Friday, December 4, 2020

The basement garden...

I wrote myself a note to remember to take photos of the plants in the basement for this blog post. Not thinking, just writing, I wrote: take photos of the basement garden. Ha! The basement garden, I suppose that's what it is. 

Here's what you see as you come down the stairs into our unfinished basement.

The "green wall" is where many of the bromeliads that spend the warm months outdoors hangout for the cold months.

Looking towards the westside...

Towards where I started—years ago—with this insane basement garden business. Back then all I over-wintered was a few nonhardy agaves, cactus and other succulents. I still think of this as the xeric side of the basement.

Whereas the other side (where we started this tour) likes it a little more humid.

Of course if I'm being honest, some of the bromeliads have infiltrated the dry side. It's a space thing.

The hanging staghorn trashcan lid planter...

And one of the ceramic hanging leaves with tillandsia and Lemmaphyllum microphyllum, aka bean fern.

Taking a few steps east, back towards the bromeliads, I turn north and you see our guest "bedroom".

Not really a room, so much as a corner.

Did you notice the Tillandsia usneoides in the above photo? It's much happier indoors when in a hanging situation, rather than lying on a flat surface.

So this year I'm trying it on a belt hanger. It's an easy way to hang it, then take it down to let it soak, and rehang it when it's almost dry. 

Standing next to the bed now I'm taking this photo facing south, back towards the laundry area and to the left of that, the half bath we added. This is not a glamorous basement, but rather a hard working one.

Turning towards the plants at the foot of the bed.

The hanging trashcan lid planter is hooked over the front of an old armoire. I take it down to soak it, and then hang it back up. The old towel keeps it from scratching the wood.

Close up of the plants to the side of the armoire, including a couple tall Pachypodium lamerei.

Plants on the metro shelving unit...



And now turning to look east, at my desk.

It's a pretty nice place to work, surrounded by plants.


I've been working on the PowerPoint presentations that will accompany the book release, thus the book is near at all times!

There is a plant peninsula that juts out between my desk and Andrew's work space against the east wall. We'll look at it from the other side in a bit.

Walking back around and over to the laundry area, this utility sink comes in very handy. When I took these photos a trio of bargain ($5) bromeliads were getting a soak, they're destined to be part of the holiday mantlescape.

Adjacent to the sink, leaning up against the outside of the bathroom wall, is the expanded metal piece that hangs on the side of the garage in the summertime.

Moving over to look at the plants gathered around the bottom of the hanging green wall. The Nepenthes alata that over-winter here, on the cement floor, seem to be much happier than the one that hangs.

It must stay more humid here? These plants retained their pitchers all through last winter.

Whereas on this one, that hangs, they started to dry up.

I suppose I should move it lower on the "wall".

The "wall" is actually a section of wire fencing hung from a 2x4...

There's another 2x4 at the bottom for weight. Here you can see I finally bought a humidifier, well two actually. I was hesitant to run them in the basement because we already live in an environment prone to mold, but the plants seem to like the extra moisture and so far it doesn't seem excessive.

A quick look at Andrew's workspace...

Back at the green wall...

And then around the corner, at the peninsula, which unfortunately is right in front of the heater, but lower part is strictly an air intake so it's not blowing hot air out at the plants. 

Looking west, back towards my desk and the xeric plants on the far wall.

And one last shot, from the same angle, but a couple of steps backwards. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I also took a video tour of the basement, but since I have no way of knowing if the Blogger software wants to play nice with the video or not, it will be a surprise for both of us if it works! It works!

Weather Diary, Dec 3: Hi 48, Low 35/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

36 comments:

  1. Cool looking basement!

    Have you had many guests sleep downstairs in the bed? What do you think to all of the plants down there?

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    1. Over the years yes, we've had a lot of guests. The trick is though in order to "sleep with the plants" they have to come in the wintertime. Seems like we get most of our guests in the summer.

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  2. I always love those basement posts, its an amazing space, Loree. The video worked; definitely a tour bonus. I don't remember seeing the pair of Pachypodium lamerei in the garden. The are real beauties. On the back of the peninsula, I spotted a small chunk of wood but couldn't tell what's planted in/on it: a bit of moss? a fern?
    If you are in need of a house guest, I'll volunteer. Your basement is the best place ever... I'll be very quite, you'll never see me, except when I pop out for coffee. :-D

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    1. That chunk of wood holds a little bean fern (Lemmaphyllum microphyllum) I planted last summer. It's barely hanging on, but we'll see how it does long term. And I'll remember your generous offer when we eventually go spend a month in Europe...

