Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Such as it is, the garden inside


You see above the freshly stocked plant room: 2 large gardenias, a banana, an alocasia, a colocasia (Thai giant), 2 jasmines, 3 orchids, 2 hippeastrum, a big croton, a sansevieria, a cactus assortment, a Christmas cactus, and 2 common houseplants that probably have long unpronounceable names. I can’t recall them and I don’t think I have the tags. (You can't see all of these, but believe me, they're there.)

It looks great now, but we’ll see how things progress as we get into the winter months. Probably one or two will get strange ailments that cause all their leaves to drop off, and I’m sure I’ll have to deal with some infestations. The lights still aren’t right; maybe the local hydroponic place will have some better bulbs that can screw into regular sockets. If not, why not? This really burns me up (ha). Seriously, it should be easier for the average gardener to install acceptable grow lights. There should be something other than those awkward fixtures.

In early January, it will be time for the hyacinths to come in here. That will be a trick. Maybe I should hope for some casualties. For the next five months or so, this room, the houseplants elsewhere in the house, and the bulbs in the root cellar will combine to form my indoor garden. It’s not quite the same, but I’ll be supplementing with trips to the botanical gardens, garden books, and, of course, reading and writing blogs.

11 comments:

dr aletta said...

Your 'green room' needs a parrot and a chaise. Maybe they're behind the camera. I'll be over with the margaritas in January when the hyacinths come in. But seriously, it's a beautiful room to enjoy all winter.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I am not showing my husband this picture. A few years ago he brought his banana tree into the house after it had died back after a frost. It grew to about eight feet in my kitchen. When the weather warmed up, he took it out on the deck. It died back again due to sunburn. Your beautiful indoor garden will only encourage him:)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The end of our livingroom looks much like this. Different plants but it is chocked full. The buggy bugs are probably thrilled to be in out of the chill and will start partying soon. Then when the house dries out the pots will dry out. It is the watering inside I don't like to do. Always messy and I often forget. How that can be when I faithfully water during summer. Maybe it is being outside I enjoy most.

Carol said...

It's a plant lover's dream. A place to go when you want to touch living, growing plants in the wintertime. I've brought in a few plants as well, but my banana plants are going to have to go dormant and try to survive in the cold garage. There isn't room in my plant room for them.

And I agree with you on the plant lights. There should be some that you can just screw into a regular light fixture and not cost hundreds of dollars.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

EAL said...

And not be ugly, right Carol?!
Lisa, they don't need as much water when they're inside. I think many people overwater their indoor plants. I just do once a week if that.

Kathy said...

I have 2 Christmas cactus, 1 rosemary, & more aloes than I really want, but my DH thinks they are all necessary for treating burns...

EAL said...

Kathy, you could get a big tube of gel for cheaper than taking care of all those pots. The gel works great, IMO. Then you can focus on more interesting plants!

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Layanee said...

There is something wildly inviting about a 'plant room' aka jungle. Perhaps it's the moisture in the air from their breath. Whatever, yours is an invitation to sit and read a book or two.

firefly said...

Speaking of bulbs, and exotic flowers like orchids and gardenia, have you ever tried Eucharis amazonica, the Amazon lily? Mine is about to bloom indoors after spending summer on the sunporch. It has a lovely spicy fragrance and white flowers with a green eye that resemble narcissus cups (yes, I know, not really a lily!).

It's a great plant for shade (actually can't take direct sun), and likes an outdoor spot for the high temps/humidity in summer, which prompts it to bloom. Wide, dark green, luscious foliage. Bulbs need to be cramped in the pot; they won't bloom until rootbound. They don't go dormant and lose foliage, so it's good all year.

Logee's has them in 2.5 inch pots. I started mine from bulbs I got from M&Z and it took a couple of years before they bloomed because I stuck them in this enormous 24" porch pot.

Lovely flowers, though, and terrific fragrance. It was worth the wait.

Jon said...

My back sun porch is now packed full of tropical refugees from the first round of cold fall nights that have arrived here in the Deep South. Soon we will have our first frost I'm afraid.

I don't mind a jungle room, but I must admit it is a hassle to water this crowd!

Always a treat to visit your blog. Jon at Mississippi Garden on 11-5-08