Opening Up the Winter Garden

A good thing and a bad thing.  Someone had enough energy (or was bored enough) that they cleaned out the winter garden last summer, and by that I mean all the empty pots and dead leaves were not still sitting under the fluorescent grow lights in the back of the garage… That’s the good thing.  The bad thing is someone also had a little energy on the day when potted plants and cuttings needed to come indoors for the winter.  That’s the bad thing.  There have never been so many things stuffed under lights this early in the season and I for one am quite pleased.  If this gardener were the type, the feeling is similar to a slow motion bungee jump where you’re on the edge of the bridge about to jump.  All the equipment has been checked and you’re at the point where it’s going to be either a complete disaster or a bunch of fun… Well maybe that’s a terrible analogy since I’ve only dropped and shattered one clay pot and spilled soil and cactus parts everywhere… okay, so maybe it’s a fitting analogy, with the exception that the cactus pieces were put into a new pot and survived whereas your pot contents might not do the same.

Sorry.  I guess whatever point I had has been reduced to ‘don’t bungee jump’.

mammillaria plumosa

In a moment of distraction I spent an hour finding the earliest photo of my little mammillaria plumosa.  It usually flowers a month or so after coming indoors, and this winter might mark its tenth birthday from the day a friend first gave me a cutting.

I’ve spent most of the Holiday weekend cleaning up leaves and planting bulbs and for the first time in about a year the garden looks somewhat under control.  I’d post photos but most days have been all day labor in the garden until dusk and pictures don’t happen, but honestly who really needs to see the dirt where the tulips went in anyway.  Instead I shall leave you with a super-interesting photo of two cuttings stolen from an outdoor planter which was nearly done for the year due to frost.

stolen plant cuttings

Gardeners are nothing if not hopeful.  Two tiny cuttings which spent a weekend in my coat pocket and now grace the windowsill with their beauty.  They’re like an Advent candle with all the hope and promise for a rebirth… unless they die, in which case I’m sure there will be plenty of replacements!

Apologies for the randomness of this post.  I’d thrill you with a few snowdrop photos, but the kids stepped on them while hanging the Christmas lights so I’ll have to see what’s left.  In the meantime there will hopefully be some more interesting posts to come as I and others join Cathy of Words and Herbs for her ‘Week of Flowers’ event.  As the weather gets cold and the nights grow long what can be better than a flood of flowers as we prepare for the holiday season?  It should be fun.  Happy first of Advent 🙂

11 comments on “Opening Up the Winter Garden

  1. Oh my word … those pocketed cuttings look so familiar 🤣

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    One thing we can say about gardeners, is that they are ever hopeful and optimistic! 🙂

  3. Love that mammillaria. I don’t pocket cuttings. My preference is to buy seeds and then put the packet on a bookshelf for a few years.

    • bittster says:

      Oh I am so guilty of that as well! A few years back I started a sow-all-the-seeds policy. You’d think I would be drowning in all the seedlings, but I kill them off as well as I do other plants, so it’s really the same as before, just without those seed packets sitting there constantly judging me.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The Mammillaria cactus is so cute. Those tiny flowers about to open. So much promise in that picture for some winter interest. You should feel quite proud of yourself getting your bulbs in the ground before winter settles in. I actually did a bit of transplanting this past weekend. We are having a sunroom add on and they dug up some bulbs and black mondo grass. You know how one thing leads to another. I got busy since it was to rain last night and it did. We are having above normal temps. We are still considered in a minor drought, which is good for construction but bad for plants. I hope they can all hang on until spring rains set in. Have fun in your winter garden, organizing, repotting, splitting and grooming your plants.

    • bittster says:

      Lisa always good to hear from you!
      I see a few cold nights in the ten day forecast, and yes, I’m very glad about the bulbs being planted and the last of the tender things indoors.
      Good luck with your construction. As you know ours is still inching along…

      • Lisa at Greenbow says:

        It is almost unbelievable that your construction is still going on. You must have added a lot to your house. Our sunroom and deck are finished. They did a lot of it when we were out of town. At first I was not happy they started the project while we were gone (we were gone almost 5 weeks) but as it has turned out I am happy that we were not here for the entire job. The biggest draw back is that there are plants I would have moved before the deck was constructed. Maybe if I am feeling Ninja-like this coming spring I can rescue a few plants under the deck.

  5. Cathy says:

    Those cuttings do show that typical optimism of gardeners Frank! Sorry about the snowdrops, although I am sure many more will be appearing soon. 😉 Thanks for the mention… look forward to seeing a few of your flowers later in the week! 😃👍

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