- [Narrator] Can you tell these gorgeous planters are put together by a Gardener who loves color? Sheri Gramer delves into the creativity involved in choosing, and then combining these thrillers, fillers, and spillers. Troy Marden visits an enthusiastic and innovative market gardener, who produces tremendous yields on a tiny budget. For him, free is the name of the game. And Tammy Algood talks with a veterinarian about the potential danger in some very common plants, as far as our pets are concerned. Stay tuned. - [Announcer] Presenting the star and the supporting cast of this pretty planter. - Brentwood, Tennessee. We're here to see some great containers. They are filled with lush, beautiful flowers, shrubs, annuals, and perennials. I'm here with Hope Campbell. Hope. - I'm here. - They're gorgeous. - Oh, thank you. - Tell me how you do it. - Ah, I love color. As you notice, I'm in... - Yes. - Orange. And so, I'm always on the lookout for beautiful containers because not only are flowers beautiful, but I think what you put them in should be equally beautiful. - [Sheri] Correct. - [Hope] And in this pot, I use the principle of the thriller. - [Sheri] Uh-huh. - [Hope] The fillers. - [Sheri] Correct. - [Hope] And then spillers. So my thriller is my mandevilla. I'm from Mandeville, Jamaica. And then, I have some sunflower, hybrids. Pentas, these little pink ones. And portulacas, as my fillers. And then I have my Ivy draping the container. And since this container has some height to it, it allows the Ivy to cascade over the side. - [Sheri] And what's right here in front of me. - [Hope] That's ixora. Coming in, will be the lantanas. Draping the sides, it's creeping jenny. - [Sheri] I love your color combination. And right here? - [Hope] That's a mandevilla, more on the bush version, versus this one that was on the trellis. - [Sheri] All right, let's go see some more pots. - [Hope] Awesome. - So we're filming the first week of June here and you have hibiscus blooming. How does that work? - [Hope] I was fortunate in that I wintered these plants over from last year. - [Sheri] Oh, wait, let's talk about that. So you dally 'em into the garage or you slap 'em in there? - [Hope] Dally them in to my husband's... - Dismay. - Yeah, poor guy. - Yes. And so we put them all in, fill up the garage, take up a whole bay. I water them a little bit - Mm-hmm. - during the winter. - [Sheri] Let's talk about fertilization for your pots when they're outside here. And then do you fertilize them in the winter or you're... They're sleeping, so you just kinda let them go, or what do you do? - For the most part, I let them sleep. - Okay. - And then, around about February, I'll put a little bit of fertilizer. - [Sheri] Uh-huh. - [Hope] Something like Miracle-Gro. - [Sheri] Okay. - [Hope] And see how they respond. So I use Blood Meal and Bone Meal. - [Sheri] Okay. - Depending on what I see on the plant. If I need a little bit more green color, if it's newer, the newer the plant, I'll do more of the nitrogen that I get with the Blood Meal. - [Sheri] Let's talk about these two pretty pots. - [Hope] So these pots here were green. - Right. - And... - Lime green. - Right. And the blooms are pink. - Okay. - So over here, the pot is yellow and I went for a pink and white bloom. Beside it, we have a hibiscus that's in a purple pot with blue daze coming out of it. I had this plant, originally, I had it set up with red, white, and blue. - Oh, cool. - Kind of. - [Sheri] Yeah. - [Hope] And certainly the annuals just didn't do well, but I was able to winter over - Okay. - the new daze. - It's pretty. - The blue daze. - It's pretty. - It did well. - Yes. Yes. - And has done well over time. - [Sheri] These color combos, I think it might be one of my favorites in your garden here, in your container gardens. What do you have planted in here? - This is a barberry and it is called Orange Rocket. It's a new variety. New as of just a few years. And I've combined it with the coral bells and petunias. Honey petunias, coral bells. - [Sheri] Those are beautiful. - [Hope] And so this is my first year trying these. And so to give contrast, I put them in a blue pot. - So when you go to a garden center, wherever you buy your flowers or your starts or your plants, do have it in your mind what color combos you want to find? Or do you just let... Find a pot and the pot speaks to you, or find a couple plants and they speak to you? - [Hope] Usually the plant speaks to me. - [Sheri] Okay. - [Hope] And I'll start from the plant. Once I have my feature plant, then I build around that feature. - All right. - And so in this case, the colors of this plant. - The barberry. Yeah. - It's going to get... It has burgundy, orange, and it can get a little