Monday, October 19, 2009

Everybody Inside Out of the Wind!

As a cool wind blew from the north, efforts to bring in tender plants increased. Cuttings yet to be taken were hastily snipped and pots were lined up for the begonias and other tenderlings that needed to come inside. A clump of lemon grass was dug, not because cymbopogon can't return from its roots, but the cat likes to chew it.

Ike the Cat has already pushed pots off the north bench, so that area is left bare for now except for a heavy pot he can't push over. Ike has the idea that the greenhouse is a huge cattery, where we can hang out in winter, out of the wind, and soak up sun. Ike has a bed over behind the large pots at the end  where the dog, who believes the greenhouse is some kind of gymnasium, can't reach him.

Cuttings of Porterweed, Alternanthera, white Shrimp Plant and Persian Shield are in containers of water. Cuttings in water lasted through the winter last year, to be recut and rooted in soil in late winter/early spring. White shrimp plant needs to be potted in soil, to bloom during the winter as it requires short days for bloom. It reaches great heights in the garden, but never blooms. Persian Shield will also bloom in the greenhouse, but the blooms are of no consequence other than being an oddity.

I potted one pot of cardamon ginger just for the fragrance, and two pots of Alpinia for the appearance. The gingers will return in spring from the roots. Curcuma and butterfly ginger actually need a rest period, so potting them for appearance is futile. The potted specimens grew on no faster last spring than the ones outside. I potted Black Magic colocasia just for the appearance.

Are so many Begonias excessive? I like Begonias, Anthuriums, too. The green pots of begonia were double-potted in the ground and there is still sand on the pots.

Ground orchid, tibouchina and firecracker plant continue to bloom. Last year the epiphyllums bloomed after they came inside. They have tiny buds now. I look forward to the fragrant white blooms, which will bloom once, late at night in about three weeks.

Ground Orchid


Firecracker Fern

Can you find Ike of the Jungle in this picture?

The fountain, which was on the floor last year, is on a shelf where the dog can't drink from it. She gets trash in the fountain and clogs the pump.

The cat believes the fountain is his personal water hole. I am hopeful that the fountain adds the least bit of humidity. It has a pleasant sound, anyhow.

Before there was a little greenhouse here, plants went in the unheated utility room in front of east facing windows. Seedlings in spring were trundled in and out of the tool shed on a kitchen trolley. There is still work to be done, but the most tender plants are safely inside. Tiny cuttings are tucked here and there.


  1. As much as I appreciate reading about and seeing your greenhouse things, I mostly just keep returning to the top kitty photo--I love it! Thanks for brightening my afternoon!

  2. I have a companion in the garden too, Georgia our papillon 'helps' by often diggin holes in the wrong places. Or showering me with dirt as I dig in another!

  3. Your greenhouse is just incredible. Big wow!

  4. Your greenhouse looks like a big celebration, Nell. I would love to work there!

    My own greenhouse reminds me that I need to get busy now, whereas yours looks like an invitation to party!

    That Ike is so pretty.

  5. This is exactly what I did yesterday, well more like 10 pm once I heard the weatherman say "hard freeze tonight." Yikes! It came kind of early. Sigh. You have a beautiful greenhouse. My things only have homes in the house, under the house, or the garage.

  6. Hello,

    I am with your cat. I can't think of a better place to spend the cooler fall and winter months.

    I don't think you have too many Begonias. If you like them, then you can have as many as you want :)

  7. What a great greenhouse. I would love to have one someday. That firecracker fern is really neat, I've never heard of them before.

  8. I love your greenhouse. What a marvelous place to spend time on chilly days. Do you have a chair in there to hang out and talk to your plants?

    PS... thanks to you getting me addicted to seed sowing last year... I have so many more to sow this year!

  9. Just loved the tour of your greenhouse. Keep us posted on the changes. Another tour might be fun.

  10. Looks like you have everything all snug for the winter. While it will be some time before real cold weather comes to us, I, too, have started taking cuttings of plants I want to have for next year.

    Always Growing

  11. Your greenhouse is certainly full of beautiful plants.

  12. You are so organised and well prepared for winter. I really admire your ground orchid. I have been keeping one for a year but never seemed to flower. Any tips you can give me?

  13. Wow! How cold does it get where you live? I actually mostly leave my plants to fend for themselves. Have given up on Bougainvilla, and this year I'll test the mettle of the Meyer Lemon that's in a pot (just too heavy). Of course, things might be different if I had such an amazing greenhouse...

  14. What a lovely greenhouse! Its a paradise on this cold autumn day.

  15. Oh be still my heart. You have a green house. Let me just tell you "NO" you can't have too many begonias. If I had a greenhouse it would be full of them like some people collect orchids I like begonias that much. I don't have many now but I have had them over the years.

  16. Nell Jean, whoa, sounds like hard work but I'm sure it is a labor of love. Please post pics of the white shrimp when it blooms. Scott

  17. I dug through your labels and found the image of the Justicia betonica. VERY COOL!

  18. Not surprised your animals like to be in your greenhouse. Looks as if anyone would.

    I'm not a begonia person but the idea of lemon grass and gingers is tempting and tantalising.


  19. Oh My,I love your little kitty!Your photos are stunning.. all your pots and plants look so! I love your is very unique! Lovely! And yay for Kitty!

  20. I think Ike has the right idea your greenhouse looks like the perfect place to hang out this winter.. Does the lemongrass bother Ike's belly ?

  21. Amazing plants, and am I ever envious of your greenhouse.

  22. I love your greenhouse ! also Ike has a fan here and if the girls saw him they would be FANS too : )
    The fountain .. I can just imagine how much fun Emma and Sophie would have with that .. but a BIG yes to the sound of water .. it is wonderful and perfect in combination with all of your plants. When we in a lottery I am going to make sure I have a greenhouse too ! LOL
    Joy & 'the girls" ^..^ ^..^

  23. Hi Nell, I LIKE IKE. What a beautiful cat. And entitled too, perched on her throne in the cattery, looking handsome and devilish. Your greenhouse is beyond enviable. Lust might be a appropriate descriptive word. Your babies look very loved and tucked for the winter.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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