Lake Life Review


To be continued…

Usually that is at the end of an article. But back in November, I didn't know my winter planter would have a "to be continued" to it! So…I am adding it to the beginning of this review…

Do you recall in my article about my winter planter, Barb at Ferguson’s said that her planters usually last until Easter. Mine sure did! With cold weather this early spring, it wasn’t hard. It all just stayed frozen. But the wind storm that we had mid-April did the pot in. I had my planter on my front porch. My girls had put a pile of rocks inside my milk can so it would stay put. It is HEAVY. That night the wind howled and blew so hard, it knocked it right over! All the pieces in my planter were scattered everywhere. I thought…well it, made it past Easter, it is probably time to do something different anyway.

You may have already figured this out from previous reviews, but I don’t have much of a green thumb. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to have one! I do! I just am so forgetful about watering, or I am ON IT…and water to much. I keep trying. Tara and Joy, on the other hand have not only green thumbs but each of their fingers too! I mean, who can keep their poinsettia alive from one year to the next? I thought those were annuals? Meaning, I buy them to make my place festive for the holidays and then they get thrown in early January. Not Tara, she kept her little guy alive and it was thriving by the next Christmas. I wouldn't be surprised if she still had it, that was almost four years ago. Tara, do you?

Unlike the winter planters. We treated this one more like a DIY project. So, where did I go first? YouTube. I watched a couple of different videos and thought. I CAN DO THIS!

Joy and I then were on our way. We went to one of our favorite garden centers in the lakes area, Ferguson’s Garden Center. The spring has been so cold and the pop of color of early flowers, like tulips, haven't yet graced us with their beauty yet. Walking into the greenhouse was indescribable—all the colors and smells from the thousands of plants growing in there. It was good for the soul. I asked Renee if people are just coming in to enjoy the blooms and she said yes…And you can see the customers that are begging for the warm weather so they can get their flowers in the ground. They buy a few just in hopes it will hurry spring along. In the next couple weeks, I am sure people will be walking out of there with flats of these beauties.

Both Joy and I were grinning from ear to ear, walking through the aisles. Joy committed right away with a unique, but beautiful flower. Growing up as a farm girl, I feel it was a mix of a fox tail and alfalfa. I am sure any horticulturists that's reading this review is wincing.

Back to picking out flowers and plants for our pots. Joy said," you need a thriller, filler, and a spiller.” She just kept reminding me that as I was looking. I was trying to find my thriller first. I probably had four different thrillers in my hands, then I would run into something else that I loved and would have to exchange. As always in the past reviews, I just have a hard time in committing! Plus, if you remember, I have a very tiny pot that has to fit in my milk can. I was thinking I just needed three plants; one each of the thriller, filler and spiller.

While I keep grabbing a flower, then putting it back for another, Joy had about five that she has chosen already. I was also looking for something that could give a little height to my pot. Joy got some spiky grass. I loved that!

I kept going back to some of the pots that Ferguson’s has already put together. I was tempted to just buy one of those and call it my own. They were all so beautiful and different. It was interesting how I was attracted to all of the orange-y and brown plants. But they were displayed in a bright orange pot that was just gorgeous!

We walked around in the next greenhouse that had more “tropical” plants/flowers. Tropical was Joy’s word…not sure if it is a technical word, probably is, but those two rows of plants did remind me of someplace tropical.

On the end cap of one of the rows, they had another planter, pretty large planter, with mostly greenery and then a pop of a little flower. The one plant…this is how I described it to Bonnie from Ferguson’s, "it has long leaves…skinny leaves, but almost leather-like, meaning they are little thicker and they look like a leopard." Bonnie said, “oh yes, those are in the store, it is more of a house plant.” I asked her if she thought it would be okay for my planter and she comfirmed that it would be fine if in a shadier spot. She then mentioned after the season I could transplant it and put it in the house. Side note…I told that to Tara and she laughed and she said, “like that is going to happen” and I said, "what?" She said "do you actually think you can make it to the end of the season and get it in your house." Hmm. I was a little offended, until I reminded myself, she is 100% right. HA! I guess now I have a challenge and that challenge is accepted Miss Tara!

