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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Migration Is Complete

My goal is to have all of the tender plants moved inside by the first week of November each year so this season I'm a bit ahead of schedule.  Hooray, more time to plant bulbs and get the last pots in the pot ghetto into the ground.  I keep thinking that plants should be grouped by water needs but once the migration begins, things seem to end up wherever they fit. Thank goodness that gardeners always have next year to make improvements.  Here's what the greenhouse is looking like now.

Plants tend to grow and take up more space as time goes by. 

Somehow the greenhouse seems to have shrunken over the summer.  It's certainly not that a plant addict continued to collect plants over the summer.

Banana 'Ai Ai' the Hawaiian variegated banana, once only grown by Hawaiian royalty is now available to commoners like me.  Thanks Rare Plant Research for making this available at a fraction of the prices I've seen in the interweb!  It's more than doubled in size this summer.  I'm hoping that it'll be okay with the temperature in the greenhouse hitting fifty degrees during the winter.  It's sure got glorious foliage.


The male bust has been sitting buried among plants in the garden for years.  He said that he wanted to come inside this winter.
 A bit jungley and some interesting plant details get lost in the jumble but it's a great place for the tender ones to spend the winter.

I could move the tables and chairs out to make more space but I love sipping Saturday morning coffee here in the bleakest part of the winter.  It always smells so good, especially when something fragrant is blooming like Jasmine, Brugmansia or forced paperwhites/hyacinths.


It's wonderful to be able to winter over so many things.  Truth be told, quite a few plants stayed in the greenhouse all summer.

The agave on the right was my first, purchased years ago in a four inch pot on sale at Melinda's nursery.


Of course I didn't run out of space and start using my old winter plant storage areas inside the house. That would just be silly!  No, these plants' winter home is intentional to keep the air inside purified when the windows are closed all the time.  It's a health thing, really.  Anybody buying that?  
In any case, everything is inside for the winter except the begonias which will be stored as pots of dirt once the frost cuts them back or I get tired of looking at them.  How's your migration going?

35 comments:

  1. Yes, everybody should put a needle-tipped agave or two in front of their windows for "health reasons". :D

    The greenhouse looks just amazing. The decor items add so much, and I don't blame you for leaving the table and chairs in there. In fact, you might need to add a couple more chairs for winter visitors once people see these images!

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    1. I'm glad you can see the logic there. They're great near one of the paths in the greenhouse, too. People start bleeding before they know what hit them.

      The coffee pot's always on, Alan!

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  2. That is an impressively full greenhouse! What a winter treat that will be to spend time in! I love the white and green banana leaves. I wish I could bring more plants inside the house (for health reasons, of course), but sadly I have a cat that chews on anything remotely green.

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    1. Some nice pointy cacti might make kitty change her mind, they bite back!

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  3. My migration is pretty much complete as well. The Brugs are still blooming gloriously, and I just can't bring myself to haul them into the garage till we actually have a frost in the forecast. There's one mixed pot that I'm going to have to dig some things out and pot them up separately, but other than that, I'm set. I normally just try and put things in where they'll fit. Wish I had room for a small table and chair. Once again, your greenhouse looks fabulous!

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    1. I hope you can find a way for more plants to go vertical and make room for a table and chairs, Alison. I just perch on the step stool that I use to reach the plants that are too high to see where I'm watering and set my coffee cup on the potting bench.

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    2. Sounds like you've been busy, Alison. Good for you! I could actually squeeze more plants onto the shelves I have or hang them from the rafters but this is working fine so far. There are still two tables/ four chairs for sitting and doing nothing in the greenhouse.

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  4. Is that a ground-floor window with the agave in it? You could add "burglar deterrent" to its list of benefits. Who'd want to climb in through that window? Hehe, I can't believe you've already filled up that greenhouse! Well, ok, so I can. I've still got tillandsias, vireyas, agapetes, and a few other things outside, but all my really tender stuff has come in. I made the mistake of filling up the greenhouse with things that prefer temperatures warmer than what I plan to keep it at this winter. Oops. Forgot my plan to keep it just above freezing.

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    1. It's actually an upstairs window but I like the idea of agaves being burglar deterrents. Maybe I need to bring more in for downstairs. It's funny how quickly a greenhouse can fill up! Fifty degrees is close to freezing, right?

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  5. Well done, Peter. Everything looks clean and groomed and ready for the big indoor party you're throwing alll winter. I see quite a collection of squid pots too (three?)

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    1. Thank you, Denise. There are three hanging squid pots. I was lucky enough to buy four of the free-standing squid pots from their wholesaler this summer.

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  6. Better to have early migration than rushing around trying to bring in everything late in an evening when imminent frost has just been announced.

    Decorating the greenhouse has basis. Most items in your greenhouse that aren't plant material have usefulness. Metal, concrete, tile, brick, ceramics -- all will absorb heat. Decor items add thermal mass, unless they're made of paper or cloth or wood. Every little bit of concrete and packed soil helps, which is reason enough to stuff a greenhouse.

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    1. We've all had those rushing around years. The slower pace is a little nicer.

