This year, I was enchanted by the lovely deep pink colour of Ruby Ann strawberries. I am growing them in a barrel planter, along with some climbing Morning Glories…still waiting for the blue flowers to develop and open. Should be even more stunning, plus a bonus crop of some strawberries (no bumper crop yet).
Scarlet Runner Beans on Arbours, Bean Tipi and Bamboo Sticks
Scarlet Runner Beans grow so well in our climate, it’s a joy every year. I like that kids can grow the large seeds easily, and the flowers and beans provide food. Hummingbirds also like the flowers for the nectar, but I have not seen one in my yard for a few years now
I love growing corn as a privacy wall and for the gorgeous effect, and of course the harvest. For proper pollination and cob development, you need a good number (I read somewhere at least a block of 10 plants, but I’ve gotten away with fewer). You need a very large planter or maybe a couple slightly smaller ones and fill them with potting mix that has lots of compost and some veggie fertilizer added. Corn is a nutrient and water hog. I also try to add a nitrogen fixer, such as beans or peas, and some kind of plant to shade the roots. This is called the Three Sisters – corn, beans and squash. However, in the planters this may not always work, so I experiment and often add some flowers I enjoy. Corn needs about 8 hours of sun, though on my deck it gets a little less and that’s fine.
Here is one project that looks great at the beginning but does not always work that well. Volunteers helping with a school garden club I coordinate built this pallet garden, and the children painted it. The flowers manage to survive in a partly shady area, but most of the time the small pockets of soil dry out very quickly. For the effort to build and maintain one of these gardens, I prefer the easier projects above. Don’t let me stop you in your creativity though, you may just need a clever way to do drip watering….
Sweet Peas on a Trellis
I can’t resist growing Sweet Peas in a barrel planter every year on my deck. The flowers are so deliciously fragrant. I covered a metal trellis with bird netting and every year I “recycle” my potting mix and add some compost, then plant some pea seedlings that I have started or purchased.