Added Containers for Winter Food

On Saturday (Dec. 8, 2012) I filled four rectangular planters with potting soil and planted 2 kinds of Spinach, Lettuce Stardom Mix and Bolero Nantes Carrots.


One spinach was a Ferry Morse packet of Bloomsdale seeds from the store; the rest were from Renee’s Garden Seeds. Baby Leaf Spinach, Catalina.



Once planted, they looked so bare and vulnerable. They’re on the greenhouse porch. They looked to as if they might tempt Ike the Cat to walk through the soil, or worse. Squirrels are so bold — they’ll be planting pecans. There were some rolled up pieces of hardware cloth left from another project. Cut in half, they were perfect to mold over the ends to hold and just covered the tops.

The veggies will stay on Ike’s porch until a freeze is predicted, where they will be tucked into the greenhouse handily. Likely they would survive all but our hardest rare freezes but they’ll not set back, protected a bit. If the sun gets too hot they can be trundled ’round back to the shade.


Inside the greenhouse there are green peppers big enough to eat and some tiny eggplants coming along, also Renee’s seeds but plants held over from my spring planting. I just cut them and the tomatoes back and they started up again with renewed vigor.


I raked more pine straw this afternoon and tucked around the young cycads. The big cycad has seeds. I can’t decide whether to try to grow a cycad from seed or just let them go. They may or may not be fertile; the nearest other cycad of size is about a quarter-mile away. I don’t know of any of those had pods this past summer.

Three ‘Olive Bailey Langdon’ daylilies got moved and a small rooted Mariesii Variegata Hydrangea. The plan is to make more mower cuts through the long, long flower beds in the upper garden. It’s hard to decide whether to try for the more esthetic placement or to mow where the fewest plants have to be moved.

My long-range plan is for more shrubs and fewer perennials. Only the hardiest will be left: Gingers, Shrimp plants, Stokesia, Baptisias — I started new Baptisias from seed last spring. I have seed to start some more. My plan was to pull up one of the flowering Pomegranates, Mme Legrille but Lane said he could mow beside it, as if it were some important piece instead of just a sentimental old bush. They are pretty in the spring when they display pretty orange and white striped blossoms but just another bunch of sticks in the winter.

Some Camellia seedlings in the Upper Garden have generous buds this year, after so many years wait. Eventually we could have evergreens everywhere. Boxwood cuttings are doing well. One that looked jaundiced has greened up since I moved it.

When winter comes, I will undertake some creative pruning on some of the big, old boxwoods. Left to their own devices, they would all be seven feet tall and almost as wide. I continually hack at something throughout the year.  My older Durantas were almost tree form this summer. They die back to the ground but grow to great heights in a single season and last well into late fall with little blue blossoms for the delight of late butterflies and that one hummingbird that hung around. He was nectaring on the first blooms of the Big Camellia on Friday. When I heard him before, I dismissed it as one of those big moths that lay so many eggs on the Daturas and cause caterpillars to nibble everywhere. Not so! I saw him, hovering with his little green wings around the Camellia bush.



1 Comment

  1. Lots of blooms in your greenhouse, Nell Jean! I love your white Christmas cactus – gorgeous! I’ve never seen one in white before. You have a wonderful selection of amaryllis. And how cool to still have veggies growing! We have some herbs indoors, but no veggies – still have some cool-season stuff outside like kale, parsley, and arugula. Happy Bloom Day!

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