October 18, 2009

Starting up a new season in the greenhouse

The bulbous oxalis are starting to bloom, here are a trio. And, just in time for our first snow of the season. Look at how floriferous the one on the right it, Oxalis lupinifolia. Last year it only had one flower.

The white Nerine sarniensis are particularly beautiful this year.

I am beginning to think of October as the start of my favorite gardening season. It's amazing what a greenhouse can do for you. Even though this is a time of transition, the phase isn't a shift away from gardening, but rather a shift indoors, where there is more to do. Upon entering the autumn greenhouse, one is met with moist air, which is a fresh as an early spring day in April, but scented not with Lilac's, but with the ssweet cent of Osmanthus fragrans, a smell which I instantly associate with autumn days in cool greenouses.

Bulbs in pots, that are all starting to grow and bloom, and the most exciting in these October days. Nerine sarniensis, Oxalis bulbs from South Africa's cape region all steal the show.

Oxalis ciliaris has few flowers, but their color is unique.

An early surprise snow, lands on Catalpa leaves, so early, they have not yet turned color for the season. Is this a sign of our winter to come?

A Cypella herbertii, an South African bulb in the Iris family, begins to bloom in the greenhouse. It seems to have poor timing, either blooming at night, or when I am not around. In bloom, it looks very much like a Tigridia.

Not all Nerine are big, this little Nerine masonorum is a tiny species which is evergreen.

The Nerine stems, when not staked twist and turn in the sunlight.

I cleaned the greenhouse walk today, and the garden in front of the south side of the greenhouse, which was planted with Dahlias and Colocasia, now dead with our killing frost this week. Now removed and tossed in the compost, I dragged over the sassanqua Camellia's. which can sit in their pots until it becomes too cold for them. By Thanksgiving, they too will be brought back into the greenhouse.

Cyclamen africanum beginning to bloom in the sand bed, in the back of the greenhouse. Many of my Cyclamen species are late this year, I don't know why. Maybe they too just want to sleep in late given our weather.


  1. What lovely flowers and such a cheering sight on a cold October morning.

  2. Everything looks great. My one Nerine is starting to bloom but has not yet fully opened. I love your Cyclamen africanum too.

  3. Matt, your Oxalis are charming, nice pics. When will your next Plant Society be coming out? Hope you have a great All Souls Day!

  4. Wow! You took some amazing shots. Love your blog.

  5. How nice!! so cheerful flowers that I can't express in words.. thank you soooooo much for sharing!

  6. I love your greenhouse!


  7. Matt, I followed your instructions for repotting Oxalis, and although they are way behind yours, they are emerging in a very vigorous condition. My cyclamen by contrast have been in bloom for some weeks and I'm now enjoying the endless variety of leaf forms and patterns. I still have the blooms of C.coum and libanoticum to look forward to.

  8. Cyclamen africanum is way cool ! Too bad it will melt in my zone ....


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