We had our first frost this week, our first killing frost, which marks a significant gardening moment for me - a time when gardening moves under glass, into the greenhouse, and I couldn't be happier. You see, I really prefer gardening in the 'off season', that is, gardening 'under glass'. A greenhouse allows one like me to focus, which means that I enjoy the process more. It's like down-grading to a 30 foot by 30 foot garden. Ahhhh. Little pots of treasures, a 15 foot hose, two watering cans and some mice. Oh, those mice. Hey, all I can say is that right now, the greenhouse smells more like peanut butter and aged chedder cheese than it does like Osmanthus fragrant - just sayin'. Dinner is served.
This is the week when I can evaluate each plant. Decide if it is worth dragging back into the greenhouse, or if it should be brought to the dumpster. Anyone with a greenhouse knows how valuable space is, and last year, this fact struck me - most of my collection has been with me for nearly a decade now, and although some plants are indeed true treasures, others are simply just baggage. The last think I want is a maintenance collection - watering, fertilizing and repotting the same old Acacia trees and Gardenias year after year - yawn.
So pink slips have been handed out, and out go more Clivia and agapanthus, and in will come more interesting plants, that is, if I can find something that I have not collected or grown yet!
One thing both Joe and I have agreed on, is that we are bored with much of what is in the greenhouse right now. Clivias and Agapanthus may be sacraficed in order to make room for new collections. I've been thinking about adding to the camellia collection, and to the orchid collection ( cymbidiums and other cool growing orchids), and maybe more of those cool, high elevation rhododendrons from Borneo - the Viryeas. Every plant collector frequently shakes things up a bit, and I think this is the year I try some new things. Otherwise, I risk just becoming a caretaker, and not a discovery agent.