Well it started out like a typical morning…Woof and I were up at the crack of nine…I grab my coffee and we head for the back porch. Woof looks out first and her tail goes flat. No sun, slight drizzle, chilly and a light fog…not her idea of a good morning. Yesterday we were out all morning, she on her loveseat working on her tan, and me close by at my garden workbench starting to tackle the not so fun chore of repotting geraniums and begonias to keep in my little greenhouse for the winter. I save the geraniums just as a lot of people do, and while I’ve tried the drying out and storing in paper bags before, it seems to take them a long time to come back to life in the Spring, and I’m impatient. These days I cut them way back to almost nothing and pot them up. I water them pretty regularly and with a little sun and regular trimming they’re in full bloom by May.
My biggest problems are with the huge hibiscus and gardenia plants. For one thing they’ve never looked better than they do right now..lush..blooming profusely, and big enough to fill my limited glassed in space. I’m paralyzed when I think of hacking them back. A few years ago I just crammed them all..even my huge citrus plants into the greenhouse..and by about January nothing looked very healthy and I had scale and whitefly problems. Last year I put all the BIG plants in the basement…with very little light, and they suffered and looked anemic by Spring, but almost all survived with a little TLC.
The one hibiscus that lucked out with a spot in the greenhouse was beautiful all winter, and the gardenia bloomed off and on in there.
I usually grab a few impatiens and stick them in some of the bigger pots that make the cut for the greenhouse, and they add a lot of color all winter. I tried poinsettias a few years ago, but the light and dark requirements made me crazy…and I decided it wasn’t worth the effort. This year I bought about a half dozen of those little miniature rose bushes that they sell in the supermarket, and wow!…they’ve grown a lot and have been blooming since June. I think a bigger pot allows them to grow to almost the size of a regular rose bush.
So Woof and I have the morning off…I start to work late this afternoon, and the rain will make it easier to yank the gerbera daisies and crotons out of the garden to save them. My tulip bulbs ought to be arriving soon, and I’ve already filled the bottom of the refrigerator in the basement with hyacinths to perk up the joint in January. The amaryllis are drying out and have pretty much died back ( I buy them from the catalogs right after Christmas when they go on sale), and I’ll start reviving them next month.
Woof has been watching the weather channel and says things will be improving….and she’s more than ready for her breakfast. Happy Fall gardening….be an optimist…plant some daffodils this year.