By Angela

2007 Container Garden

The focus of my first year of container gardening was attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. I also wanted more visual interest from my couch in the family room since that is where I spend the majority of my day.

My container gardens were a huge success in many ways. I watched as the plants changed over the growing season. I took pictures as various plants flowered and shared the beauty by emailing my friends. As I noticed the success of the caterpillar nursery, as evidenced by caterpillars, I took pictures and emailed them to my friends with the question: “Where’s Waldo?” or “How many caterpillars can you find?” I marveled at new things I learned as I simply watched – such as, golden finches like to eat seeds from the dried heads of not only coneflowers, but also zinnias!

I received many therapeutic benefits from my container gardens. I had to get outside daily to water the plants. I learned about how to adapt to my environment since my tremors and functioning became worse in the heat of the summer; I had to tend to my plants either early in the morning or much later in the day when it was not as hot, and I rested and watched during the heat of the day. I moved my body in different ways as I bent over, sat down and got up while I planted and cared for the growing plants. I learned and applied information in a new way as I made decisions about what kind of plants would go into my containers and in what combinations. I had something interesting to share with others which helped to decrease feelings of social isolation. I experienced a sense of pride and success as people, including myself, marveled over the beauty of the flowers.

For anyone who might be interested in creating a container garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, below are a list of plant suggestions. An asterisk (*) after the plant indicates that it is an annual (i.e., a plant that lives only for one season). The pictures on this page are from my 2007 container garden.

Plants for a Butterfly Buffet

Agastache

Aster

Butterfly bush

Butterfly weed

Candytuft

Catmint

Chrysanthemum

Coral Bells

Coreopsis

Delphinium

Dianthus

Floss flower*

Gaillardia

Geraniums, Trailing (Ivy Geraniums)*

Globe amaranth*

Goldenrod

Heliotrope*

Lantana*

Liatris

Moss rose

Oregano

Penstemon

Phlox

Purple coneflower

Rudbeckia

Salvia*

Scabiosa

Scaevola, Trailing

Sea pink

Sedum

Sweet alyssum*

Sweet Peas*

Sweet william*

Verbena

Veronica

Wallflower

Yarrow

Zinnia*


Plants for Caterpillar Nursery

Asters

Dill

Fennel

Milkweed

Mallow

Parsley

Annuals for Hummingbirds

Cleome*

Flowering tobacco*

Geranium*

Hollyhock*

Impatiens*

Lantana*

Nasturtium*

Petunia*

Zinnia*

© Angela Cramer, 2008

Tags: TBI, traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, post concussion syndrome, therapeutic activities, therapeutic hobbies, hobbies for the handicapped, backyard nature, container gardening, attracting butterflies, attracting hummingbirds, caterpillar nursery


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