pots o’ purple

I had been trying to figure out how/where to plant the dahlia bulbs The Boy gave me on our third date. I don’t have garden areas prepped that get enough sun… so I figured putting them in pots would be the way to go!

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I looked at pots of a good size at a local nursery–and just about burst out laughing at the price. The one I was eyeing was a whopping $135! For ONE! Yeah it was 25% off, but still… $100+ was more than I wanted to spend on a single pot.

A few days later I made a trip into Costco and was delighted to find HUGE ceramic pots for $40 each. They’re at least twice as big as the nursery ones I was looking at, if not bigger. SCORE. I had a few issues getting two of them in my cart (they’re a little heavy)… then had to buy two bags of potting soil, too. Pots wouldn’t do me much good if I didn’t have dirt to fill them up.

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These aren’t the best photos (I’ll try to get better ones later), but you get the gist. The pots are a sagey green with a rusty glaze on tip that gives them a bit of a weathered look.

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First I put a bunch of larger-ish rocks to help with drainage–and to reduce the amount of soil needed! Then filled them up with soil! (I used about 1 3/4 55qt bags between the two.)

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The finished product wasn’t two thrilling. Pots full of dirt. The dahlias won’t come up until later this summer… so I decided I needed some other plants to fill them up in the meantime!

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My intent was to plant perennials around the edges so that the dahlias could come up the center without dislodging the others. (I try to avoid annuals in general.) And since I’m cheap–I bought larger plants in the hopes of splitting them to spread them out a bit.

This is a horrible picture–my iPhone plus bright sun does not equal photo happiness:

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Again, I hope to get better photos soon.

In the back I planted two different types of Salvia (didn’t realized I picked up two different types at the time–East Friesland Salvia and May Night Salvia… these split up OK), in the middle I planted Etain Violets (also split OK), and in the front I planted Purple Beauty Creeping Phlox (which did NOT split OK–I planted it all anyway but might end up buying more). It’s a LOT of purple. I thought about getting some white in there, but couldn’t find anything I liked.

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I am hoping the phlox will grow enough to drape down the sides of the pot… if I didn’t kill it all. Then eventually the dahlias will grow 3-4 feet tall. So excited!

Oh, and that middle tree? That’s a magnolia. I’ve never liked it, which is a good thing since it is 95% dead. I am planning on taking it out and replacing it with one of these:

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A variegated cornelian cherry dogwood tree. I love variegated leaves–can’t wait to pick one of these up and get that magnolia out of there!!

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3 responses to “pots o’ purple

  1. I saw a suggestion to use empty plastic bottles (juice, water) with their lids on instead of rocks as a spacer saver. The lids keep the stale water and bugs from developing and keep the plastic containers out of the land fills.

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