November 01, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

I potted a little Brugmansia like the one above for the greenhouse. I thought I would leave the rest in the garden in hopes for a mild winter that would allow them to come back from the roots. I had only one round of bloom this summer. Hummingbird Moth caterpillars kept eating the foliage.

One of the two big brugs kept calling out every time I passed. I finally grabbed a big nursery container, filled the bottom with potting soil and went for it with my trenching spade. I removed the worst of the chewed leaves.  The stems are loaded with developing leaves. I hope the shock of transplant and the change in provenance doesn't set it back too much.

I ended up with a five foot tall plant with four stems. Some things had to be moved so there is room atop the shelf over the heat sink water barrels. After nightfall the wilting improved.

The light colored pot above was replaced by the
container holding the Brug and the airplanes repositioned.
The Foxtail Fern went over to join another like it.

Foxtail Fern underplanted with alyssum.
Pink Pentas rooted cutting.
I'll be rearranging plants and pots for some time. I bumped up this Pentas that has rooted well and is blooming well. Its roots had just filled the little purple pot it was in.

I keep finding bits and pieces that beg to be brought inside before frost. Pots of violas and gerbera daisies can remain outside and just be tucked inside on the walkways when a hard freeze is expected overnight so they can remain in bloom.

View from the east end showing the water barrels.

View from the south side shows the water pipe at left,
electrical panel running horizontally over a plant shelf
and water barrels at right end with their pump in the corner.

I read about a tropical greenhouse that has a brug, bigger than mine, that has Vanda orchids attached to it. That's a bit ambitious for me, but I did see some little Vandas at a nursery the other day....

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in Southwest Georgia zone 8b.


Karen said...

Oh, I was amazed reading this post, and I know just how you feel! I have a friend, Conrad Art Glass and Gardens, who also has a huge collection of brugs and plants them in a cow tank. Every year he has to figure out how to get them from the cow tank to a part of his garage that must be warm enough to overwinter them. We live in Wisconsin, so it's hard to find enough room to store everything before winter, which also lasts from now until May, lol.

I'm fascinated by your greenhouse; we were debating turning the Aaaargh thing we're building into a greenhouse too, but then changed our minds, though if I get enough light from the south-facing windows, I might be able to grow some thing.

So nice to meet you!

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

What a great greenhouse you have! I love the heat sink water barrels. Must be hard working out where to put all your plants to over winter, you have so many. I am far too lazy to do anything similar, anything left in the greenhouse over winter tends to die from neglect, so I've given up!

Elephant's Eye said...

Heat sink water barrels? Somehow prevents the plants freezing?

NellJean said...

Diana, it has to do with water absorbing heat all day and releasing it at night, thereby moderating the temperatures in both hot and cold weather. Won't prevent freezing in a hard freeze but helps with heating and also helps the summer temps be a little more tolerable.

Water has the most volumetric thermal mass, followed by concrete. It isn't a total solution but is very helpful.

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