The sun was shining, the temperatures were mild, it was finally time. Time for the mid-winter check in. Time to take enough of those prisoners out of the shade pavilion that I could actually get in there and see how everyone is doing. Heck maybe even give them a little drink?
This is the view that greets you as you try to enter. That charming (custom!) cement pedestal is where the heater sits if it's needed, it hasn't been needed much this season so the surface is currently covered in plants.
And there are plants spilling out of the door too, of course.
But wait! There is actually some room in there, once you get the cement out of the way. Of course on the cold nights when the heater is on that space is stuffed full of things, things that were out of frame in the first few shots. In case you're wondering 21F is the lowest my garden has seen this winter, and we've had 3 events (one each in November, December, and January) where temps have been in the 20's at night.
I still haven't upgraded from the super chic cement and wood shelving. I doubt I will, it's just too easy (and free).
This is curious. A desiccated worm perhaps?
Thankfully I didn't find any unexpected guests (an infestation) or death. The Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' still looks good. Fingers crossed that continues, these can be notoriously tricky and in fact I've lost one previously.
The Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' I picked up at the Ruth Bancroft Garden during the 2013 Garden Blogger's Fling is still looking good, as is the Leucadendron ‘Ebony’ (visible in the 5th photo from the top).
I have heard tell that leucadendrons can be very difficult to overwinter in a climate where they're not hardy. In fact I've had two just up and die for no apparent reason what so ever, most recently the L. 'Safari Sunset' I brought back from Flowerland last fall. So naturally I brought one back from San Deigo at Christmas time! (I guess I like a challenge) Leucadendron salignum 'Winter Red'...
The brugmansia is done flowering and thankfully has retained some of its leaves.
So that's it for inside the "greenhouse," but since I was out with the camera I thought we'd take a look at the Agave ovatifolia and A.lophantha 'Splendida' which have spent winter (most days) under the PVC hut (written about here)...
Oops! My camera has strayed. Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' - I'm so glad it survived the move to this new location where it can go crazy (and it is)...
Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl', I wonder if it's fixing to bloom this spring?
So as turns out I was on a roll, why not tackle the indoor plants too?
Things have been pretty much ignored since I brought them inside back in October.
Time to go through and look each one of them over, and like outside, offer up a little water.
I do laundry once a week, and the machines are just a few feet to the side, so I do frequently look at these plants. Just not up close and personal. Doing a close check-over like this I'm always a little concerned about what I might find. This one (below) is a mystery. One of the Agave desmettiana has this darker splotches all over it's leaves. No insects, no signs of real damage. I'd say it was freeze damage except it's been in the basement where the temperature hasn't dropped much below 60. Any guesses?
The Greenovia aurea 'Gran Canaria Form' is telling me it's a little thirsty.
Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor', looking brilliant.
Oxalis, oh how I wish ye gone from my garden, and my containers...
Interesting pattern on these leaves.
Soon to be flowers on my Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis...
Finally! I've never been successful with leaf propagation of succulents. No doubt this one worked becase I didn't even know it was happening.
Healthy little bugger.
This is interesting. I give you Aloe dorotheae, exhibit A
Aloe dorotheae, exhibit B
Aloe dorotheae, exhibit C...all three growing just inches apart from each other, under the same conditions since October. Bizarre coloration eh?
This is interesting too, although not in a "neato" way, more of an "oh damn" way...this is my largest Agave 'Joe Hoak'...
And this is what I found on the lower leaves.
Mealybugs, a form of scale.
At first I thought maybe it was cochineal, because when I smashed them (as I did with my gloved fingers) they released a red fluid. Further research pointed to mealybugs. Thankfully I can only find them on this one plant, which I'm treating with the same solution that Gerhard wrote about on his blog.
And I'm watching little Joey to make sure he doesn't follow in his big brother's footsteps. Gardening, it ain't all fun and games...
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