October 7, 2008

Moving Plants into greenhouse

We spent last weekend moving plants and tubs of trees into the greenhouse, since I will be traveling next weekend.
Check out the size of our Gardenia....

The intoxicatingly fragrant spires of Hedichium 'Tai Monarch', growing in a large tub outside.

The scent of Hedychchium instantly brings me back to my college days in Hawaii, ( yes, I went to college in Hawaii), and during the autumn, Hedychium blooms under the high tension wires high up in the Tantalus mountains, the mountain range that runs through the center of Oahu. Tantalus drive was a favorite drive on full-moon lit evenings, taking our Fiat Spyder at silly speeds with the top down, hugging the hair-pin turns as most college kids would do. I remember the access road to this drive ran along the edge of Punahou HIgh School, where Barack Obama went to high school, I must have been in College when he was there. Anyway, I digress.... These ginger blossoms practically bring me to tears whenever I smell them. Not because they are so strong, but because their scent instantly transforms my memory.

Easy to grow, you can order them from Plant Delights Nursery in the spring and plant the 6 inch pot into the ground, or the largest tub you can afford, and stand back. In the autumn, we drag them back into the greenhouse, but one can just as easily cut them back before the last frost, and haul the tub into the cellar or unheated garage were they cannot freeze, and keep them until spring. Their foliage is tropical and Canna-like all summer, but the real treat comes in September with these cones of incredibly fragrant blossoms. I can't get enough!!!

Anemone japonica - a semi double form which arrived without a label. Still, quite beautuful for a species which does more than 'fill a gap' in the garden. IF you've never grown the late blooming Anemone's, I highly recommend them. Just buy as many as you can afford, for a stand of 15 plants is the best way to blow away your neighbors. A single plant is OK, but not as great at 5, not as awesome as 10, and 15 - 30? Sublime! Start some from seed this spring. They just get better each year.

Every year I say "OK, we are not going to drag the giant gardenia back into the greenhosue, right?" But then, when the frost nears......eventually most everything finds a place back in the greenhouse, and somehow, in a very Harry Potterian way, everything fits!

Some gingers, such as this unknown Hedychium species we recieved from Logee's Greenhouse never bloomed which means that it may have wanted to bloom later in our short growing season, but sadly, I voted to terminate it, in order to make more room for other new plants ( like my new collection of Hawarthias and Gasteria - which I have been fighting against collected for a couple of years now!). Now I need to go throw more pots for them, since Haworthia's MUST have dark brown high grog stoneware pots, and the only place I can get those if from my own kiln - so off to the wheel. More on that later.

Fergus, one of our Irish Terriers, relaxes most anywhere, as long as he isn' t too far from us. He was groomed later today, since we are going to NYC for a few days next week, and he and Margaret love to go and "do the city". I think it reminds them of their dog show days. SO if you are at the W on Lexington, look for them, ( they are rather well known there!).

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