If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know that our shade pavilion (pictured below) undergoes a transformation in the winter months and becomes an enclosed, sort of, greenhouse (details on that process here).
This is what it looks like now. That small black device is an electric heater that gets used on our coldest nights. There's also a fan setting which I occasionally use to circulate the air.
It's a makeshift greenhouse, but it's served me well.
Things stay dry and a touch warmer.
The concrete block and wood shelving leaves a lot to be desired aesthetically, but is extremely functional. Easy to tear down and store in the spring, and can be customized as needed.
Things less hardy go down to the basement and spend their winter hunkered down under lights.
This began as a way to overwinter Agaves and other succulents but as you can see other plants are starting to creep into the mix - like my non-hardy Passiflora.
But enough about me! As you've probably realized there are a few of us Portlanders who push our USDA Zone and thus have had to come up with creative ways to deal with winter.
Does this garden look familiar? I first posted about it here, and then again in the "great container count" on the plant lust blog. This is what it looked like when I visited on November 12th. Pretty darn good right?
This visit was the first time I was really able to see the Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana), there usually so many other fantabulous plants everywhere that I get distracted.
Yes it was raining, yes Eric and I were wandering the garden with wine, what can I say? Here I'm trying to give you an idea of the scale of this huge pot. You can also see it above, behind the black metal furniture. There had been a humongous Brugmansia in there, it was pulled and put into the greenhouse.
And there's the greenhouse. It's a garage conversion that Eric did himself. There are windows on the side, behind the Passiflora vine and on both sides of the roof.
Let's take a peek inside...
Pretty magical isn't it?
In my (much smaller) shade pavilion greenhouse the Agaves are all towards the back, where I can't easily reach, because they'll only need watering once, maybe twice, over the winter.
Once again scratch and sniff computer screens would be handy, it smelled so good in there!
Eric has an electric heater that he fires up as the temperatures drop. He's also got a back-up propane heater if things get really dire.
One more look back, as we head outside.
Where poor little Rusty is ready to head indoors where it's dry and warm.
Oh wait, I have to stop and admire the Manihot grahamii.
And the smallest Schefflera taiwaniana ever...
Inside Eric's house more plants are overwintered on the sun porch.
I believe what comes inside are the less cold hardy ones, and of course some smaller guys.
There's also a future forest of exotic Brugmansia rooting.
Amazing blooms, lots of doubles, in the future here at Felony Flats Botanical Garden - the slightly tongue-in-cheek name Eric, and his partner Robert, have given their fabulous garden.
Moving on to another Portland Garden some of you might recognize, Floramagoria. I've written about it, it was part of this last summer's Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend, and a stop on the 2014 Garden Bloggers Fling.
This is a shot Craig shared on Facebook once the greenhouse was filled up before a freeze...
And a cover he constructed to keep the in-ground (presumably cold-hardy) things dry. Craig says: "it's PVC framework anchored by rebar with a polycarbonate sheet on top and sides. Can also be enclosed if we get severe weather"...
Cool right?...Okay now we're visiting Chris Mitchell's overwintering set-up. We visited her garden last August as part of the HPSO/Garden Conservancy pre-tour (I would be remiss not to include a link to the plant lust blog post I wrote about her Agaves: here).
Chris says: "These pots are all in the garage, some under the table. I have a "freezer" heater that heats up when temperature drops to 35 degrees. Otherwise they are not lit much, and watered very little until I put them back out in the spring."
I wonder if there's still room for a car? Ah well, either way the Agaves are safe and that's what really matters.
Finally I'm including another set-up, this in the garden of Lance Wright (summer photos here and here) He's experimenting this year by enclosing an area off the back of his house, near the hot-tub. He also pulls things under the eaves (to stay dry) and into the basement where they can go dormant but stay above freezing.
I hope these images have given you some ideas if, like us crazy folk, you're trying to overwinter things that don't like the cold and wet of where you live. Questions? Feel free ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.
All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.