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November 14, 2010

Autumn Chores


THE WALK TO THE GREENHOUSE IS CLUTTERED WITH POTS AND PLANTS STILL WAITING TO BE MOVED IN FOR THE WINTER.

With a four day weekend in November, and warmer temperatures than normal, I've been able to catch up with some chores in the greenhouse, and out in the garden. For those of you who keep asking me to share some of my disasters as well as the successes, as to those of you who think everything looks beautiful in my garden ( not for those of you who have actually visited and seen the truth!), I share some un-edited shots which are less than pretty.
WHAT THIS FORBIDDEN AREA ( THE MIDDLE OF THE GREENHOUSE) LOOKS LIKE AFTER A YEAR OF TRASH, AND PLANTS GET PUSHED TO THE CENTER. MOST OF THIS IS HIDDEN BEHIND RAISED BENCHES AND PLANTS

I Decided to move a large bench out of the greenhouse so that I can access the center aisle, where some large trees have grown ( Acacia trees and an Osmanthus fragrans). I needed to cut out a couple of trees, and rake out the debris in order to make room for some larger tubs of plants that will need this space for the winter, mainly,  our very large Gardenia, and some rosemary, Olives and Agapanthus.

I call this litter my California mulch - acacia leaves, Osmanthus and other sub tropical foliage. All ready for the compost pile. It always amazes me how much foliage grows in the greenhouse, once I remove the trunks and branches. 
I also trimmed the boxwood hedges this weekend, they get trimmed twice a year, once in June, and once in November so that they look tidy for the winter. These are still young, and this year I decided not to train them as globes, but as a continuous circular hedge, so they will need a couple more years of growth to catch up.
A bit of a disaster, I think. This is the tender shrub, Edgeworthia, and I thought that perhaps I could let it stay outdoors until November since I have seen them in Tokyo in the snow ( they bloom in February), but with two frosts now, the leave just curled, and the flower bud buttons are shattering, so I don't know what I did wrong. Maybe I have just brought the shrub into the greenhouse before the frost? I fear that I might have lost this plant.

Some rare bulbs came in the mail this weekend, so I've been potting them up. This here is a bulbous Nasturtium, called Tropaeoplum brachyceras, a plant from Chile. There are about 70 species of Tropaeolum, and some tuberous speices are good subjects for alpine houses and winter greenhouses, although difficult to fine, and notoriously stubborn-some ramain dormant for years in their pots refusing to grow. This is a vine, and will make gorgeous yellow flowers this spring, but I must plant is very deep, and never let the plant get warmer than 75 deg. F.
PLANTING THE TUBER VERY DEEP IN THE POT, IF I COULD POT IT TWO FEET DEEP, I WOULD.

This wirey stem is another  relative of Nastustium, Tropaeolum azureum, another Chilean plant that is fussier to grow than some other tuberous species, and I often screw things up since I sometimes cannot see the new shoot ( it literally is wire-thin) and one can easily snap it off, or pull it out by accident. I have learned that if you pinch the tip of this wire while young, it will branch more, which is a scary thing to do when this is a plant that sometimes takes 6 or 8 years off before it decides to send up a stem! Now, I must look for an appropriate trellis for it to grow on. This too, is potted in a 24 inch deep pot, near the bottom.
 
TROPAEOLUM AZUREUM STEM

Other bulbs are being planted, many are first-time rarities for me, since I was getting a little bored, as you all know! More on these, later.

Here is that messy center of the greenhouse, with new pots, all cleaned up, and nestled in for the winter. I feel better now, and as if I accomplished something this weekend! That said, my dumpster is full.

2 comments :

  1. Sometimes it's nice to see the "mess" that is necessary to create so much beauty, so thanks!

    I made my own mess this weekend re-potting and moving tender plants from my outdoor patio into my conservatory (I live in California, USDA 9)

    Question: What is the bulbous plant in flower next to your tulbaghia...a type of scadoxus maybe?

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  2. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Great post. Glad to see your T. azureum coming up! Ours skipped last year so Nhu and I are especially happy to see it back this year again.

    Jacob

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