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Musical Chairs of Container Gardening

June 23, 2021

The Musical Chairs of Container Gardening

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                One of the great advantages of a container garden is periodically being able to re-arrange the containers.  As I move the fifteen to seventeen containers of my little garden, I compare this enjoyable summertime activity to Musical Chairs.  Do you remember the game Musical Chairs which we used to play at birthday parties or other childhood parties?  Well, my weight-lifting exercise of the summer is lifting and moving the containers of my garden.

Each warm season, I like to add something new to my little garden.  This year, the “something new” is a container of zinnias which I started from seed–right before the cold snap of May.  Although the sprouting took a bit longer than expected, the zinnias have quickly grown and thickened to be strong plants.  How eager I am for the blooms to remind me of my maternal grandmother’s zinnia garden–located to the side of her large building which once housed the grocery store, Italian bakery, dance hall, and residence.  Yes, her garden to the east and the west of the water pump contained only an abundance of two varieties of zinnias in the colors of yellow-gold, autumnal orange and magenta.  The border of her zinnia garden was made with Clinton (Indiana) bricks placed upright at a diagonal.  Somewhere in my mind’s photo album, I keep a picture of my grandmother, with her long hair braided into a bun at the nape of her neck, wearing her typical black-and-white dress to mid-calf, bending over to tend to her zinnias in my hometown of Blanford, Indiana.  Thus, I thought the time had come for my planting zinnias.  Only one problem!  The lovely leaves make me itch!  Oh, well, I hope the zinnias will thrive in my “Musical-Chairs Garden.”

                Currently, near my front stoop is only one container of coral pink geraniums.  The front of my townhouse faces west and has been getting full, very hot sun many days of recent weeks.  In my garden behind my townhouse, joining the zinnias are more coral geraniums, white geraniums, and pink geraniums.  In the herb department, I have a Genovese basil and another basil plant, along with two rosemary plants, a sage plant, and a spearmint plant.  On Mother’s Day weekend, I began my garden with one container of lavender which is a lush and lovely plant.  How I do enjoy the fragrances of my garden–especially after watering or after a rare rain this season!  Although my pink tulips, purple hyacinths, and mini daffodils are no longer playing “Musical Chairs” in my garden, my little peacock container still sprightly sits atop the ledge of my deck on the east side to hold onto the silk flowers that survived the winter snows. 

                On the café table, between a coral geranium and a rosemary plant is my “Garden-ian Angel.”  My new sculpture addition to my garden this year is a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi.  As is typical, the Saint Francis statue has a fawn near the saint’s left knee, a bird on his left shoulder, and a bird in his right hand; the left hand of Saint Francis is open upward.  Recently, Saint Francis is between a white geranium and a basil plant.  He rests upon one of the end tables beside my bench.  The first day I placed the statue, my Leader Dog Willow placed her head upon the table at the foot of the statue.  Almost each day, Willow still walks over to the statue of Saint Francis–just as if she knows that Saint Francis is the patron saint of animals, the environment, and Italy.

                Thanks to Facetime, I have given garden tours to my sister in Colorado and to my aunt in Minnesota.  I do relish a great deal of conversational mileage from such a little garden and look forward to more Face time garden tours of my “Musical-Chairs Garden.” 

                Willow and I thoroughly enjoy our little garden, and we hope that you also have a garden to tend and enjoy this summer.

Best wishes for a happy gardening summer!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

June 23, 2021, Wednesday


From → Uncategorized

  1. mfanyo permalink

    You are amazing, Alice, with your green thumb! Your geraniums are always the most full and colorful that I see any where during the entire summer. With your tender, loving, care, your herbs grow from spindly little starts to luscious and fragrant plants. What a joy for you and Willow! My heart is touched by Willow’s daily visit to the statue of St. Francis! I must take a photo of your precious Leader Dog with St. Francis when we are on one of your garden tours.

    Wishing you and Willow continued joy in your lovely garden!
    Love, Mary

    • Good afternoon, Mary–Thanks for your very nice comments!  Yes, Willow will be ready for her photo in the garden with Saint Francis.

      Enjoy your rose garden also!

      Alice and Willow

  2. Katherine Binole permalink

    Hi Alice, Enjoyed reading your blog this morning about your container gardens. I so enjoyed being able to see all your beautiful flowers and herbs on our FaceTime tour. You definitely have a green thumb! As you know, I had landscaping done on June 2nd which included lots of grass seed . Unfortunately, our area has not had rain since the last week in May! So I have been watering, watering. My labor is beginning to pay off, as new grass is coming in! My many flower and herb containers are doing well. In fact, my Italian containers are overflowing. I just made walnut basil pesto and can’t wait to put it on my spaghetti for dinner.
    Like you, I enjoy my flowers and herbs. When I sit on my deck, I call it my spiritual place. Blue sky, many green trees, flowers and herbs blooming in containers and my perennial garden, birds chirping. all which bring me comfort, peace and joy.
    I hope you and Willow enjoy sitting out and enjoying your flowers and summer.
    Love, Aunt Kathy

    • Hi, Aunt Kathy–Many thanks for your gardening comment!  Your garden-to-table mention sounds delicious!  I wish we could send you some of the rainy and mildly stormy weather which we had off and on for a good portion of yesterday.  Mother Nature certainly gave my garden a boost.  Enjoying a garden is such a wonderful part of a Midwest summer!

      Take good care!  Talk with you soon–Alice and Willow

  3. Carole permalink

    Alice and Katherine, I’m glad to hear your gardens are flourishing, as I’m sure Mary’s is also. Mother Nature has definitely taken care of NE Florida this past week, so we also have a beautiful and bountiful landscape for the animals and neighbors. Gardening is a respite for me, so I join you in happy and peaceful thoughts.


    • Good evening, Carole–Thanks for joining the “garden talk” with your nice comment and your “like” on this post!

      Take care, and talk with you soon–Alice and Willow

  4. Reblogged this on My Corner and commented:
    What does the game of musical chairs have to do with container gardening? Well, read this delightful post from fellow blogger Alice Massa and find out. You might be inspired to start your own container garden.

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