Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bringing in the Tender Plants An Autumn Chore

A chore that has to be done in October around the Jarvis Garden is bringing in the tender house plants that have been vacationing outdoors during the summer.
 There is a spot at the top of the stairs where the hallway has two windows.  Over the years I have used this area as a makeshift greenhouse for my few houseplants. I cover the floor with black plastic contractor bags to protect it from splash overs.
 Wrought iron plant stands and the birdbath elevate the plants so that they will get more sunlight.  Old school lunch trays add more protection from overflowing water.
One of the tables that I brought inside had a removable top which made it easier to carry upstairs.
The Rex Begonias that were in the large cement urns on my small patio, grew into tremendous clumps over the summer.   They love being outside under the trees.  This one was relocated to the birdbath and a plastic bag added another vapor barrier.
 This is the hanging terra cotta planter that I had in my walnut tree.  Its pot has a rounded bottom, so I dropped it into a plant stand that hugged its diameter, and gave it  a heavy mall plastic bag.  The terra cotta pot will dry out very quickly indoors if not covered.
In another hanging terra cotta pot, I had a creeping fig plant, which fitted into a tall wrought iron holder.
During the summer, the Geraniums were in very deep pots.  They were too heavy
to carry up the fourteen steps on my staircase, so I replanted them in more shallow pots for the winter.  They look droopy, but they will revive and do well in this light.
The nicely colored blue trays for the smaller plants are actually the tops off of very large cans of laundry detergent.  I put them under the table.
I made a table from my Japanese "fish bowl" and a round piece of glass.  I placed two begonia plants on it which is in front of a low window in an upstairs bathroom.
The heaviest planters contain my Clivias.  They go right behind the front door so that I don't have to carry them too far, or up stairs. 
I have a plant stand in the basement near a  foundation window, where I placed the pots with the Amaryllis bulbs.
During the summer, they are happy on a wrought iron plant tree in a shady part of the foundation garden out back, near the basement doors.
The water for this faucet is turned off in the basement for the winter, and the hoses are taken in.
All of the watering cans  go into the basement with the hoses.
A space is found for a Spider Plant, but not too close to the radiator.
The two Thanksgiving Cactus plants, and a Christmas Cactus plant remain outdoors for a few days more.  t
They need a snap of cooler weather to bloom really well. It always amazes me that they bloom on cue, each on their own holiday week.  How do they know what day it is?
These two glazed pottery containers are wheeled into the garage barn for the winter.  The plants are succulent perennials and will grow back next spring.
The top of one of the cement birdbaths is tipped to its side.
And lastly, I noticed an egg case from a Praying Mantis clinging to one of my tall grass plants.  I will watch it next spring, and I hope that many, many baby Mantis will emerge into the garden.


Sinclair said...

We have had some actual warmth here for the last two weeks, so the cold is yet to set in...tomorrow it is supposed to begin dropping for the season.

So, we will be bringing in our plants over the next two weeks, and putting our hoses in the greenhouse. We will turn off all faucets and cover the pipes by mid-0ctober.

It seems like summer flew by so fast this year! Must be because it was cold until July, and then we hardly had much summer heat, even in July and August. Here's praying for better gardening weather next year!

acornmoon said...

A timely reminder for me to do the same, the nights are turning chilly here too.

I love those watering cans! You could start a little collection.

Elizabeth said...

Looks like a lot of work but worth it!


Great that you spotted the praying mantis egg case - do they usually hatch one at a time, I wonder.

Sinclair said...

I don't have beet recipes, but there are some on epicurious that look good:

Also, I like to eat beets raw...julienned on salad, or just as a snack in 1/2 rounds.

Willow said...

Wow! Is there room for humans in the house in winter? I have forgotten that plants must be brought indoors after living in SoCal for almost a decade.

willow said...

I haul all my potted plants in from the patio this time of year, too. I've been putting it off, but must do it soon, before the frost. It always looks like a jungle in here afterwards!