Pulling weeds, making space, moving plants

I'm getting tired of the jungle of potted plants on my driveway. Last weekend I finally got about 20 percent of them moved into better positions in the garden. Okay, maybe 25%. It's a start, and it gave me a nice fresh garden "room" to look at.


This is the area I'm talking about. Last year it was mostly large potted plants and although this looks pretty nice from this vantage point on the deck stairs, there are a lot of problems here. Easily fixed though, so let's get to work!


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First, there's this central plant which is a weed of some sort:


When it started growing it "looked like something" and had nice foliage so I left it. Now it's really large and needs to go.

Another unknown weed and a cypress vine.

There are dozens of cypress vine seedlings coming up here, and they will be a problem in a couple more days, so they have to go:


There's a large Agastache foeniculum which looks great and is probably the largest, healthiest one of these in my yard:


It's going to stay. Most everything else goes.

After some pulling, this is what it looks like. (The plants in the foreground are in pots and will be moved):



I was debating about keeping the Rudbeckia, but finally decided to yank it out because it's in a bad spot.

To the left of this area (in the photo above) is a small triangular raised bed with a pergola over it. I let vines climb up the three pergola "legs", and this year have been using this bed as a "nursery" where I keep my smallest potted plants.


Instead of putting cypress vines up two of the legs as I did last year, I decided to go with new ideas, and train an indeterminate tomato ('Red Currant') up one of the legs:


It's not doing great here, as it got knocked down in a storm or possibly by a curious raccoon. I didn't notice it right away, and the stems all started growing in a new direction. Once the plant was picked back up the stems were now pointing down, so they had to turn again to grow upright. I'm thinking about letting a cypress vine coexist with the tomato in case the tomato starts looking scraggly, but I think that will be a mistake in a month when the cypress vine goes crazy. So I won't do that.

The other two legs have Malabar Spinach vines (Basella alba), which is a new plant for me this year. I intended to have only one of these growing here, but the second one has rooted through the pot and is now firmly established here. This is what it looks like entangled in some of the other potted plants: small elephant ear bulbs and Agastache mainly:


After untangling and removing the other plants, you can see this one will never come out of the pot now:

There's no way a stem of this size grew in this little pot. The roots
have escaped the pot and are growing deep in the soil now.

So I trained its vines up the third leg:


It will look better once the leaves reorient to the direction of the sun.

I'm considering adding a hyacinth bean vine to this leg too, which was my original plan over here. If I do it's going to be a tangled jungle of vines, but it will be beautiful so is probably worth doing. Plus I don't know what else to do with the potted hyacinth bean vines I have.

The last step was to move a bunch of the pots from my driveway: the Mexican Petunia (in the large pot), my many different varieties of Colocasia, a few bamboos and a couple of other plants. The result is that I have a nice little area and a bit more space on the driveway:




I love having so many potted plants because I can easily rearrange them to find out what looks good and what doesn't. I also hate having so many potted plants because they need to be watered so often.

I originally wanted to move a large potted banana into this area, but it just wouldn't work. It's too tall this year (after overwintering in my garage) and needs to go somewhere farther away from the house. It's doing remarkably well in its too-small pot, but I really want to get it into the ground.

Maybe I'll just put it in a larger pot and leave it on the driveway. It might be nice up on the deck too...

Anyway, I've gotten more pots off the driveway, and that makes me feel good.

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Gerhard Bock  – (July 10, 2011 at 8:14 PM)  

Alan, I wish more people had the dilemma you have: too many plants. Our neighborhoods would look so much nicer if people grew more than just grass.

I love seeing all the different plants you have, and I like the overgrown jungle look :-).

Hartwood Roses  – (July 11, 2011 at 4:36 AM)  

There's just something so convenient about plopping pots of extra plants in the driveway. It's close to the hose and the house, so they don't get neglected, and we can enjoy them every time we come or go. Soon, however, the driveway is ONLY for plants (been there, done that), and something must be done. Good luck on YOUR jungle expedition.

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