September 30, 2014

End of Month Views in the September Greenhouse

A panoramic view -- you hardly need panorama to see 12x10x12' but it's fun to look at it this way.



... and wall by wall with Christmas lights on. I leave them up year 'round because the climbing required to put them up was kind of precarious for an old sister.



I still haven't ordered any bulbs to force. Maybe I won't do that this year.

Outside has white flowers.
I'm striving for a Claus Dalby look in
a sub-tropical climate. Not easy.

Thanks to Ronnie of Hurtled to 60 for the reminder that it was time to join Helen at a Patient Gardener for end of month views.

September 29, 2014

Sternbergia and other Fall Blooming Bulbs

It's always a surprise when the blooms of Sternbergia erupt from bare ground.

Sternbergia lutea, sent to me from Texas Gardener 
Barbara Nason several years ago.

Sternbergias are sometimes called 'Autumn Crocus' but they are of the Amaryllis family which makes them less susceptible to being eaten by critters. I think mine would like more sun.

We're still getting fresh blooms from Oxblood Lilies

 Rhodophiala bifida with Purple and Chartreuse for Fall.


The Red Spiders of Lycoris radiata persist, too.


All these bulbs will have green foliage during the winter, dying back in spring for summer dormancy before next fall's bloom. Careful placement keeps them from being sliced into during spring and summer planting.

September 28, 2014

September's Purple Rain

The favorite color in my garden palette in Early Fall is Purple.

Datura among Tithonia.

Duranta and a Spicebush Swallowtail.


Persian Shield on the left, Salvia leucantha coming into bloom on right.

Loropetalum flowers are  more pink that purple but the leaves turn purple in fall.






Purple Heart and Salvia farinacea 'Victoria' from seed in its third year.










Last, a little preview of coming attractions: Gulf Muhly Grass is forming blooms.

-- Purple is favorite at the moment as nights cool down and days are cloudy. We had a quarter inch of rain today.


September 26, 2014

The Things I Put Off for Cool Weather Nag Me

Now that the worst hot weather is over, I just want to enjoy the Fall rather than doing the tasks I put off in August.

Summering Succulents and Bromeliads moved indoors
out of the Post Garden.

Sticks with lichens await fall projects.

 Both white and red Pentas need cuttings taken, and all the pink colors. I did not take cuttings last year and regretted it when Spring came and not all came back from roots. New plants are more vigorous.


Persian Shield needs cuttings taken. Purple Heart needs 
cuttings too. Last year they grew in the same container.

Sometimes Duranta cuttings bloom all winter indoors.

I washed the greenhouse outside in late spring. A rainy summer left it with algae growing on the outside again. 

Fall vegetables need patches prepared.

I feel like a grasshopper. Oh, there's another task. Fire ants must be dealt with. Cold does not kill fire ants.

Pick up and store hoses and sprinklers and other apparatus. Secure faucets.

If we do these things now, we won't be out in a cold wind trying to get them done before an early freeze catches us. 



September 24, 2014

Greenhouses Fill Up Fast

Everything in a pot is safely inside. At least I think so. Pots of Calla Lilies line the south edge under the bench. I combined 4 pots of Angel Wing Begonia into one and tucked the other one between some Arrowhead vine that spent the summer where they are. The Areca Palm will be moving around until it settles. Wax begonias are heeled out in a basket to just survive until spring when they'll be divided, rooted and set in a shady bed I have planned.




Is there room on the pebble trays for all the cuttings 
I still need to take and some Hyacinth bulbs to force?

An empty plastic pot and a couple of saucers mark the only other available space. I need room there to get to the tomato plant, which has a turning fruit.
Burro Tails spent the summer outside and reached some size. Every broken piece is rooted. 


There were no big pots of Christmas Cactus last year. They tend to grow. I have teeny cuttings and 27 mid-sized plants besides these.


 Blue pots and green pots hold mid-sized Christmas Cactuses, except for 2 or 3  in yellow pots on another shelf that have cream colored (yellow) blooms.

One of my secrets: inverted pots that elevate plants that need room to hang are often cracked pots with the broken side hidden from view. 

Just remembered there is a pink wax begonia in the ground that 
I meant to dig and pot....

Bromeliads tend to grow during summer, too.
The upper shelf holds some rooted bits and pieces.

I hope you are entertained by a peek into the greenhouse. The potting bench still holds a lot of non-plant material that needs moving to the tool shed so there's room for the cat, who is being very patient about all this.

September 23, 2014

Cat and Skin and Put It All In

Mama used to say when she was sewing and had less material than the pattern called for, if she could arrange the pieces just so and maybe piece a pattern part, "Cat and skin and put it all in," meaning she'd managed to have barely enough fabric.


Yesterday's greenhouse cleaning was going great until a thunderstorm blew in and interrupted. This morning when I went out to clean some more, a keen wind was blowing. As I admired my clean shelf of yellow cache pots and thought about where Bromeliads would go, seeing the Epiphyllum at right reminded me that there were 5 more Epis to bring in, some with buds.

 Buds!

These buds had really grown since I last took a good look.

I managed to squeeze them in to display best bud effect.

As I admired four pots in place, I remembered...

\
There was another small, gangly pot to place!

I squeezed in the last pot.

I climbed on a stool for an aerial view of the Bromeliad
tree and how it fits among the jungle cacti.


As I admired how I'd managed cat and skin -- I realized I'd 
put it all in -- where the cat naps in winter!

I've covered the cat walk where he walked around to go behind the east wall shelves and used to nap where the big blue and black pot sits.

The cat is adapable. When I finally clean Annie's Brass Pitcher and the junk off the potting bench, Kitty will be right at home on that surface.

As I worked, the sun came out and I realized there's still ample time to bring in all the pots that were summering outside. I brought in the Bird's Nest Fern and as I looked for scale and other critters, found a little green frog who promises to keep down the bug population.

September 21, 2014

Pink Quill

Pink Quill has not only a pink quill but a blue blossom.


I was so excited when the 3 pups from Tillandsia cyanea that I left in a single pot each had a Pink Quill bract. Something (probably a squirrel, perhaps a falling limb) broke one. Today I discovered a blue bloom.

The second pink quill does not yet have a bloom, just color.

The blue blooms are not long-lived but the pink quill will 
persist for weeks, blooming the occasional blue flower.

Once the quill bract dies, the plant will grow pups and die.
Tillandsia cyanea is one of my fav Bromeliads.


September 16, 2014

Potting Up Foliage Cuttings


When I went to look after He-Who Mowed went around the edges of flower beds, he'd gone a bit close here. Chartreuse Alternanthera was clipped off and covered with grass clippings. Most of Melampodium was gone, not a great loss since it volunteers where it will and gets left to bloom undisturbed until the mower comes by.

After the Mower.


If I'd gone out and edged the beds the way they needed, everything would still be neat and pretty. Heat and humidity made me a lazy gardener. 

Chartreuse properly edged and mulched.

I picked up the best of what would make cuttings and stuck some Chartreuse pieces in a pot of soil; the longer pieces went into a mug of water. 

Last September's cuttings. I am a week ahead.

Fairly long pieces of Setcreasea went into a vase of water. I want another long container of Purple Heart cuttings to grow over and hang down like a waterfall but I was not ready to prepare that just yet.

Last Spring's box of Purple Heart and Persian Shield.
I want Purple Heart to hang down like a waterfall.

Maybe I could just dig up the above where I planted it out.


I still have to edge those beds.






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