Container Gardens

   Container gardening is popular with those of us with little space.
The pictures ? I can hardly contain myself !

Few people give cacti the respect the spiny plants deserve. Although many of the fancy sorts commonly sold are not hardy, there are many attractive cacti that are. Cacti are native all over the United States, and a lot of them are so cold hardy that they do well above ground in a planter all year. The Opuntias are the most plentiful, and I still remember the awe of seeing one of the O. humifusa/compressa sorts growing native in Alabama for the first time. I would love to have the opportunity to create a desert garden here in Tuscaloosa, but of course, I have no money and no help, so I'll have to be content with what I have. The cactus that shows the best in this photo is an Echinocereus, or Hedgehog cactus. This one hasn't bloomed for me yet, but they're usually quite showy.

Even common annuals can look most attractive in the right setting.

A Florida paradise ?
No ... Just an impressive bank of bromeliads - among the very best houseplants for those of us without greenhouses or skylights. Notice the variegated Aechmea fasciata. The tallow tree in the center came from Tuscaloosa's longtime mayor Al DuPont. He had the tree in a pot, and it had gotten too big, so he had thrown it out. So, my mother, my brother , and I drove the tree home, with the top hanging out the window. On our way back, we stopped at a McDonald's , and while waiting for our food, a couple of sparrows lit in the tree . Shortly thereafter, a car full of college students gave us the finger. Many years later, the tree is still doing fine, and sends up little tallow trees all over the place.

Stapleton's Garden