Our warm October has been a blessing, really. The first three weeks tempted me to think summer would be never-ending: tomatoes kept ripening, a cucumber kept growing, the zinnias and roses looked better than ever. I even spotted a monarch butterfly early last week, checking out a Salvia patch. It was easy to get lulled into a sense of almost normalcy, especially if you didn’t turn on the TV. Easy to ignore the nagging knowledge that winter is on its way and reality in 2020 will present more challenges than we’re used to.
A few chilly nights this past weekend snatched the blinkers from my eyes and I realized I had to get busy if I wanted to overwinter a few of the tender plants growing outside, and cut the last few blooms untouched by frost. Every Monday Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts gardeners around the world displaying a vase of flowers usually cut from their own garden. For me this week it’s actually a tabletop of plants and flowers rescued from certain withering or recovered from the garden before the ground freezes their roots solid.
The African Violet is a rescue from a departing neighbour who never had a good track record with houseplants. It took several months to coax it into bloom. The Echeveria is in the same pot I’ve had it in all summer – it’s sending up it’s third offset. The Rosemary was dug up on Saturday – it’s now spent three summers in the garden and I hope it will survive its third winter in this corner of the dining room. I’ve discovered that when grown indoors, rosemary needs a moist soil to stay healthy and pest free. Interesting to note that when I dug it up last year it was covered with flowers, and continued to flower all winter. This year, not a bud to be seen…
As well as the last of the zinnias (truly, this week!) I added the flowers spike of a purple pineapple plant – Eucomis. I don’t have room to bring the entire plant indoors (the leaves get close to two feet long!) so I let it go dormant over winter. For some reason, this year the bulb sent up a very late flower spike.
I hope you all have a wonderful week – stay safe!