Tuesday, July 3, 2018

This year's vertical garden(s)...

Last year I took advantage of a mostly bare trellis (the vine has migrated to the other side, the "sunny side") and used the metal grid to hang Bromeliads and a few Tillandsia.

I liked it so much that I've done a Version 2.0 this year.

The rusty planters filled with Sarracenia are from summer 2017. They spent time here, and time on a sunnier trellis. That trellis is currently holding up a Clematis recta 'Purpurea Select' gone wild, so the Sarracenia are making do with a touch more shade than they might ideally like, so far so good.

Did you notice the HOT Bromeliad?

A kind friend gifted me a pup from her mama Vriesea.

It got pride of place in a most obvious location next to the pathway. Can't have anyone missing it!

I know those pitchers (from the Nepenthes) have caught your eye. Hang on just a moment though, I want to talk about the Tillandsia recurvata, aka ball moss.

Like this one...
And this one...and so many more tucked in here and there...

They were everywhere in Austin, TX, little balls that fell to the ground. Of course I kept picking them up. I ended up bringing quite the haul home with me. Here's what they looked like in the trees there...

Okay, that Nepenthes! Andrew gave me a nice gift certificate to Pomarius Nursery last Christmas. I'd spent a bit of it, but went shopping last week and took care of most of the rest. This fabulous Nepenthes was one of the purchases, along with the container it's in, and the one you saw previously, with the Vriesea.

Within about an hour of my hanging it up the ants had found it.

I think that's good? Well, for the plant, not so much for the ants.

I pray I can keep this beautiful guy alive.

And no, it's not your imagination. There are a few other Tillandsia worked in, here and there.

And on the other trellis are two more Bromeliads.

One in a larger container that matches the smaller two triangular ones.

And one in a kokedama ball. Thanks to Evan and his internet shopping ways I've got a couple other kokedama prospects on the way from this company.

Those of you who know me on Facebook might have recently seen a (somewhat panicked) post about the state of my oldest Schefflera taiwaniana (which grows right next to the trellis plantings we've just been looking at). It was not looking good and I was worried. Root rot and verticillium wilt were the two most mentioned culprits.
Thankfully it's looking better now. I trimmed off all the droopy foliage and everything else seems to be holding its own.

Those bare sticks to the left are the Schefflera trunks, it's been losing its old foliage every year and just keeps growing taller and taller. On the right you can see the "bulletin board" planter that went up in 2016. Last summer I planted it up with Begonia 'Curly Fireflush' and what do you know? They lived through the winter, indoors of course.

The Dichondra argentea (silver ponyfoot) looked dead when I hung this piece back up in the garage wall, but it's making a comeback too. Joining last year's plants are a couple of Callisia fragrans cuttings from Lori of The Gardener of Good and Evil and Kelly from Floradora, both noticed me admiring the plant in Austin and offered up pieces of theirs (there are other bits sprinkled throughout the garden).

Also from Kelley are these Tillandsia secunda.

How fabulous are they? I dropped a couple on top of the Adiantum venustum and that's where they've stayed. They just look so good...

Moving on...early this spring I was working hard to come up with some sort of decorative pond (aka stock tank) cover I could have fabricated, one that would keep the evil raccoons out. Last summer they were a nightmare and my temporary solution was to put chicken wire over the tank to keep them out, but it was ugly so I removed it almost every day. If I forgot to put it back on at night I could be guaranteed to wake up to pond destruction. Lily pads shredded, plants tipped over and their soil pulled out. My inspiration cover ideas were largely based on this one I saw during the 2014 San Fransisco area Garden Bloggers Fling (at this garden)...
And this piece I found online.

The problem was everything I looked at laid flat over the water and I like my water plants to have some height. So instead of covering them I constructed a fence up the back side of the tank. There's a short retaining wall back there and I think that's how the little buggers were launching into the water.

Once the vertical grid was in place I realized I'd created another surface for plants! (really, the thought had not previously crossed my mind) So in went a few Bromeliad "branches".

And a few more Tillandsia.

The orange blooming Passiflora 'Sunburst' is also working its way around the fence.

I think I'll be adding to this assortment.

And so far (knock on wood, throw salt) the racoons haven't made their way in. I'm counting on the spiky Agaves on the "not fenced" half of the tank to help keep them from scaling that side.

On the other side of the patio the metal wall pocket with the danger sign is back again this year, on the fence.

Stretching the title of this post a bit, I couldn't resist sharing the fabulous foliage of this Begonia ‘Jurassic Silver Point’, which fills the chartreuse hanging pot this year (and there's "danger" in the background).

Stretching a little more... my brother bought me this metal can when he was visiting in April, at the Portland Auto Swap Meet, can you guess why?

It was originally used to add oil to a car's motor, he thought it would make a great watering can. Instead of tipping to pour you...

... swing the spout down. I haven't cleaned it out enough to feel good about watering with it. Instead I just stuck a few things in the top.

So, that's it for vertical gardening (and then-some) here in 2018.

Isn't that Bromeliad gorgeous?

Weather Diary, July 2: Hi 71, Low 55/ Precip .02"

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. Everything looks so wonderful and clever and lush and gorgeous in your garden. Love your hanging planters. I can't figure out how people keep Bromeliads alive. Mine keep dying on me, either from not enough water during the winter, or too much now. At least one has rotted through since I brought it out of the greenhouse. I'm ambivalent about keeping it since I know the roots will throw up babies. I know they haven't flowered, that's not why they died. Maybe I thought they were more carefree than they really are. The leaves look like crap too. Is there a secret? Buy new ones every year?