bit, if you notice in here, - Green. Yeah. Chartreuse. - It's more chartreuse green. - [Sheri] Yeah. - [Hope] And so, I think about what pot will I take it home and put it in. - [Sheri] All right. Tell me about this combination. - Okay. So this combination, I have the white with the oleander being my thriller plant. - Okay. - Okay. This is tropical. I'm accustomed to having it in my yard in the islands. And then I used as a filler. I used petunia and then I'm using this, like a watergrass that will spill over. The purple. So I'll have purple, pink, white in this basket. - [Sheri] That's pretty. - [Hope] And it's a literal basket weave pot. - Great. - I never move this particular pot. I don't try to winter it over because it's too heavy. - Yes. - So I take out the contents. - All right. Let's go find some more of your beautiful containers. All right. This is a goldfish plant. Yes? Or is this a shrimp plant? - [Hope] Shrimp plant. - [Sheri] Shrimp plant. And this is pretty large for June. Is this another one of these containers you've wintered over? - [Hope] It's the container I wintered over. You can barely see the color of the pot. This one is a golden-colored pot. And I have cascading over the sides, lantanas. These were trailing lantanas. Because it's been in the garage for a while. It's taken a little bit of time to get its color back in. - Okay. - And so I've added some nitrogen to help it. - [Sheri] Do you cut these things back when you bring them out in the spring? - [Hope] Sometimes. - Sometimes. - depending on the plant. - [Sheri] Okay. - If there are dead portions, I will clip those off. I was going to trim these, but then I started seeing blooms at the end of the tips and I thought... - You know, it's gonna be good. - It's gonna be good. So I left it. - Yeah. And so what's right here in front of you. - These are just very standard, we call them - [Both] spikes. - Yep. - And with some Persian cream here and lantanas. I guess you heard me say "lantana" a couple times. - Yeah. - Seem to be one of my faves right? - Yeah well, it's a great one for... In the south. - It does a fantastic job. - So sun-and-drought tolerant. Yeah. I bet you, that will be gorgeous, though, because when that blossoms out the yellow with the purple it's gonna be - Right. - really, really showy. - So I tend to love purple, yellow, and chartreuse green. So lime green, purple. And when I do pinks, I do pinks with purple and white. And I also do this with probably adding silver in there - Mm-hmm. - to pick up on the shadowing of that purple leaf. - Mm-hmm. - I'll probably put, like a dusty miller in. - Gotcha. I see one more pot or one more container we've gotta go check out before we leave. - All right, let's go. - [Sheri] I have to say, I think this might be one of my favorite containers. The pot, especially. But you said, it lost its pedestal. So, you know, that's the thing. Gardener's gotta remember that just 'cause pedestal breaks, you can use it still. It's gorgeous. - There you go. I absolutely love this pot. It's a little heavy. So, when I put it here, it stays here. - Okay. - So I don't try to winter this one over. Therefore, I invest, just small annuals. - And this is more shady here obviously. - Much more shade. So I have in this one, as my thriller, I have my Hawaiian ti. Some begonias. - How large... - [Sheri] I'm sorry to interrupt you, but how large is this gonna get? - [Hope] It will probably get another six inches. - [Sheri] And I'm not familiar with this. Will this flower at all? Like... - No, it doesn't. - Okay. - It's there just for - [Both] the foliage. - Okay. - Just for its foliage. And to kind of fill in a little bit, I added some spikes. - Mm-hmm. - and then lower down to add color, since the ti doesn't bloom, I've added some begonias. This time using greens and orange. Even using, this time, a trailing begonia to the front. So that will spill over the basket on the front end, along with the Ivy here. - [Sheri] And the coleus picks up that lime green of that begonia. - Yes. I repeat the color. - Mm-hmm. - [Hope] Pick one color from a plant and repeat it in others. - [Sheri] Well, you know what, your containers are gorgeous. - [Hope] Thank you. - [Sheri] Thank you for sharing today. - [Hope] You're so welcome. Thanks for coming. - [Tammy] Flowers and fur babies are things that we Gardeners have in common. But often the two of those don't mix. Sometimes the best bloomers are toxic to pets. So here to walk us through the hazards of those potential hazards with pet plants is Dr. Julie Trizl from Nashville Veterinary Specialists. Hello, Julie. - Hi Tammy, thanks for having me on. - Okay. So Julie, you're the one that gets to mend the pets after they mingle with potentially