Background Switcher (Hidden)

Autumn Plant Love

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thought you might like a peek into the greenhouse on a rainy late autumn day. 

I lugged a huge Jasminum polyanthemum into the greenhouse this evening. I'd left it out through a light frost, then relented. I found that it had sunk roots right down through the drain holes of its pot, deep into the soil of my shade garden. No wonder it never seemed to fret when I forgot to water it!

That durn plant hasn't bloomed since I bought it as a tiny baby at Trader Joe's two winters ago. It bloomed its head off, then put all further energy for the next two years into foliar growth. It's taller than me now, and it has some tiny hopeful looking buds, but I've been fooled before. I'll give it one more winter. If it doesn't bloom this year, heave HO. Hear that, JP?

This abutilon has no such issues. Man, those things love to blossom. Not only that, they laugh at being dug up and repotted. Fine. Whatever. Get out of my way, I have another dozen flowers to make. Gotta love the Malvaceae. Some amazing plants in that family...see below.

I adore this pink and red Rex begonia. Can't leave it outside.

This truly extraordinary gardenia, sent by reader Diana Hunt via Smith and Hawken last winter after the Big Freeze. It's given and given and given, and it's gloriously healthy and just got its third repot. Still saying CHEER UP!! 

Who can ignore Hibiscus "The Path?" Not me! This, a gift from soul sister Donna in Virginia, also sent as a balm for the Big Freeze last winter. And she's dwarfing the tangerine-orange hibiscus that was my favorite before she flounced onto the scene.

Advance reviews from Logee's Greenhouse website stated that this big dramatic diva of a hibiscus would keel over and die if temperatures dipped below 60. Not so. She's fussy, and a bit of a princess, but she's faced low 50's and proven not prone to die. She's a welcome challenge. 

How could I not accommodate her demands?  A plant that flowers like this is like a singer hitting and holding that impossible high note, the one that raises the hair on your arms. 

Buttercrunch, anyone? It's finally cold enough to bring the "Container Babies" butterhead lettuce into the comforting warmth of the greenhouse. The white heliotrope is delighted to be indoors, too, and is blooming unabated, filling the air with cherry vanilla cinnamon bun scent. 

I asked a stolid and hearty Chet Baker to pose for me next to the best of my bonsais for the annual bonsai family portrait. Good boy, Bacon. You are a patient and long-suffering doggeh.  These not-so- little trees, waist high to me now, are a delight to the eye and heart when they turn. I remember the first fall I had them as tiny seedlings. There was something so magical about these potted seedlings turning color just like the big ones, and right on time. That magic has never faded.

A week later, the maroons and greens went to flame. And when the leaves reach their most brilliant scarlet, they fall. 

I've got the bonsais' overwintering pit all ready--weeded and the soil turned and loosened-- for them, but oh, how I hate to lay them to rest. I miss them all winter. But that's what the greenhouse is for, right?
 Think I'll head down there now.


Those bonsai look great with your house color too.--hart

Those bonsais - glorious! (As is Chet Baker.) it's so wonderful to see your cheerful greenhouse blooming away after the disaster of the big freeze. Abutilon and gardenia envy here. Oh, and hibiscus!

Lovely plants. I especially love Abultilons also. I did realize you will soon need a bigger greenhouse, OR you can just move down to the Texas Coast - I suggest Corpus Christi - where you can just leave those plants outside, have wintering hummers, and enjoy being at the bottom of the funnel of spring bird migrations through the Central Flyway.

[Back to Top]