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

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Potted Plant Display on My Front Step This Year

I usually display the tender plants that I overwinter inside the greenhouse on my front porch step, which is concrete and under an overhang with a western exposure. Most years I start bringing plants out of the greenhouse as soon as I'm reasonably sure that we've passed the point of last frost. They are usually well out long before the true start of summer, by the fourth of July.

But not this year. I was a very neglectful plant steward, I didn't even start bringing them out till the beginning of July, and only just finished a few days ago, in early August. Things were complicated by the fact that I had to sift through the dead bodies to find the living, and in most cases, then trim up the living to make them look presentable.

 Of course, most of the survivors are the cacti and succulents. They don't mind neglect.

My Aloe 'Christmas Carol' is even flowering

That cylindrical Sanseveria had actually started to shrivel a bit, but it seems to have bounced back

The Agave next to it, which I'm pretty sure is Agave bovi-cornuta, is thriving

I noticed for the first time this year that it's variegated -- it has a lighter green stripe down the center

I'm pleased this tiny Aloe polyphylla was one of the survivors

No sign of spiraling yet, but it's just a baby

It seems appropriate that I have a zombie gnome captured in a birdcage on the table. I brought a lot of zombie plants out of the greenhouse this year. And I often felt a bit like a zombie while I was doing it.

I don't mind that some of them didn't survive. Now I have room for seed-starting, which was one of the reasons for getting a greenhouse in the first place. Acquisitional plant hoarding had started to get in the way.

Who knows? Maybe I'll even find room for a little table and chair this winter. Coffee and seed starting is a nice combination.


  1. "Acquisitional plant hoarding" dare to name that of which we do not speak. Good for you! There is power in recognizing the numbers aren't increasing your quality of life. My problem is I live a dual existence. In February - March/April I feel weighted down by the quantity of plants not in the ground. But then my true nature kicks in and I'm happy as a clam the rest of the time. I really need to move to a climate where I don't have to dismantle my garden every November.

    Wow...made that all about me there for a minute! What I wanted to say is that I'm happy you are enjoying your plants.

  2. I'm glad you're out enjoying your plants! I have periodic bouts of plant purging. In fact I've been having one all summer, simultaneously trying to decide what to get rid of while lusting after plants I want to acquire. It's not a bad thing to cull the herd and simplify, though I'm sure you'd rather have done it by choice than having your energy and mood decide for you. Before I read anything, I was going to say how nice the plants all look. So there's that! I hope your garden continues to bring you enjoyment.

  3. Your fashionably late summer front step display is fabulous, Alison! Everything looks in perfect condition to me after the trip to the beauty parlor. I love the agave with the glasses!

  4. It looks wonderful Alison. I bet it feels great to have things nicely display and purged too. You didn't mention blood so you must not have gotten poked. That's good. :)

  5. Your porch plants look fab and there are still a few months before they have to start migrating inside.

  6. I love agave, and your pictures give me a hope that my three brand new plants have chances to survive our winter. A little table and chair - yes! make it a priority!

  7. Your collection of winter introverts cleans up nice! I don't know how you guys do it, keeping these plants happy indoors all those months. Yet, comparatively speaking, my 365-day outdoor potted plants don't look nearly as well-rested!

  8. I love dense packed collections like this, they are so full of interest and discovery. I'm not surprised your Sansiveria c. recovered, they seem to shrug off whatever one dishes out.

  9. You have such a flair for display. Your porch looks great amd will be so well into the fall. Love the orange pots.

  10. What a lovely welcome you give your visitors, all the plants on your porch are a delight!

  11. What a wonderful collection of potted plants, beautifully displayed.

  12. Schlepping those babies in and out can get to be a drag but your sense of humor always seems to win out. Lookin good!


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