Kind of by accident, I now find myself living for the last 25 or so years in the pacific northwest in a much warmer (zone 7b - 8 depending where in my yard you are) climate. Roses seem to grow like weeds, holly and ivy are invasive pests, and many rhododendrons only look good for the few months that they bloom. We're very lucky! Some palms, bamboo, gunnera - a plethora of wonders are hardy here. So, what does one do? Why grow all sorts of plants that aren't hardy here of course and dream of living in an even warmer climate. Are gardeners insane or what? Is it just me? I think not. A quick look around the garden blogosphere tells me that I'm not alone in pushing the zonal envelope.
So now begins the annual autumn plant migration/ winter survival strategy deployment. I haven't chopped off the begonias and thrown them in the basement yet as they'll be o.k. outside for a little longer. I keep debating about wether to bring the solanum quitoense inside or let it die and start again in the spring. The fruits are getting bigger so it's tempting to bring it in. However, it's in a plastic pot that is sitting, surrounded by soil in a very large frost proof pot which usually stays outside all year and gets filled with an evergreen for the winter. The whole thing is to cumbersome to bring in for the winter so if I do bring the solanum in, it'll have to be repotted in a large plastic pot. Hmmm.
My little glass room always gets stuffed with plants which somehow survive (mostly.) It's not very pretty to look at but it works.
The first few plants get stuffed in...
Things get re arranged
This Agave weberi was so gorgeous at the nursery that I had to bring it home this spring.
The Agave has put on some nice growth and so has the lantana which I now realize was a mistake. One plant, one pot. Gravel would have worked better around the agave but I only had part of a bag on hand and I'm sort of impatient. Oh well. Agave weberi is hardy to zone 8 but the secret to keeping it alive in this area is to keep it dry during our wet winters.
I thought of making a mini greenhouse around it using some of the old windows I have in the garage but that never got done and the rains were on their way so...
This really looks tacky but it's in a part of the garden that I don't see much in the winter so the aesthetics of the thing don't bother me. I'm wondering if it'll keep the plants sufficiently dry. We'll see.
Many more things to bring in still but I've got a good head start. Now if I could just be satisfied with the huge palette of plants that are perfectly happy staying outside all winter, fall would be a much easier season!