Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tucked Away for a Winter's Nap

Over the weekend, with Nigel's help, I managed to move all the plants that need a frost-free environment into the greenhouse for the winter, with room to spare. There isn't a frost or a freeze predicted in our immediate future, not for a few weeks at least, which is unusual for this part of the country. Our average first frost date is normally in mid- to late-October. I had to put off moving things for the last few weeks because Nigel wasn't feeling up to helping (first a cold and then a wrenched knee that made walking difficult). I had already managed to get all the tender plants that like to spend their winter dry moved into the greenhouse on my own, before the latest wave of torrential rain.

At any rate, this past weekend, we moved plants, I took apart my porch containers, threw out the plants I didn't care to keep alive, and potted up others, as well as stuck a few cuttings of a Pelargonium that I grew this year and liked. I also cut back the Burro's Tail Sedum that has a lot of bare spots, and stuck those cuttings into cactus soil.

I was quite amazed to find that everything fit into the greenhouse, with room for more. Yes, it's crammed, but there is still room to move and work, and even to sit at a table and have coffee if I want.

View through the door of the right hand side, now full of Brugs, Cannas, Aloe glauca, and Echium.

That same area viewed from inside the greenhouse

I also dug and potted three double-flowered purple Daturas that I grew from seed this year, but that never got big enough to bloom. They were very wilty at first, but have since perked up. I hope they'll survive and bloom next year. They are in fact tender perennials, which many gardeners treat as annuals because they won't survive our winters.

Three wilty Daturas

The Aloe glauca, which impressed some of the Portland garden bloggers a month ago when they were here for the plant exchange, is still flowering. There is a second, shorter flower stalk, as well as a third which hasn't opened yet.

Aloe glauca flower No. 3

The Brugs have quite a few unopened flowers too

The far end of the greenhouse is crowded, but even so, there is still room for me to stand at the wire table and work.

If I absolutely need to, I can clear off all that stuff on the third shelf down and put more plants there.

Pelargonium sidoides, Cordyline 'Cha Cha' and Loropetalum 'Carolina Midnight' waiting to be potted up. They were all pulled out of the mixed containers on my front porch.

Pelargonium sidoides foliage -- the delicate, dark red flowers are pretty special too.

I grew a couple of different Pelargoniums in the mixed containers on my front porch, but besides the P. sidoides, there was only one other, with chartreuse leaves and salmon pink flowers, that I liked enough to want to grow next year. The stems had gotten quite long, so I cut them back and saved the tips for rooting.

Several had incipient flower buds, which need to be cut off before sticking the cutting.

Wish me luck, I've never tried rooting Pelargoniums before.

Sedum morganianum (Burro's Tail Sedum) had gotten long and bare stemmed, so I cut them off and stuck them as well, per Jean's instructions at Secrets of a Seed Scatterer.

All the little jelly beans that fell off in the process were strewn across a tray of cactus soil, to see what they produce.

I took a stab at making a panorama shot of the greenhouse, but had to do it in two. My cellphone won't do 360 degrees, only about 180. So I took two pictures.

First the left-hand side.

And the right-hand side.

Look at all that empty floor space! There's definitely room for a few more plants.

Now...if I can just get out into the garden to plant some bulbs...