Wednesday, February 16, 2011

EnSeven Update: In Which We Try "Plant Nannies"

I love that moment in late winter when you realize that the days really ARE getting longer, and our (admittedly brief) dormant season is ending. My little south-facing balcony has been very cozy; it collects falling leaves but is protected from rain and frost alike. Being able to doze in the sun on my love seat is still a little miracle.

Think I can extend my Praying Mantis streak to 12 years on a tiny balcony? I brought this egg case (found in the Marjoram) from my old house. We'll see; I'm keeping a close eye. Would be wonderful to have at least one hang around!

I've made a couple of changes. The Asparagus Fern that so gracefully framed the fountain also liked to drop many soft little needles into the water, clogging the pump. It has been tucked safely away, and my Aeonium 'Sunburst' will take center stage. The Nandina just keeps looking beautiful, and the ivy is getting the idea.

I was glad to see these first shoots on the Japanese Maple. He suffered a bit last season from lack of feeding, and as the star of the whole design, he must be happy! 

I wrote a while back about my concern over keeping my little oasis properly watered. I was quite spoiled by an automatic drip system, and I tend to get lazy with hand watering toward the end of the season. So I'm giving a product called Plant Nannies a try; a simple arrangement of a spout that attaches to a standard plastic soda bottle and slips into a terra-cotta funnel inserted into the soil. Water dispenses slowly as the roots need it. So far, so good!

Here's how the arrangement works in the Fatsia pot. On my balcony the plastic bottles are hidden behind foliage or furniture, but they also make Plant Nannies for wine bottles, or ones with decorative globes. As long as I can keep the big boys happy, the rest should be fine.

Have enjoyed how this purple plum tree is bursting into bloom in the courtyard; since I moved in December I particularly appreciated this indication that spring is just around the corner. Thanks for visiting!