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    1. Hmmm...I'm not sure what to say. I've had incredible luck with Bromeliads. Many are several years old now. I give them less water in the winter, only making sure they've got a little water in their cup. I did lose one last winter, I think because it got shaded out and very little water. Things were kind of a mess in the basement because of our bathroom install project. Plants suffered.

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  2. The Hanging Gardens of Loree Bohl. Babylon, eat your heart out!

    Hey, I'm a victim, here. Those plants MADE me buy them! Your vertical gardens look great and the Nepenthes like a bit of shade outside, from what I've read, so they should be happy there. That Vriesea from Mary is so fabulous, as is the begonia in the bright green hanging pot.

    I hope your anti-raccoon measures prove effective against the devious little beasts, and your Schefflera continues in good health.

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    1. I hope the Nepenthes is getting enough shade. There are a couple of intense hours in the morning... (and thank you!)

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  3. Your creativity never cease to amaze! Funny enough as soon as I got to the bit you put up the wire 'fence' I immediately thought that it's another space for vertical gardening and you did exactly that.

    It's cool that those Nepenthes were sold in those cool pots already. They almost always come with cheap looking plastic ones and it's not always easy to transplant them

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    1. See you're way ahead of me, thinking of the vertical gardening space! Actually the Nepenthes was in one of those cheap plastic ones, I couldn't get it out of there and into the new one fast enough.

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  4. Looking fabulous, Loree! Yes! to the new bromeliad and I found the Tillandsia secunda in the Adiantum very appealing. Have a great 4th!

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    1. Thanks Eliza, hope you do too!

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  5. Brilliant. I do like your idea of hanging plants on the side of the arch that doesn't get enough sun. I could sure do that. I hope the racoons get the message that they aren't invited to this party.

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    1. I keep reminding myself the raccoons didn't show up last year until later in the summer...so while I think I've created a barrier, only time will tell.

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  6. Fabulous! On my initial quick skim of the photos (before reading) I thought "why is Loree growing red peppers?" :)

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  7. So imaginative and creative, what great post. I love all those foliage photo, they simply make my happy. Very unexpected to see Tillandsia ball moss outdoor in a natural setting. At first glance (and second) they appear as bird nests. I'm slightly envious of, and inspired by, your Adiantum venustum, I've only just begun growing it; they are so tiny and unimpressive. I hear patience is a virtue.
    BTW, raccoons supposedly have extremely sensitive feet; I wonder if a sticky strip on the ground around the pond would keep them away.

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    1. Oh my yes, you just wait. Those Adiantum venustum are stunted from being in a container. The ones in the ground have become massive...yours will too, eventually. Sensitive feet? I thought they were immune to pain?

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  8. Everything is gorgeous!!! The bromeliad, of course, but everything else too!!!

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  9. AnonymousJuly 03, 2018

    I remember lusting after that pond grate after the S.F. fling. All of our raccoon solutions have been far less decorative. It seems like there is enough growth around the pond now that the critters find it too much work for a few little goldfish. Now I'm lusting after those triangular planters.
    rickii

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    1. I bought the last two small triangles at Pomarius, but Garden Fever has a few...

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  10. All I could think as I read this post was: "When in the heck is she going to create a book featuring her designs?" Of course, you probably have enough for several books by now so I think you need to get cracking! Absent that, I need to get you here to consult on what I can do to add spice to my bromeliad bed, and my lath house, oh and perhaps my hideous back slope...

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    1. I'm dreaming of an LA visit...this could work out well! Let me send you my fee schedule... ;)

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  11. I have the opportunity to buy Nepenthes at a very attractive price but I feel like the lack of humidity here would not make them happy. I need to create spot.That metal can from your bro is fabulous, as is your treatment !

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    1. Do it! Truth be told this is my second Nepenthes. I bought one from Portland Nursery during their houseplant sale last January. With a major construction project in the basement (think drywall dust) it didn't last long. I'm hoping the second try will be more successful.

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  12. Dammit..the girl with the cool container corner strikes again! Agreeing with Kris's comment above..hello! make a book already :) I really-really like those rusty containers hanging on your vertical wall.

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    1. Thanks Jenni, with people like you rooting for me, well, I need to get on that!

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  13. Wow! Your creative well is very deep my friend. I'm always impressed with your gorgeous creations. This post is so full of fabulousness and I agree with Kris, it's time for a book. Playing With Danger? Inviting Danger into Your Garden? Dangerous Gardening; It'll Bohl You Over? I checked out the link and am now cursing at you and Evan while seeing an order in my future.

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    1. Shop! It's what you were meant to do...

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  14. I love your creative containers! Yoi truely have a gift. We once used Nepenthes in hanging baskets as front porch plants. They were a hit. Yours looks great on your trellis.

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    1. I bet they were! And how long did they live?

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    2. We had them two years on the porch I think. Then we moved them to an old washing machine sometime after we moved. I would say they lasted a few years. It's dry here so it can be hard to keep things humid enough all summer.

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  15. Yo have so much in this post I am not going to be able to comment on everything BUT .. OMG ! what an amazing collection of plants that you have!
    I love your vertical planting .. but my favorite is the ferns and the secunda ? the pond is gorgeous with all of those exotics .. the fish are the cute factor of course .. raccoons are so ANNOYING .. you have a good method to keeping them out though .. all of these plants are so fascinating .. no chance of growing them here in the great white north so I have to enjoy them from other blogger's gardens .. thanks !

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