poisonous plants. So talk to us about the hazard with that. - A lot of our ornamental plants actually will have some level of toxicity to our pets. It ranges from mild, mild toxicities to some more serious life-threatening toxicities. It's important to be aware of what potential toxins are out there so we can help to help our pets to avoid ingesting those. - So let's talk about some indoor plants that really have a potential for hazard. - So, there are a couple out there. Some of the more common ones that I've seen recently are, like the snake plant, jade plant, certainly can cause some toxicity. Those tend to just cause primarily GI upset. So, if your cat or dog were to chew on some of the leaves, that can cause some irritation to their gums, can cause some nausea, vomiting. It's rare for them to actually have more serious effects from that. They would have to ingest a large amount of the plant. Even small amounts came be a little bit irritating to them. Other ones that I worry about, sago palm is a big one. - Why? - That actually is a pretty hazardous toxin. So that particular plant has a toxin called cycasin in it. It's highest in the actual seeds and kind of the fruiting bodies of it. But that plant has the potential to cause serious liver failure in dogs. In some studies, it's up to 50% fatality for pets that ingest even small amounts of it. - Oh, wow. - Yeah, so... - Of any part of the plant? - Any part of the plant is toxic, but the seeds are the most toxic. - And then, what about amaryllis bulbs? Because that's such a common gift to take people. - Sure. - What about... And we tend to just put them on our table. - Yeah. Yeah. - So, what about those? - [Julie] Those can cause GI upset, for the most part. When we're looking at that particular plant, the bulb themselves is the more toxic part of it. The leaves, flowers, can have some toxicity associated with it, but the bulbs is where it's primarily concentrated. So certainly making sure that, you know, our cats are not chewing on those, dogs are not kind of pulling up the bulbs, would be something to be looking out for. - So that's something that the Gardener can take care of, as far as how it's planted to make sure to kind of hide that bulb from the pets. - Yeah. Absolutely. - But what about outdoor plants? Because we spend a lot of time outdoors in our gardens and are there plants outside that are equally toxic? - Certainly. I mean, if you look at just about any plant that's outside, there's a potential for toxicity. The good news is that most of the time, our pets aren't interested in eating them. - Right. - So, it doesn't end up being a major issue. Big ones that I think about, certainly hydrangeas. Particularly the flowers, the leaves of hydrangeas can be toxic. Most of the time, that's gonna cause stomach upset. That is something to be looking out for. Another big one would be lilies, particularly daylilies, are a big one that I see lots of people planting. Lilies absolutely can cause a life-threatening toxicity in cats. We don't actually know what the toxic principle is in lilies, but all parts of the lily are toxic to cats. And it can be as simple as just having a little bit of pollen on their fur and then licking it off their fur, that can cause toxicity. - Oh, really? So the whole lily family is a problem. - So, it's gonna be your true lilies and daylilies. So, calla lilies are okay. Peace lilies are okay. But true lilies and daylilies will cause renal failure in cats. - Wow. So lily of the valley that is very popular... - So, lily of the valley is a little bit different because it doesn't cause renal toxicity, but it can actually cause cardiac toxicity. So it can cause severe cardiac arrhythmias that can be life-threatening as well. And so, any type of lily ingestion, I think warrants immediate attention by a veterinarian. - [Tammy] And what about lenten rose? That's another one that's very common - Yeah. - in landscapes. - [Tammy] Is that another possible problem? - [Julie] It is. It's one of those that can cause more GI upset. So nausea, vomiting, diarrhea... Ingested in large quantities, it can cause some more life-threatening toxicities, but the good news is that one doesn't taste very good. - Oh, good. - So, most of the time, once they start eating it, they realize that that was a poor mistake and decide to stop. It just causes kind of more stomach upset in that instant. - So Julie, what can we do as Gardeners to kind of protect our plants? Because obviously, we don't want to completely change our landscape. - So, I think that fencing around, particularly hazardous plants would be useful, just to keep our pets away from them as much as possibly, physically. For example, like hydrangeas with the blooms being