Monday, June 18, 2012

A Little Rain and Rain Barrel Talk

We awoke to light showers this morning.  Wonderful, beneficial showers which are always welcome in the garden.  We don't need these awful storms that come through with violent winds and flooding rains.  But, you have to take what nature sends your way.  So today we are happy to have a nice gentle rain falling.

I got a shot of the ficus tree that sits on the patio and hides the rain barrel from view.  It loves this location.  It gets filtered, afternoon sunlight.  Ficus are extremely resilient.  It has come back full force from being inside all winter.  I fertilize it with a Miracle-Gro Liquafeed hose attachment as seen below.  You can pick these up in any big box home improvement or discount retailer.


My "rain barrel" is actually an 18-Gallon Rubbermaid container from Lowe's.  There are many schools of thought on rain barrels.  Briefly, I tried the conventional rain barrel with the spigot at the bottom and a garden hose attached to drain the water from the barrel.  However, that seemed to be more work that I was willing to give it.  So I raised the downspout and placed this container on a cement platform supported by cinder blocks.  What I like about this is a watering can is easily submerged into the container to retrieve the water and then taken to the various pots on the deck and patio.

This year I have not had trouble with mosquitoes (knock on wood).  In the past I have used these "Mosquito Dunks" in the water to keep the mosquitoes away.

These eventually dissolve and they are not toxic to plants nor animals.  They can be used in fish ponds and animal drinking troughs.  You can also break them into smaller pieces to control mosquito larvae in smaller containers.  I have had very good luck with them.

While I was roaming around back this morning, I got a shot of the hosta garden.

They are thriving quite nicely in this shaded area and the ferns are loving it also.  This area is a pass-through to the outside basement stairs, between the deck and the bamboo garden (you can see some of the bamboo on the right).  You can also see the english ivy on the right which loves to be nestled in amongst the bamboo.


Two projects we will be working on this week will be planting Wintergem Boxwood along the cotoneaster to give that a nice finished look and adding some asparagus fern to the hanging baskets of begonias.  Make sure and come back to see how those projects turn out.
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