Now that the house is filled to the gills with plants for the winter, I have to switch gears. In the summer, I started my day with a walk through the gardens to see what was blooming, what needed deadheading, and generally just to see what was going on out there. After snow flurries today (so they said - I never saw any), it takes a good reason for me to just cruise the paths among the going-dormant plants. It's cold and windy. Cold is bad enough without being wind-whipped along with it.
So the focus of my attention has come inside for the winter, and I cruise my house, checking on plants. There is only one room in the house that doesn't have greenery growing in it and that's the downstairs bathroom. The only reason it doesn't is because there aren't any windows. It's such a small bathroom, it's a stretch to even call it a room.
Last week, Mom gave me one more plant to winter over - Dipladenia sanderi 'Red Riding Hood.' It's a gorgeous tropical and was in full pinky bloom when it arrived here. Since taking up residence by the west window in the living room, it has been dropping leaves.
Experience has taught me that most plants will go through an adjustment period when coming in from the outside, so I'm not worried the plant itself will die, but it looked so good when it got here. I hate seeing it shed so many leaves.
In the dining room, where my desktop computer is located, a large pot of coleus and sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batata)is growing. These were part of a large container that spent the entire summer on the front porch. A couple of weeks ago, I potted up the coleus and I. batata so I could bring them in.
After having several pots of coleus in the basement last year under lights and having all but one of them perish by spring, I said to myself, "Never again. Not for coleus, when it's so cheap to buy it new." But it looked so gorgeous, I couldn't stand to just let it die. It may still die here in the house, but at least now it has a fighting chance.
The brugmansias are all in their bed for the winter, down in the basement under lights. And they really are in bed. We're using Jenna's old twin bed, which has storage drawers in the bottom, as a platform for some of the overwintering plants. Right now, there is a single brug bloom ('Milk and Honey') after I had to cut most of them down so they'd all fit in the space alloted for them. But oh, that one fragrant bloom is scenting the entire basement. It's amazing that just one flower can be that powerful.
I'm also trying to overwinter the Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' that was growing in the ground outside all summer. It was a non-stop bloomer and I loved it. It lost some leaves when I brought it in, but that's seemed to stabilize for now, so we'll see how it does by next May. That seems like so far away right now.
When I was visiting Jenna last week, I needed to stop at Lowe's to get a couple of things, none of them plant-related, and that conspiracy theory came into play again. One of the employees was leading me to the right department for the item I was looking for and he got a phone call from the service desk. We stopped so he could take the call, and right beside us was a portable cart with marked-down houseplants. Yeah - like I need another houseplant.
Tonight, I repotted my new orchid that I bought for seven dollars. SEVEN DOLLARS! It had an original price of $30, and this orchid has some of the healthiest foliage I've ever seen. Large, flawless, with plump roots and a new leaf coming on, all in a green ceramic pot - how could I not buy it?
So the indoor gardening season is off to a good start. You can take the girl out of the garden, but you can't take the gardener out of the girl.