very poisonous if they fall off. Making sure that you remove that extra material, so that it's not out on the ground readily available for them. I personally, if I was a dog owner, I would not keep sago palm around. It's that toxic. And if I'm a cat owner, probably a similar thing. I would not keep lilies around. - [Tammy] Got it. One of the things we can do, then, probably is to... You recommend the ASPCA website. - Yeah. So the ASPCA has a really good website with a lot of information on toxic plants. They also have a pet poison hotline. So if you're concerned that your pet got into a toxic plant, they can talk to you about what to expect and when to seek veterinary care as well. - Got it. So, and that website is aspca.org. So that's definitely a good place to start. And not only do they have a list of toxic plants, but they also list the ones that are not toxic at all, which I think is also helpful. - Yes. It's always good to know which ones are safe to put out there. - Exactly. If you're not around your pet and they've come in from outside, are there symptoms that they may start showing that are indicators that perhaps they nibbled on a plant that they shouldn't have? What do we need to look for as pet owners? - Some of the big things that you may see is hyper salivation, drooling. The other thing is, like, pawing at their mouth. Many of these plants can actually be painful to their mouth, so they'll paw at it because of the pain. Or if they have any vomiting, diarrhea, those certainly would be symptoms that I'd be looking out for as well. - How quickly can that start exhibiting itself after the pet has maybe eaten a piece of the plant? - Yeah. It can be pretty quickly usually within 10 to 15 minutes. - Oh, really? - Yeah. I will say when it comes to things like lilies and sago palm, often that time before they start showing symptoms is delayed. So it can be up to 12 to 24 hours. And really, if you know that your pet has ingested one of those, it's better to seek veterinary care very, very quickly as opposed to waiting for signs or symptoms to develop. - [Tammy] Got it. What about people that maybe bring in cut flowers? Because I cut a lot of flowers or maybe even are given cut flowers from a different source. Is there a potential for hazard there? - Yeah. The biggest hazard there is going to be lilies, particularly in cats. So, if you have a cat-loving friend, you know, if you're gonna have them sent a bouquet of flowers, make sure that the florist knows not to include lilies. If you get sent a bouquet of flowers that have lilies in them, honestly, I would just take the lilies out. - Right. - Because so many cats are curious and we all know that they like to chew on things and rub up on things. And because those can be so hazardous, it's why, just not to keep those in your house. Plants within the bouquet, most of the time, those are only gonna cause mild irritations. And so, I think if you keep those up and, you know, not out on the coffee table, where they have that easy access, but keeping them up on the countertop, or up on a bookshelf where they can't readily get to them, probably be safe enough. - Right. I like the idea of just pulling the lilies out to begin with. Let's just don't even risk it, right? - Right. - Julie, thank you for being our guest today. You've really helped us a lot. And, again, we just wanna make sure that our pets are safe and that our plants that we have are friendly to our pets. Thanks so much. - No problem. - I love a unique garden idea. And when Mike Stevenson emailed me and asked me to come and see his garden, he promised me that it was one of the most unique setups I've ever seen. He has a vegetable garden that you just won't believe. The uniqueness starts right here. Mike, thanks so much for having us out today. And I wanna start right here with the way that you've sort of mulched your paths. - I've... - Carpet. - I have. I'm going for basically complete sterile, sterileness of all weeds. If you start with no weeds, you end up with no weed, and... You can actually just water your garden and not just your weeds. - [Troy] So tell me what you've got going on here along the side of the house. - [Mike] I've got a myriad of various things. I've got a butternut squash here, lettuce, lettuce, that's all kale. - [Troy] Uh-huh. So kind of cool season crops in here right now. - [Mike] Yeah. Cool season. The kale actually hold out. I actually had kale from last year that made it all the way through the freeze of this year. - [Troy] You do kind of crop rotate. - Oh, yeah. - And once the cool season stuff is done, you'll be able to bring some warm season in and get double duty outta these beds. - [Mike] Yep. It'll produce all year long for