Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I ruthlessly edited the orchids this year.. it looks like there are more empty pots than plants!

We've passed the average first frost date for the area so I'm working my way towards bringing in the tropicals.

 My goal for the orchids was to get rid of 5-10 containers and I surprised myself. The compost heap got at least 15 and I kept almost 15. The problem is they accumulate and become more work than reward. Over the years we've finally figured out what does work for us in this south-facing window, but there's just a limit to the number. When we go to Florida we buy a handful for the house for the time we're there and if we've driven, which we do once a year, they come home. Soft hearted gardeners! 

The large containers, I gather near doors so that when frost is predicted, it's a simple thing to drag them inside. Tender dieback tropicals are left outside until frost toasts their leaves, cut back, rolled inside, and stacked in the cool part of the basement. It's the woody tropicals that are the issue: plumerias, gardenias, hibiscus, bombax. Every year they're larger but the basement stays the same size. It'll be pretty crowded near the window, but they know the routine; lacking the power of locomotion, they don't have much choice. Maybe being all crushed together for the winter provides them an opportunity to talk about their summers. Possibly to complain about how regularly they  were watered or fertilized, or their siting, though the old (~30 year) gardenia got a new position immersed in the front plantings with a good view of the street. After spending his whole life in the  back garden, it must have been exciting to be able to watch all that life to by.


Ann Amato said...

I am on my way to finally beginning this process too. Cannot wait for the garden to be put to bed once and for all for winter.

MulchMaid said...

I can imagine that old gardenia with a whole new view. It's a bit like my indoor-only cats when they happen to get out - they're so dazzled that they're easily caught and returned to inside safety. It's great to hear you go to such pains for your tender plants.