New Apartment; New Porch

So in November we moved. It has taken me this long to get myself together enough to show how the deck/porch/front door looks. This apartment did not come with a separate patio or deck. The only space I have for plants is at the front door. Now this isn’t an issue as it is larger then the space we had at the last apartment.

I am still using the Olla from Clayola that I reviewed previously. I love this product. It works very well with my containers. The great thing about this new apartment is there is a hose bib in the porch closet.

Here is the basic set up.

I have 2 China Doll plants. They are a tree, but frequently are sold as a house plant. These were about a foot tall in 2011. One of them at have not survived the move, and subsequent frosts we got this year. It has yet to put any leaves out. The second one is defiantly doing ok. Before I repotted them in these pretty pots they sat in pots that had no drains, so for a few weeks they sat in water.  As the sad one dries out a bit I am hoping he puts out leaves.


Base of first china doll tree


2 Ollas in the bottom of one China Doll tree


Second china doll tree, Olla’s slightly covered


Leafs of the second china doll

My sequoia tree is really liking its new pot and new location. This is a pot that has no drain. It is a “self watering” pot. Which just means it has a space on the bottom for water to sit, and not be in the roots. Because I do not water this tree with anything other then the Ollas it seemed like a good option. I put 2 Ollas in the pot with him to make sure he gets the water he needs. And as you can see by the new growth here at the bottom, he seems very happy. I have to trim this all, I was going to look and see if any of them could be rooted.


base of the sequoia tree with 2 olla and a small put with one olla and catnip.

I call the 2 catnip plants I have, Cat Traps. I have a doorbell with a camera, and I am waiting to see if the local cats come examine the catnip. They may destroy it, but it was cheap and may be entertaining. Catnip is also a Mosquito repellant.


Close up of the catnip pot, with olla hiding under the birds


Monstera deliciosa pot. one olla and some begonias

The Sago Palm was a gift a few years ago. It has done well in a small pot, but I think it will do better in this larger one. Again this is one of the “self watering” pots. because this is drought tolerant I thought it would do well in this kind of pot. I will have to water it now and then.


Sago Palm next to the door. no olla

I have a total of 3 of the “self watering” pots. My last one is holding a jade and another succulent that flowers. I think it is a hen and chicken type succulent. I am not sure. I have had a problem with over watering jades in the past, but didn’t have any other pots with drains. I did put the jade in a cactus soil, with a bit of regular potting mix on the bottom because of the depth of the pot.


right side of patio as you approach


right side of patio, covered.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my current container garden. I will hopefully be adding another vine to the left side of the patio. If the one china doll plant does not make it I may add another tree, or a patio rose tree.


Micro Hybrid Hydroponic Apartment Gorilla Gardening

The name that has been coined by my boyfriend for this set up is “Micro Hybrid Hydroponic Apartment Gorilla Gardening”.

We have taken a fish tank and a pump and attached drip heads to the piping for containers. Any of the “run off” from 2 of the pots goes right back into the tank, and when I fill my fountain the water above a certain point will go in as well.

This is basically Phase one.

This is the before:


Here is the right now:


The pots are on some black wire shelving to get them up high enough for the fish tank.


You can just see the tank. The water is clear so it basically disappears. Of course as I use this the water is not likely to stay clear. At some point I will put fish in the tank as well. The fish poop will be good for the plants.


The small black spot is actually a drain. It is small because we wanted to do something that could be easily plugged while we tested the concept.


These are sprinkler heads. There is not really enough pressure for them to so the spray they can do. The pump we are using is not very powerful.

The deck and the attached closet needed some cleaning and an overall overhaul. I have things that should be thrown away, and things I am not using that I should give away.

At this point in the design of this system we have spent $50. That includes some items that have not been delivered to be used for soil sensors, and some pumps that we are going to make solar-powered.

Stay tune. More as we go.

If you have any questions about the plants on the deck, or anything about this project please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for dropping by.


Summer Gardening in a Drought

California is still in a drought. This spring has brought some much-needed rain, but still not even a “normal” amount.

This changes the way I will be approaching my deck garden. All of my plants are in containers which traditionally need more water than if you plant them in the ground. With that in mind I have changed some of the planters to more hardy and less water needy plants.

Mixed pot in flower.

Mixed pot in flower.

This I only one of the pots that have a mix of succulent and cactus that seem to need minimal water. At least they do not need to be watered every day.

Another way I have addressed the water need is to use bath water. I have a roommate that love to soak in the tub. There was a level of guilt happening because of the drought. So now, as long as no soap is used, I take buckets of water from the tub when the roommate is done, and use it to water the plants.

Monstera deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa

So far none of the plants seem to be showing signs of being upset with this watering schema. I would like to set up a drip line for my large plants. This would allow me to put a bucket of water out, and then they would get water for a longer then the moment I water them. I am still looking into this.

I have used drip line before. It works great for me, but I have to create a new water reservoir. The last one I was using was a solar shower water bag, and this is just difficult to fill, and it needs to be hung up. I am considering converting a 5 gallon bucket int o a reservoir, this would mean I could set it on a stool or raised item, instead of having to hang something.

April growth of the Scarlet Trumpet Vine.

April growth of the Scarlet Trumpet Vine.

That is the current state of the deck. I have my new camera, so I will be continuing to take pictures of the deck and other things.

I have started a photography site. This will be where I post most of my photos. Especially the ones that have nothing to do with my gardening. You are all welcome to join me there as well.

Rugosa Rose Photography

Thanks for dropping by.


January 1st, 2016

My hope as the new year starts, I can post more here on my blog. I have been easily distracted with many other things in my life, and writing here has taken a back seat.

I have been many fun and beautiful places in the last year, and have neglected to share any of it with this blog.

This year I am hoping to purchase a camera to help me take better pictures. I am also looking to improve the way I take videos of the hummingbirds. I have started to do this again, and I am finding the quality is not the best.

Male Hummingbird 12/31/2015

So Happy New Year everyone. And may the sun shine brightly, the rain fall gently, and the gardens grow magnificently.


End of May

Here is some pictures of the deck today. My sweet peas have started to flower. I have gotten a pretty blue and a nice deep red so far. My morning glories are climbing very well. They have put out a flower here and there. I have been dead heading the flowers each evening to try and get the vines to put out more.


One of these window boxes have carnation seeds in them. It is the one closest to me as I am taking this picture. I am not sure how tall they will get before they bloom. I have one more window box that I could plant in. I am thinking of buying some carnations for it.

The Geraniums are doing very well. I have a red and a pink. The pink is all from cuttings I took from a plant someone here at the apartment building threw out. The ‘mother’ plant is looking a lot better since I cut it back. I have a bunch of cuttings just sitting in water, that I think I will ninja plant around the apartment property.


My baby cedar is doing very well. This will be its 3rd year with me. It has gotten nice and tall. I have been getting nice new growth on the ends of the branches.


The fountain is looking a bit cluttered. But all those plants are wild flower seeds that I threw in the base of most of my pots. Not all of them are doing well. But some have just exploded.

20150528_131707   20150528_13161020150528_131731

I am going to try and learn how to make pottery this coming month. not sure exactly when. BUT the plan is to make a hummingbird bath. I am still working on how I would like it to work/look. But the goal is a shallow dish for the hummingbird to take a bath in, and possibly water falling down into it.

Well that is all I have this week.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.