The greenhouse is filling up with tender perennials. Here are six plants getting ready to spend the winter under glass.
Bye bye Brugmansia
I still have a cutting from it but this week I waved good bye to the huge Brugmansia that has outgrown my greenhouse. It went off in a horse box to a lovely new greenhouse at a friend’s house. She has given me so many plants in the past, including the enormous tray of snowdrops I featured back in February. She arrived this time with a lovely trough in which I can expand my alpines collection.
Here’s a picture of the Brugmansia in its new home. It certainly has room to expand.
My Echium flowered this summer. I didn’t take a picture of it as it was a bit of a disappointment. It flowered before I had the opportunity to plant it out in the new tropical border. Constrained in its pot, it struggled to put on a good show, unlike the first one I ever saw, pictured below (from many years ago!).
It did sprinkle lots of seeds around, however, and I have found numerous seedlings. I’ve left some in the ground to see if its sheltered enough there for them to overwinter. I’m hopeful as it’s a sheltered corner by a wall. These six are my insurance policy though, and will spend the winter in the greenhouse.
Last Christmas I saved the pineapple tops from the juicy fruits my children, nieces and nephews had enjoyed over the festive period. One hasn’t grown that big, choosing to throw out a little pup instead. This one is looking great though.
I have a friend who grows edible pineapples on his kitchen table but I think I’ll keep this one in the heated section of the greenhouse and see how it gets on. Maybe it’ll fruit next year.
Stones from our Christmas dates were sprouted and potted up after the seasonal festivities and they’re all looking pretty good in the greenhouse. They only have 2-3 leaves each so are rather slow growing but I’m hoping next summer they’ll accelerate in growth.
Sonchus Canariensis – Canary Island Tree Dandelion
As the days grow colder and the nights draw in you hardly expect a tropical looking plant to be putting on its best foliage. This one, a baby tree dandelion, is stretching out its lovely dissected leaves and saying “look at me!”. For quite a while this year I wondered if this was actually a weed. I’d sown some seeds from Mikes Rare Plants and only one germinated. When you get a single seedling you can begin to think it may be something that’s blown in and I’ve been known to carefully mollycoddle many a weed.
I’m now certain this really is a tree dandelion and I’ll be hoping to keep it going over winter so that it can go out in the garden next summer. The flowers look just like your common or garden yellow dandelions but the leaves are heavily dissected and the plant can grow pretty large.
Preening the Pelargoniums
I’ve really enjoyed my growing pelargonium collection but this time of year they really do need a bit of preening. This week I sheltered from a heavy rainstorm in the greenhouse and picked off the yellowing or brown leaves from all the pellies. The lemon scented ones made my fingers smell lovely. I then took out any woody or dying bits and pruned many of the healthy looking stems. This will allow the air to circulate around the plants and should prevent rot or die-back over the winter.
Pelargonium ‘Double Dymond’ has needed quite a big prune and I’ve also had to lift some of the little branches and tie them onto a stick. It has a prostrate habit and had collapsed onto the soil, leading to quite allot of die-back. It’s still compact but I think it’ll be much happier over the winter and grow from a better shaped base next year. The picture below shows how it looked in flower over the summer.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.