Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The "F" Word


I knew it was coming, but I've been in denial. As much as I thought I was ready for the winter break from gardening, now that it is upon us, I'm not so sure I want it just yet. The news has been using the dreaded "F" word today - FROST.

As you may recall, in the winter, our house is home to some 175+ plants. As hard as I have tried to be ruthless in winnowing down that total, somehow it's not going so well. I find it hard to throw out any plant that has a single green anything on it. But some of these I've been trying to resurrect for a couple of years now, so I think it's time I give up the ghost, even if they aren't ready to do so.

That means that today my tasks include getting the basement greenhouse cleaned up and ready for the deluge of plants that will reside there for the next six months, more or less. Tonight, the low is to be 34° and especially in the outlying areas (that would be us), that could mean frost.

The brugmansias won't survive that, nor will the succulents, which have a high water content in their foliage.

Brugmansia


I'll also need to bring in the gloxinia, the streptocarpella, and that freakishly huge hanging begonia.


Begonia 'Dragon Wing Red'


The orchids can't stay out in the cold.


Phalaenopsis


The Calla lilies need to be dug and if I'm going to try and overwinter the 'Limerock Dream' Coreopsis, I'll need to dig it up and at least bring it up under the cover of the porch, if not inside just yet.


Coreopsis 'Limerock Dream'


The tropical hibiscus won't like the cold air...


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis


...nor will the beautifully blooming passion flowers.


Passiflora 'Empress Eugenie'


And what on earth am I going to do with the three ginormous Boston ferns?



They're so gorgeous, but there truly is no room for these 3-4 feet in diameter monstrosities. I may try to find room for one, but what shall I do with the others? Can I cut them back and put those in the basement, too?



Pelargonium 'Mr. Wren'

The pelargoniums will be fine. Several of the blooming perennials will be too, such as the asters and mums.

This frost event is only to be one night and then we'll be back in the mid-40s for awhile. But it's just a matter of time before it will be an every night affair and the plants have to come in anyway.


20 comments:

HR Gardener said...

Nice photos. That's why I make sure to harvest my flowers in the farms before the seasons of "F" came.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

F word indeed. I can't tell you how sad I am looking at all those photos of tender flowers. You are a good gardener to overwinter yours. Sometimes, I just don't. Here's hoping the frost was light.~~Dee

Janet said...

Hi Kylee, congrats on your award. I enjoy reading your blog.
I am in denial about the calendar page change. Where did August go?? What do you mean September is gone as well? wow! Bringing plants inside is always such a chore. I did buy a big tub to submerge the plants in an insecticial soap or maybe just water to rid them of creepy crawlers. I can't imagine moving some of the biggies that you have.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes, it is that time of year. The brugmasia is so pretty. I like the varigated foilage as much as the bloom.

garden girl said...

Congratulations on your Blotanical award Kylee!

I recently cleaned up our basement 'greenhouse,' and will be sad having to fill it up before long. Several plants we have in common will soon be wintering there, including the variegated brug, that gorgeously-colored hibiscus, and the freakishly huge red dragon wing.

If you're so-inclined you can definitely cut back those gorgeous ferns and keep them inside over the winter.

nancybond said...

We've had such incredible weather over the past few weeks that my container plants have put forth a new blush of blooms! We've had frost warnings, but nothing has materialized just yet. And that's the way I like it for now. :) Again, that Coreopsis 'Limerock Dream' is spectacular!

Chiot's Run said...

It is so cold, I'm always sad to see the first frost come. I have tons of things I need to bring in as well. Although I didn't have time yesterday so I'll be doing that today.

Dave@The Home Garden said...

I think we're still a couple weeks away from the "F" word but it won't be long. I may have to dig up our 'Limerock' Dream and bring it into the garage. Too nice a plant to risk losing.

How are the tulip poplar and RT Dogwood doing?

Muum said...

Our first frost (and snow on the mountains!) here, too.

Congrats on your Blotanical win!

Connie said...

You are a more dedicated gardener than I....it is only the survival of the fittest around here. If they can't take the frost, they just disappear from my garden, ha. For some reason my green thumb outside doesn't translate to house plants, and I tend to neglect them. Mabybe if I them all in one spot like you do it would work better.
BTW, congrats on your award. You deserve it!

flowrgirl1 said...

The frost has hit in MI too and now it is time to pull up the glads and dahlias. So sad to see the season end.

T Opdycke said...

The frost was on the punkin this morning that's for sure. Time to get plants indoors and bulbs in the ground.

The best Ohio blog...whooo hooo! Congratulations!

joey said...

'F' indeed, Kylee! Popped over (with toothy grin) to congratulate you on your Blotanical win (which I indeed do) but am leaving in stress, knowing I've left much undone outside today ... ouch, my orchids for sure, and what to do with my huge ferns!!! Re-potted clivia ... in ... and all my cyclamens ... potted several rosemary and as I write I hear the hum of my Cuisinart ... Mr. Ho-Hum is making pistachio/chive pesto with remaining basil. Tomorrow off to the cottage to tuck hoist, docks, boats, and furniture away (sleet predicted)!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

You are going to be busy. I hope you can squeeze everything in and are able to save as much as possible.
Congrats on your Blotanical award!

Kate said...

Don't - whatever you do - give up on the passion flowers! They are so lovely.

You've got frost... I've got snow :( And many a dead annual. Something tells me this won't be a gentle winter...

PS: Congrats! I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know you'd won an award. I just saw the title to your blog post (F Word) and had to drop by for a visit. You always have the best headlines - which is what I see on my blog roll. Anyhoo! Congrats and well deserved. I always enjoy reading up on your part of the world. :D

Nutty Gnome said...

I'm volunteering to look after your ferns!!!

Gosh, you've got some hard work ahead of you .... I am SUCH a lazy gardener that I leave things where they are and let fate take its course! I'll sort it out in Spring :)

Autumn is only just creeping in over here - the leaves are JUST begining to turn and the air is cooler, but it's way too early for frost yet.

Congratulations on your well deserved Blotanical award.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Kylee, congratulations on your Blotanical award! Well done!

Shady Gardener said...

Congratulations, Kylee, on the Botanical award!

Now, as far as your outdoor plants... you'll get them indoors. You always do! ;-) Your post about bringing your plants indoors a couple of years ago really made me laugh. Were there 1000??? lol.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I'll happily take that freakishly big (and lush, and jaw-droppingly beautiful!) dragon wing begonia off of your hands, Kylee! You know, just out of the kindness of my heart. Not because I've absolutely COVETED it since I got a tour of your garden a few weeks back, or anything. ;)

(Wait, what am I saying? I don't even have a place yet for everything else I have to bring in from my yard! I seriously don't know how you do it with 175+ plants... lol.)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I'll happily take that freakishly big (and lush, and jaw-droppingly beautiful!) dragon wing begonia off of your hands, Kylee! You know, just out of the kindness of my heart. Not because I've absolutely COVETED it since I got a tour of your garden a few weeks back, or anything. ;)

(Wait, what am I saying? I don't even have a place yet for everything else I have to bring in from my yard! I seriously don't know how you do it with 175+ plants... lol.)

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