me. - [Troy] Obviously they're raised beds. - Correct. - And you've got them covered with landscape fabric, - It's ero... - erosion fabric. - Erosion control fabric. - [Mike] It helps in plant designation for whenever you're starting from actual seed - Right. - You can mark it. You have just your isolated little spots to water out of. The soil doesn't erode away. The rain doesn't come butt down and actually impact the soil. - Uh-huh. - So you have better root expansion. - [Troy] You've mentioned water a couple of times. You have a pretty unique setup for your... Catching your rainwater and all of that. - Correct. - Talk to me a little bit about what you've got going on over here. - I've got a little rain barrel set up - Yeah. - going. So, this actually collects this whole side. I have it to where I can do it completely off-grid. - Uh-huh. - Like, really, like to do off grid gardening. But I mean, this is just... - [Both] Gravity-fed. - And I have enough hose to water this entire backyard here. Water cost me absolutely nothing. - Uh-huh. - 'Cause it would actually be cost-prohibitive to spend a bunch of money on water, and... - So... - Then you end up just... I mean, we're doing this thing to actually save money. - Right. - Grow produce, grow something, and just do it for as cheap as you possibly can. - Right. - And yield as much as you possibly can. - [Troy] And speaking of saving money, you actually start all of your own plants from seed. - Correct. - And you have a really unique way that you do that, that I want to go look at. - [Mike] Okay. Perfect. - [Troy] So even your treehouse is built of found and collected materials and you have a really unique grow light setup in here. - Yes. I've got a couple different types of grow lights. These are actually agro floor bulbs. And then I've got some LED bulbs as well. But as you can see on the southeast and west sides, I've got a blown out, double-stacked windows. So I get to start everything in here mid February. Around, like, February 14th, 15th, I'll start everything. Then I'll kind of go in here for about a month, maybe five weeks. And then I can transition to the outdoor greenhouse. - To the other greenhouse. And nothing here is fancy or complicated. - No. - It's just... - It's all free. Actually all these plastic grates and actually, these bread racks I pulled out of a dumpster. - Okay. - No shame in the game when you're just scavenging building. - [Troy] Right. What about your light fixtures and things? - [Mike] These lights actually came out of some Pepsi signs that were thrown away. I harvested the lights out of those. - [Troy] So on the one side that has no windows, then you reflect the light back with the mirrors. - [Mike] Correct. So there's no light loss and it's all just gonna come right back. And I can actually... Last year I started 720 plants, which I found to be too many. It was actually hard to get rid of that many, but I had this entire thing blown out to where I had every light engaged, but it definitely refracts light back off. And once again, they were free mirrors. - Yeah. - So I figured they - So no investment. - needed to go in my free treehouse - Perfect. - with the free mirrors. - [Troy] So now we're over here in your tomato patch, - Correct. - essentially. - [Troy] How many varieties? - [Mike] Doing 10 different types of varieties. Orange, yellow, red, black, blue, tomatillo, - Yeah. - And also kind of, like a neon green. - [Troy] Uh-huh. - [Mike] I do this quad cage setup to where... - [Troy] Right. - [Mike] I don't one don't have to go by cages 'cause it's all just found material that I have. - Okay. So all of your metal stakes and all of this wiring and everything is just found... - All free off Craigslist. - Okay. - The beauty of Craigslist here. Last year, I actually overgrew it to where I had done five in each one and the center one kind of grew up and it ended up choking out everything else. - [Troy] Uh-huh. - [Mike] And so I've gone to a less-is-more sort of approach on this thing. - Okay. - [Mike] And so now I can actually yield this entire thing and these cages will just be completely blown out. You can surface it from anyway. - Sure. And I've actually... It's all stack stone underneath. - And you have even a little bit of a path in between so that you can get in to the harvest. - You can kind of do whatever you want. You can reach it from every angle. And so you're not gonna impact any of the soil, but each one of these is just gonna be a beautiful myriad of color. So I've gone to where I've got the cilantro, emily basil, Thai basil, blue spice basil, parsley, elephant dill. - [Troy] So you're really growing everything here from fruits and berries, to vegetables and herbs. - [Mike] I'm willing to try