida 

Corydalis solida ‘Blue Heron’

Cyclamen coum ‘Silver Form’

Dianthus ‘SuperTrouper Velvet + White’ *

Dicentra formosa 

Dicentra formosa ‘Aurora’

Dicentra ‘Luxuriant’

Draba verna

Eccremocarpus scaber

Erythronium revolutum

Fragaria vesca

Fuchsia magellanica ‘molinae’

Geranium robertianum

Grevilleas victoriae

Helleborus orientalis

Hyacinthus hispanicus

Hyacinthus orientalis

Iris japonica ‘Ledger’s Variety’

Lamiastrum galeobdonicum

Lamium purpureum

Laurus nobilis angustifolia

Linaria d ‘Enchantment Mix’

Lunaria annua alba

Magnolia (dwarf pink)

Mahonia aquifolium

Mahonia aquifolium ‘compacta’

Mahonia nervosa

Malus domestica

Mimulus naiandinus ‘Spunky Monkey’

Muscari armeniacum

Myosotis silvestris

Oxalis oregana

Polygala cham. ‘Kaminski’

Polygonum biflorum

Primula acaulis 

Ribes lobbii (basically all done, just one lone flower left…)

Ribes sanguineum

Ribes sanguineum ‘Appleblossom’

Ribes sanguineum “Ace of Mercer”

Ribes sanguineum ‘Pokey’s Pink’

Ribes sanguineum ‘Pulsborough Scarlet’

Ribes sanguineum ‘Strybing Pink’

Ribes sanguineum ‘variegata’

Rosa hybrida (dwarf florist types) *

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rubus spectabilis

Rubus ursinus

Sambucus racemosa

Symphytum ‘Bressingham Blue’

Taraxacum officinale

Tellima grandiflora

Trillium ovatum

Tulipa hybrida

Vaccinium a. ‘Brunswick’

Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Sunshine Blue’

Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum ‘Native Star’ *

Viola cornuta *

Viola cuccularia 

Viola labradorica