Winter arrangements

29 Oct

With these announcements of impending frost i’ve been making, I thought on reflection that I sounded like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Now that there’s *definitely* been frost here i’m posting about the arrangements i’ve made to protect the plants. The rain shelter I previously mentioned hasn’t yet been built so things are looking a little crammed right now.
You know how you only realise how big things have grown when they’re bought out of the ground at this time of year? Well this leviathan colocasia caught me by surprise. Whether the size is down to it being in shade or just my SUPERFINE horticultural skills I don’t know, but it is a beast. Shame it was under next door’s apple tree; the falling apples knocked seven bells out of the leaves.Below is an image of the greenhouse now. I quite literally (now there’s an overused phrase but in this instance I really do mean literally) cannot set foot inside it. I haven’t cleaned, let alone disinfected the greenhouse. Moreover, there’s no air fan so it can’t stay like this all winter else it’ll be mecca for every ill-meaning bug, parasite and fungal infection for miles around.It’s the brugmansia that’s causing it. I have nine large specimens of ‘Maya’ and as many cuttings growing on.
There isn’t much in the house as my youngest would pick them to bits. Just this, raised up away from prying fingers-
Lastly, there are a lot of succulents in the loft under a couple of fluorescent strip lights-One plant, Aeonium undulatum, responds well to this at first but then quickly sags. This has happened three times now. I did hear mention that aeoniums are summer dormant in some climates. Could this have something to do with it?

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3 Responses to “Winter arrangements”

  1. Peter/Outlaw October 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    You said the “f” word! Why do we temperate climate gardeners do this to ourselves? Crazy we are! Does your colocasia retain its leaves all winter? I was tempted to cut mine back and store it in the cool basement but if those lovely leaves can survive in a slightly heated greenhouse, I’m willing to give it a try. Glad your kids are all tucked away and snug for the winter.

    • thechthonianlife October 30, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      They sort of retain their leaves. I’ve cut off all but the most recent leaf (counting just emerging ones as the most recent) from each plant, chop most of the roots off and keep in pots arranged on an undersoil heating cable left on 24/7. I suppose I could keep them dry but the corms never seem large enough, compared to the original, to risk being shut down for months. Also, I have an embarrassing story – when I first bought a corm I couldn’t get it to sprout so I returned it to the garden centre. Weeks later I bought it back after they’d grown it on, and at twice the price. Fail.

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