14 July 2008

Stonecrop and Houseleek

I trundled out to Homestead yesterday, partly to scout a little in advance of the crape myrtle festival and partly to just get the heck out of the house for a bit.

I trundled home with a small collection of stonecrops and a houseleek to plant in the big cast concrete pot which sits in the centre of the front yard, atop the drystone tower I built around the well cap.

That sounds horrifically complicated. It's not, really. The well cap is smack in the middle of the front yard. I stacked a few tiers of stone blocks around it (no mortar, hence dry) and topped it off with a flat paver on which sits the aforementioned pot. Around this rather half-assed bit of garden architecture is a mostly circular bed in which I grow crocuses and daffodils, a couple of tenacious heaths, and some cranesbill geraniums.

The pot itself had been part of the cycle of pansies and petunias which make up most of the summer container gardening in the greater Annapolis area. Now, I like pansies and I like petunias (especially the multiflora petunias which run happily rampant over the edges of pots and baskets). But I was getting bored of the endless cycle of yanking one thing out to plant another, and it's usually the case that whatever colours or combinations of colours I have stuck in my mind are not actually to be found in the flats of pansies or petunias available at the various garden centers. It's not that the colours don't exist, mind you, just that they're not there when I want them. It's vexing.

But, I had seen some people break out of the mold with strawberry pots full of various succulents and admired the effect. So, there I was at Homestead and there were all these little pots of stonecrops, with different coloured leaves and different leaf shapes and they're perennial and good for container gardening and they were all 50% off.

Well then.

So I can back with 5, including the houseleek. One is called 'Blue Spruce' and has small, needle-like, glaucous leaves. Another is called 'Voodoo' and has reddish purple stems and leaves. A third is Coral something and has touches of red on the leaves (which are similar to Blue Spruce but perhaps a bit larger), but is still mostly green. The fourth is I forget what now (Variegata something?) but is green without glaucousness and has a leaf shape more like 'Voodoo.'

The houseleek is also glaucous, but being a houseleek is clearly not a stonecrop. So there's a nice variety of colour and texture going on, and once they've had a chance to settle in comfortably I'll take a picture to show them off.

I've also broken down and signed up for myFolia, and even gone so far as to clean up the exhibitionist links in the sidebar to have nice little buttons leading you to myFolia and my other haunts. Not much going on yet at myFolia (I entered an iris just to get the hang of it, but that's about it). If you're not a Ravelry user, that button will likely just take you to a sign-in page, since Ravelry is technically still in closed beta. At some point when it officially goes live, the button should take you straight to my profile there.

In the process I rearranged some things and seem to have lost the LibraryThing widget which displayed a random sampling of my books, but based on stats tracking the widget garnered very little in the way of attention (click-throughs) anyway.

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