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  3. I am in awe of your organizational skills and the fact your basement is as clean and presentable as a shop open for business. When not in use by guests, the guest bedroom looks like an amazing reading nook. Bravo!

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    1. Oh gosh...I almost didn't share all the photos or the video because I thought it looked a little trashy.

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  4. Your guests get to sleep in a beautiful Oasis! ≋;>

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    1. I hope we'll be able to have guests again, someday.

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  5. I'm awed by your basement! So much more interesting than those basements I see on episodes of House Hunters that are turned into game rooms or TV dens. Your basement - like your back garden - looks huge to me, perhaps because it has so many interesting nooks and crannies. Basements, like freezes, are a foreign concept here but I'd enjoy having all that extra usable space. And, for the record, your basement-dwelling pitcher plants look far better than those in my local botanic garden's greenhouse.

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    1. There are a few houses on my street that don't have basements. I've never understood why.

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  6. Your guest bedroom is so unique and your basement beautiful with all those plants around!

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  7. Wow! Can I come live in your basement? It's more interesting than my house. I promise I won't steal your plants although I might drool all over them.

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  8. The winter jungle – a great place to work, surrounded by all that plant life putting out oxygen. I think all work stations should be similarly decorated! Bet your guests sleep well, too. I have a very similar trunk that I found at a dump and refinished when I was in college. Is yours wooden, clad with canvas and metal/wood strapping? The closures look the same, too.

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    1. Yes it is, and there's a lift-out shelf in the inside. I can't remember where I bought this but it's moved all around with me over the years. I have a second one that's covered with embossed metal. It's missing it's lift-out shelf.

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  9. OMG, I thought I had an addiction but . ..
    I live on a floating home on the Willamette and trying to accommodate all my outdoor buddies without a basement is a chore for sure. Would be interested in hearing your actual lighting/watering techniques. Thanks soooo much for sharing.

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    1. We almost bought a home that didn't have a basement. I don't know what my garden would be like without this space! The lights are a mix of different types and values. There is no real science to how I go about it. As for watering, the bromeliads are misted a couple times a week, watered as needed. The xeric plants are lucky to get watered at all over the wintertime.

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  10. I would think anyone would like to stay there during winter. It would feel like sleeping in a jungle. Great set up. I can't imagine taking care of this many plants and doing it so good. The plants look quite happy and healthy.

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    1. To be fair they're mostly still looking great because of the summertime vacation outdoors and they're best life. By the time I take them back outside next spring they'll be a little less than.

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  11. You have clearly made the most of the basement space-I agree with Kris-if you don't have a 'daylight' basement who needs a sheetrocked cube ? You have basically created an underground loft. And damn-your plant collection looks even more vast in a confined area !

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    1. Ya, as I was brining them all inside this year I started to worry if they'd all fit.

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  12. There is so much going on in the space, I love it so much!

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  13. You grow, gardener! Who needs a greenhouse when you're already heating this space. Like everything you do, it's wonderfully stylish and the plants couldn't look happier!

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    1. Well sort of heating. I've been keeping the vent mostly closed to minimize the drying effects.

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  14. Basement Bliss! What a joyous green space---who needs Christmas trees!
    Just curious about your Pachypodium lamerei---did you buy it that big or have you had it hidden away for years? Thanks!

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    1. They were small when I bought them, like 4" pot small.

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  15. Amazing! This makes me want to go buy more plants. Our sunroom is really packed with containers from outdoors but could be room for more! Love all your containers and interesting plants!

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  16. Fabulous! What a great space to while away the cold dark days of winter. I have seen less-stocked plant stores than yours. Showed your post to my husband so he can stop giving me a hard time about how many plants I have downstairs. Not nearly as many as you.

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    1. Glad to help you look like a minimalist! (or something like that)

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  17. Love the bedroom corner and Andrew's workspace in particular. I would laugh at all your plants but my basement is stuffed with vases, a whole room with rack storage for paintings, a large area for Mark's photo storage, framing etc. and lots of shelves for sculptural items. So it just depends on which passion gets indoor space. We all have a basement "garden" of some sort.

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    1. Those of us lucky enough to have the space.

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  18. The final effect is awesome and your work space looks like it inspires creativity. How many hours does it take to move the plants indoors?

    btw - hardly anyone seems to have a basement here in Bay Area. I suppose that's because of the mild weather and because most the housing stock is from the 50's or later

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    1. Mild weather? I would have never thought to mention that as a reason for lack of basements. I thought they were all about maximizing space and only for areas where the water table and geology allowed (eg. my house in Spokane, WA, was build on a mound of basalt so there was no basement).

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