Bonnie was busy watering and putting out more beautiful flowers, so she sent me towards the front of the store and told me to ask Delaney, if you can’t find it, she will know. OKAY! So of course…I can’t find it, so I ask Delaney with the same description that I gave Bonnie, and she looked puzzled. I changed my description instead of leopard prints; it is more like a tiger stripe. She tried really hard to understand me. But she called back on her walkie talkie. Saying that the 10-12 is looking for the 10-20 of a plant and the description was not recognized. Okay, she didn’t use any of the Walkie Talkie codes. But if I worked there and they gave me one, I wouldn’t be able to help myself. Bonnie knew exactly the location and once Bonnie described it…in more of a garden center, horticulturist way, Delaney knew exactly what she was talking about.

Remembering I have a very small pot, I took the smallest tiger plant. But I loved it. I kind of wanted to call it my thriller but when I found my geranium, I moved my house plant to be my spiller!

When I got back to the greenhouse, I believe Joy had 8-10 flowers. They were all looking beautiful in the cart! She put them all together so quickly and I could just picture how her pot was going to look with them all pushed together on the cart. It was beautiful.

I just needed my filler and I would be done as well. I auditioned two. One that was just a “greenery,” but the leaves were a burnt red. And then I tried a Calibrachoa. (I took a picture of the tag, otherwise I would have no clue what it was. Don’t think for one moment that I got smarter after the first 10 paragraphs of this article.) It has little red flowers that were just so petite and cute.

There I have got it. My thriller of a geranium, my spiller of the tiger house plant (Calathea), and my little red flowers for the filler. I was happy, Joy was happy. We were off!

When I got home that evening, I went to find some gardening gloves. In my video I watched, she said dig through and get all the foliage out from your winter planter, and if anything was left over from the spring before, throw it out. Then add in a little more new dirt and stir it all together, giving the soil a little air. I didn’t find any gardening gloves, but I did find a welding glove of my husband’s. He’ll never know. Since I only found one…I was going to attempt to do everything one-handed.

Side story: When I was 8-years-old my parents built a house. The guy who took care of the landscaping only had one arm. As an 8-year-old would, I had loads of questions, like how do you tie your shoes, or how do you use a shovel. All the important things. He just said, you just learn, just like you did when you learned to tie your shoes, you didn’t know how and you figured it out I did the same, but I had one hand and you have two. That has stuck with me and it reminded me of that moment and another challenge was accepted. I would plant these with my one-handed glove.

I got my old dirt mixed in and airiated with my new dirt. Then I looked at my plants and back to my pot. My pot is so tiny. I don’t know if I can fit it all. For sure, I have too much dirt. I probably didn’t need to buy the extra dirt; I could have just used the dirt that came with my thriller, spiller and filler!

I dug some dirt out and placed my geranium in the back. It currently had the most height. Then I split my house plant in half thinking I might not be able to get it all in there. Letting it SPILL over the sides. I next added my filler to the other side and middle. DONE. I just can’t help it; I loved my house plant so much I put the other half in there as well. That was fast and I was so proud. On one of the Youtube videos, a guy had put willow branches in it for even more height. I looked at my twigs from my winter planter and thought RED! These will be perfect. I have only red flowers, so I added those as well. I love it even more!

Joy had made her planter at her house and sent me her finished picture. Her planter is probably six times as big as mine? And all of those flowers she got fit! All but one she said. It was beautiful filled with flowers and ivy greenery spilling off the side. I can’t wait to see it fill out through the summer!

Tara was sad she missed the fun. Her one-year-old, Wyen, and her hit their local floral shop and created a beautiful planter. What talented colleagues I have! All of our planters are so different but equally as beautiful!

Now, it’s your turn. Be inspired and get your hands dirty! Hmm. I seem to have one ungloved dirty hand….