anything. - [Troy] So all of your seeds that you start come from, basically one source. - [Mike] Yes. It's rareseeds.com. - [Troy] Uh-huh. - [Mike] It's Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. It's all certified organic, non GMO, all heirloom. So if I can collect my seeds, I can reharvest for the next year. But this is the fourth year I bought from Baker Creek. Really, really been pleased with the turnout on roll. - [Troy] So now we're looking at your 27-foot swimming pool that, of course, you got for free, but it's not really a swimming pool. And it's... - It's an above ground pond. - [Troy] An above ground pond, which is a very important part of the garden. - [Mike] Yes. And it also started my garden and it really wasn't doing well 'cause city water isn't that great for my plants. So I ended up starting a water catchment system, as you can see off this house, and off my other house, and my other building. - Right. - Collecting all my rainwater and to where I can actually, into the course of about 12 hours, I can collect about 8,000 gallons of water, which in this pool comes out to about 20 inches. - Okay. - So in order to have water in here, and not have it be a mosquito cesspool, I had to put fish in there. - Mm-hmm. - [Mike] And in order to have fish in there, you had to have water flowing. And then as part of the whole thing of purification, I built this four tier biomechanical filter. - [Troy] Right. So this has plants in it. - Right. - Iris and cattails and other things. - It's got cattails and Iris and it's got four different types of lilies and I put it in here and I started off by putting 87 fish in here. And the way I surmise that was on the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Association website, they said for a one square acre you're supposed to put in, they would put in 2000 fish if they were stocking it. Well, this is 0.029386 acres. And so, by the cross multiplication on that comes out to I had to put 87 fish in here. - Okay. - I put the 87 fish in here of the varieties of bass, bluegill, sunfish, catfish, and crappie. And I actually had to put the boat in here. As a result, I needed an adjustable level planter. And so, in order for the plants to maintain the proper depth of what they need, - [Troy] Right. - [Mike] be it like the six, 12 and 18 inches, - [Troy] Yep. - [Mike] I actually buried them in. I put them the swimming pool and I cut big holes inside of the pool. So it not only acts as an adjustable planter, but it also acts as, like, a propagation thing for the small fish. So they have a place to hide. So the bigger fish just aren't gonna eat the small ones. - Okay. - And it's made this whole ecosystem that I don't have to do anything to. It completely replenishes itself. It's all gravity-fed, back into here with all the rainwater. - Mm-hmm. - And it just sits here and this is my aquaponic nutrient setup for the garden 'cause I don't use any other fertilizer other than my compost and this is the rest of it. - Right. So in addition to your rain barrels that you can water with, then this is, this has hoses hooked to it. - Correct. - And you irrigate the garden with this nutrient rich water because of the fish and the plant life. - Right. And so... - Acts almost as a liquid compost. - Yeah. You have to have the turnover. And so this, the screen hose here goes to the bottom, which is pulling all the super nitrogen rich water. - Uh-huh. - And I can actually just stick this hose right here in the top. It starts a siphon. - [Troy] This setup is certainly one of the most unique I've ever seen. And we really appreciate you having us out and giving this fantastic tour of your garden. - [Mike] Well, I appreciate it, Troy. - [Troy] Thank you. - [Mike] Thank you much. - [Announcer] For inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and garden projects, visit our website at volunteergardener.org or on YouTube at the Volunteer Gardener channel. And like us on Facebook.
April 28, 2022
Season 30 | Episode 17
Sheri Gramer visits with a gardener who has a talent for combining pretty plants and striking containers. These thrillers, fillers and spillers are certainly showy. Troy Marden visits an enthusiastic and innovative market gardener who produces tremendous yields on a tiny budget. And Tammy Algood talks with a veterinarian about the toxicity level in some plants that can endanger a furry friend.
Watch Clips from this Episode
Color in Containers
The formula for an eye-catching container is a strong thriller, some complimentary fillers, and a spiller. Sheri Gramer visits with a gardener who has a talent for designing containers with all of those elements. Plus, she puts those in a perfect pot to complement the fabulous colors too.