      Thank you for justifying accumulating even more plants, and what nots for the greenhouse.

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  7. This early migration is because you have a fabulous place to migrate to, so there is no point in procrastinating. I'm always impressed by the sheer number of plants you have collected. Speaking of migration: is it time to bring my tuberous begonia into the garage?

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    1. It is nice to have the space to bring so many plants inside. There are a lot of plants and the garden's overall aesthetic suffers from the plant addict tendency to want one of everything. The begonia can stay out until frost kills the top or if it looks ugly and you're tired of looking at it, you can cut the tops off and bring it in for the winter. Mine are ignored all winter (no water or light.) Around February I start checking for new growth. As soon as you see little eyes peeking up out of the soil, put it in a sunny warm window, feed it with a water soluble fertilizer and you're off to the races! If you are tired of it, leave it in the ground and it'll make wonderful organic fertilizer for whatever you decide to plant in it's place.

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    2. Are you kidding me? Tired of it? I don't think so.
      I have both tubers in pots since I anticipated the transfer indoors. The one boomed with magnificent white flowers all summer. The other I accidentally broke off the stem. It recovered nicely but didn't bloom. It suppose to have orange blooms and I really want to see them. I'm going for the over-wintering attempt.

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  8. You've gotten a lot done since I visited! My migration is underway. The xeric potted things are all where they need to be. A couple of non xeric but tenderish containers still need to be tucked away, probably in the next few days. Then all that's left to do is to lift, or take cuttings, of things I stuck in the ground over the summer...

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    1. You're well underway! Although, you have a lot of things in the ground to lift.

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  9. I love the title of this post! And I want your greenhouse! I think you could charge a fee to have visitors come and tour it (maybe you already do tours?)! It's truly amazing--full of incredible plants, whimsical, decorative, and fun. All your effort and creativity are evident. Nice job!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. The greenhouse has added a whole new dimension of gardening. Since it was previously a garage, it's made the garden that much larger and takes time. What a pity, I have to spend more time gardening...Visitors are always welcome but I've not done any garden or greenhouse tours. I am considering holding my garden one weekend for the Northwest Perennial Alliance season of free garden opens. There are all kinds of gardens open all spring and summer from tiny to sprawling estates. I'd go crazy preparing as I never think my garden is quite ready to be viewed by anyone but me.

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  10. I agree about charging a fee.....and if I lived closer, I'd BEG to have a cuppa at that table every once in awhile. I blush to even refer to any "migration" around here. (Just keepin' it real.) I did good to get the walnuts picked up before our neighbor came over to roll our lawn!

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    1. Someday I won't drag so many things in and out each season and just enjoy the many things that are hardy in the ground here but for now, it keeps me busy and off the streets. You're always welcome to come sip something warm in my greenhouse! (or something cold in the summer.)

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  11. We've sort of stalled with our plant migration, lots of catching up to do this weekend! Your plants look beautiful, even huddled together in winter storage!

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    1. Your plants will all make it in eventually, they always seem to. You're both so busy with work, it amazes me how much you get done!

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  12. Peter dear lad ... how on earth do you keep all these magnificent "children" alive?!!
    I am flabbergasted with how you do it and do it so well ... that banana is eye candy for us commoners .. LOVE IT !! and one other favorite thing is the gnome in the bird cage .. heck there are so many things I love in these pictures it is hard to choose !
    Absolutely smashing !! : )
    Joy .. PS ... think f me when I am up to my eyeballs in the white stuff
    I am still planting bulbs too ... last year, into November in fact !

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    1. I'm fairly good with plants in the greenhouse because it has a concrete floor and I can water everything with a hose. I still kill houseplants that enjoy water on a regular basis but cacti and succulents that are accustomed to drying out for months on end don't seem to mind my neglect. It's not the best idea to water plants in the house with a hose and let them drip all over everything.

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  13. Our migration is nothing like yours. We just have a few tropicals, and our greenhouse can get down to 40 degrees.
    Your greenhouse is spectacular!

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    1. My original idea was to only keep the greenhouse a little above freezing but then those tropicals started creeping in...

      Thanks, Linda. I'm considering opening my garden for the NPA tour next year if I can talk Alison in to opening hers as well.

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  14. Oh so jealous of your indoor paradise! Everything looks fantastic, Peter. I don't have that many that need moving so I'll wait until the very last second like I always do and then regret it. :)

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  15. Amazing! I was wondering how you watered them all, but then read that you use a hosepipe, but where does the car go now that its space is taken up by plants? It must seem that you are in another country alltogether when you sit and have your coffee- magical!

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  16. love your greenhouse!! so chock full of fun and interesting plants! would sure be a great place to spend a cold winter day.

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  17. This must be what the Garden of Eden looked like.

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  18. Look at all your squid pots! *jealous*

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  19. Wow! Awesome. I want to come over for coffee some morning, preferably on a cold January morning. The banana is something and looks to be very happy with you.

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  20. The Banana 'Ai Ai' is beautiful. I was staring in awe. It would make a great companion for my traveler's palm :)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.