Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's a New Gardening Season!

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.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Of course you "needed" that orchid and such a good price. What luck.

I can just smell your brug...mmmmm

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

What a great deal on that gorgeous orchid Kylee, of course you had to have it, any sensible person would. ;-)

I just love that Red Riding Hood, the flowers are so very pretty and the name is fun too. Yes, it's my experience to that when you move plants from outdoors to indoors they can drop quite a few leaves. Some indoor plants have trouble when you turn them the other way in the windowsill. Most will do fine, just pamper little Red Riding Hood a bit and she will be happy too.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Kylee, I've started my indoor winter garden too. I saw flurries yesterday. I am so not ready for that yet.

Priscilla George said...

Your orchid is beautiful and such a great deal . I love the color combination of the coleus and sweet potato vine. I can't believe your coleus keep dieing on you when you try to keep them. Maybe you can do some cutting instead of trying to keep the whole plant if you haven't already tried that. I hope all your plants live for you so you can see them next year.

Ki said...

That was an exceptional price for a Phalaenopsis orchid. What a wonderful dark maroon color. I also love the dainty flowers of the Ipomoea batata (you gotta love that name). It is confusing to me that some morning glories are Ipomoea too.

Mary said...

Beautiful photos. That orchid is awesome. I wouldn't have been able to resist buying it either. Your home is full of beautiful plants, which makes for a healthy environment. As always, I enjoyed my visit.

Please stop by my blog to discover how you can Be A Blessing This Christmas

Meems said...

reading your blog makes me realize how much work it is to try to save your plants from winter to spring. your indoor mandevilla looks better right now than the one i have growing outdoors...hmmmm.

i totally hear you on the obesession and inability to pass by the garden department without a purchase. it is just too much fun. i think you made a good choice with that orchid --it is gorgeous and will bring you much joy while it last.

i had to smile when i read your post about growing grapes. my neighbor used to have some and i was just expressing my interest in trying my hand at it next you, i'll have to talk someone into helping with the construction of the posts and wires so we shall see.

btw, i ordered the almanac you suggested and it should be delivered any day now. thanks again.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ I couldn't believe my luck in finding that! Serendipity! And oh yes, that brug is putting out all kinds of lemony soap goodness! :-)

Yolanda Elizabet ~ This is my first experience with the Dipladenia, so we'll see!

Robin ~ I think we were just south of the snow line here yesterday. We're supposed to get a few days back up into the 50s over the weekend then cold again. Yes, snow is coming and I'm not ready either!!

Vanillalotus ~ I love the coleus and the batata colors together too, which is why I planted them that way. I'm not the best at planning combinations, but that was easy because they were kind of near each other at Walmart where I purchased them.
My coleus is already dropping leaves. :-( I don't know what I do wrong! Any advice for me? I have done cuttings before (super easy!) and maybe I'll do that, but I would love for these large plants to keep going.

Ki ~ I think Ipomoea batata is a fun name too! It's actually blooming right now, too!

Mary ~ I've visited your blog and what a great post you did!

Meems ~ Yes, it's a major effort to keep all of this stuff going over the winter. Some things live inside year round and they do just fine, but those that like it better outside always have an adjustment to make and some handle it better than others.
I hope I can keep the Dipladenia going until spring! My mom definitely has the touch with it!
Oh, you're going to love that almanac! :-)
We'll have to compare notes on our grape growing next summer!

Mary said...


I read your comments on my posting and what a wonderful tradition your husband's family has. The mail carrier is the perfect person to play Santa. I'm sure that the people who receive the gift are ecstatic that Santa visits their houses around Christmas.

Please be sure to post your suggestions on November 12th.


Muum said...

I am impressed with your ambition! It is nice to have plants to tend over the winter, though, isn't it? I am overwintering my jasmine for the 3rd winter, I know it will lose most of it's leaves and look pretty miserable, but come out of it and be ok, come spring.

Aiyana said...

This is a beautiful photo. My hairdresser-who's a flower fanatic, told me the other day that the reason potted orchids get discounted is that they are at the end of their six month blooming cycle. Most folks can't coax any more flowering, so they end up with a foliage plant. I think if you get flowers for two weeks then you seven dollars was well spent!

Naturegirl said...

I am having to bring my cactus collection indoors along with my herbs so like you Plants everywhere and of course my two cats love it!!

You were so generous with your words to me on my ~~~~~GIVEAWAY~~~ post!
It is YOU all of you coming to comment that deserve so much!
hugs aNNa

Bob said...

Looks like your starting a nice little tropical jungle inside and a some great prices. The mandevilla is a great plant. They are very popular here. And folks do the same with wintering over their tropicals here.
It a great way to enjoy an even larger selection of plants that look great in our summer gardens.
All the best, Bob

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Snow flurries???? Brrrrr... reminds me of my childhood in Colorado and snow on Halloween. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that anymore. For one thing, there's no way I could fit all my plants inside the house like you have! And the cats would destroy them because they're naughty even with cut flowers. *Sign* Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

P.S. I never intended on having this many cats either!

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