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Never Can Say Goodbye

Thursday, October 31, 2013

As I write, there is snain coming down, kind of a sloppy mix of snow and rain, too big to be rain and too wet to be snow. Snain. Chet Baker talks about sneet but I've never seen it. It's 40, going for the mid-30's tonight, and I really don't like it much. What I like is autumn. And summer. 

So what I do is dig summer up and cram it into my little greenhouse. It's the hardest working 64 square feet in Ohio.

The red center support pole is new. The greenhouse had a sag in its spine. The floorjack fixed it. Tools told me what to get. This is the east corner.

 Bill's ancient crown of thorns is in the east corner. I keep trying to cut it back and it has never once stopped blooming since I took it from his office. It's as if it thinks it'll get its multiple heads cut off if it ever stops blooming. I kind of like it tall and lanky, like an ocotillo. It can stay.

 Here's the west corner. Mmm. Looking floriferous.

I absolutely adore Salvia greggii "Desert Blaze." It has such an airy, icy look about it with those white-edged leaves. I know it would die over the winter, being a tender plant to start with. Add variegation and you have a really tender plant. Can't let that happen. Dug two up, brought them in.

I tried something this fall that I've never done. I brought my tuberoses inside. The only reason I did it is that there were about 10 plants just starting to bloom in late October! I think it was the cool, rainy summer we had. I planted them in April, but the plants just kind of lolled around in the wet soil, enjoying making more and more leaves, and they remembered why I planted them a bit too late to make good on their promise to get it done before frost. 

It was really too cold at night for them to put out much in the way of fragrance. What a waste! So I dug them up. Plopped them in planters and put them in the cart and brought them in. 

Now that was a fine sight, tuberoses going to their reward...another month of summer!

The heat of the greenhouse brings out the most exquisite fragrance, and it absolutely fills the little room with heaven when night falls.

They're delighted to keep growing and blooming. I'll have a month more of fragrance and beauty.

Some are still in spike! My darling you will never know 20 degrees.

Joining the tuberoses is my night-blooming jessamine, Cestrum nocturnum. Another jewel of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. What a family. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, Cestrum, to name just a few.

The New Guinea impatiens is so happy to come in out of the cold and unfurl its blazing perfect orange blossoms in welcome heat.

As is the mammilaria cactus, which has bloomed for me for 22 years.

And you have to love a mandevilla that's such a bright red it boggles the camera.

Color. Blazes and bushels of color. That's how we fight old man Winter here on Indigo Hill.


So please don't be surprised when you stumble over me sleeping on the greenhouse floor tomorrow. I'm driving through the night to move in to your warehouse of summer ;)

It is a wonder. All these plants yearning for summer and me waiting for autumn's coolness to drag me out of my summer hidey hole. We had a low of less than 75. Finally. Isn't earth's nature great!?

Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous October 31, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Ah, tuberoses - my favorite... Ok, one of my favorites! I didn't get any planted this year - next year for sure!

Just gorgeous! And I love every picture of your beautiful house, the rich green of life around it. I just had a thought about snow and was thinking how beautiful it will look then to. I really enjoyed this post, a little virtual greenhouse for me, too.

They all look so happy to be there! Thank you for sharing all the wonderful photos.

I'm a big fan of the green house pictures. Nice that so many of your flowers match or compliment your fabulous new red paint job!

Thanks for the virtual tour through your greenhouse. Wait, you have a name for it, don't you? One you gave it when putting it together? How do you keep your cacti surviving for 20+ years? Water monthly? Or [fill-in-the-blank]? I agree with Erin: don't be surprised when you stumble over me sleeping on your greenhouse floor. Want to feel the love on Indigo Hill!

Well, dig me up and put me in a warm room, and I'd bloom for you, Julie.
Love this post!

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