With another round of snow and ice predicted for the weekend I planned a few hours of basement gardening — where I could at least attempt to be blissfully unaware of what was happening outside.
It was a good chance to check how the mealybug infestation was doing (not too bad), water a few things and trim some dead leaves. Have I shared photos of my Lophocereus schottii (totem pole cactus)?
It was a gift from the kind Maryellen, the lady behind Westwood Farm, which some of you visited during the Portland Garden Blogger's Fling.
There are more plants than usual in the basement right now, since the weather has been so frightful. And yes that's a bed in the background. Our glamorous guestroom!
The Bromeliads, these always spend the winter months here.
The tree ferns, Brugmansia and that Agave are just visiting.
Ditto for the Grevillea 'Ned Kelly' (in the laundry sink, I'd just watered him)...
These poor Agaves have been here for longer than I like. It was early December when I pulled them from the driveway stock tanks (their normal winter home).
The Bocconia frutescens has spent winter outside before, not this year though.
These are all refuges from the shade pavilion greenhouse. With temps below freezing both day and night, for an extended period of time, I needed to free up space to move a other containers in. Plus a few, like that Strobilanthes gossypinus, wouldn't like it dipping much below freezing — which I was concerned it might with only a small electric heater keeping things warm.
I'm hopefully they'll all be heading back out to the "greenhouse" by the time you're reading this.
With the exception of the Agave on the bed, these have all been here for awhile, and will stay until spring.
My friend, Lance Wright, offered up divisions of his Bromeliads last fall and I jumped at the chance to get these beauties.
Agave parryi is such a hardy plant, but since there's just a tiny bit of soil, and a thin piece of metal, protecting their roots I brought them inside too (these are normally on metal tubes, my "dish planters").
More prisoners of love...
Usually these Pachypodium loose their leaves in the winter. Odd they're still so happy this year.
Yuck. Damn mealybugs. I found them on a few new things (I'm fairly confident they've been there all along...they were just finally out in the open where I could see them). All got doused with a mix of 70% isopropyl alcohol, soap, and water.
The Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick' has grown out of it's unfortunate sunburn of last July.
The Agave americana medio-picta 'Alba' got a dowsing of the alcohol mixture.
Aloe 'Blue Elf' is finishing up its bloom action.
Anyone care to make a guess on what those brown spots are? I thought some sort of scale maybe, but they can't be picked/pried/popped off.
Ah! A healthy plant! Agave attenuata...
And a bloom on the Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis.
I'll end the indoor section of this post with a look at the bright green new growth on my Euphorbia polygona cv. 'Snowflake'. The first time I saw this I was concerned they weren't getting enough light and that's why the bright green. I'm happy to report that as time went buy the tops turned as white as the rest of the plant.
Just in case you were wondering about the outdoors...the snow showed up on Saturday and the ice came on Sunday. It was comparable to the last ice storm in December, but with much colder temperatures leading up to the event and less snow prior to the ice. Oh and it wasn't nearly as widespread this time, large parts of Portland were spared, we were among the lucky ones who got to experience it, again. Here's a crappy phone-photo showing glazed frost cloth over my large Agave ovatifolia. I wasn't going to venture any further out Sunday night than to open the front door and snap this photo.
The rest of these photos were taken Monday, once it warmed up to 30F...
This poor Yucca aloifolia, I'm not sure if the trunk itself is leaning or if there's a soft spot and it's broken (and thus a lost cause). I was scared to mess with it for fear I'd make things worse.
Everything that could bend once again bent.
I'm so over this winter, but guess what!? More snow and possibly ice is predicted for tonight.
Weather Diary, January 9: Hi 40, Low 30/ Precip .25
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