Okay, so it’s only day two of Cathy’s Week of Flowers and I’m already cheating a bit. These are the flowers of my winter garden, a fancy name I like to use when referring to the fluorescent shop lights in the back of the (slightly) heated garage. From now until the weather warms again it will be my garden home base where I sow seeds, strike cuttings, repot and pot up all the plants which don’t mind living on the cool side, but prefer not to freeze.
Geraniums (Pelargonium cvs) don’t mind cold nights and cool days and will flower all winter.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are almost a required flower for any indoor grower. This treasure was given to me by a friend who collected and grew on seed from one of his own bulbs. I love it!
In a good winter I’ll have a few primula seedlings potted up and ready to crack out of the ice mid-winter, to bring indoors to force along. Sadly this year the primula seedlings were a neglected bust…
On and off through the winter an occasional succulent will throw up a flower stalk. This Echeveria (E. diffractens I believe) is usually quick to develop flowers once it comes indoors, showing off this bright orange explosion of color from December into February.
Hopefully no one has been offended by all these mentions of cold and winter and ice, but I’m sure Kathy has fired up the troops and there are more summerly visions of flowers if you need some warming up! Give Cathy’s Week of Flowers a visit for all the links and I’m sure she’ll have a good dose of color from her own garden as well. Enjoy!
I’ve been on a buying spree lately. After months of doubtful back and forth it looks like my job will be around for another year, so I’ve finally cracked open the wallet to treat myself to a few extras on my wish list. The first was last weeks’ $100 trip to Lowes. A new 4 light T8 shop light with timer, light bulbs, and a bag of potting soil all got a spot in the cart. I eyed the seed potatoes for a while (they had a nice selection, reasonably priced) but didn’t bite. After years of sitting on my wallet it’s hard to go all out.
I’ve got the lights set up in a corner of the basement close to the furnace, so I’m hoping this will be a good spot for the warm growers like tomatoes and peppers. Of course space under the new the light is already filled up with nonsense like coleus cuttings and geraniums, but I did fit a bunch of new seedling pots in. Hopefully by the time I need more space a few of the cool weather things can already go outside.
It’s a crappy picture but it shows about all you want to see of the spindly coleus cuttings that have spent all winter on the windowsill. I should have potted them up earlier but….. you know…. hopefully they will grow fast enough to give me a few additional cuttings as I pinch them back.
Nothing fancy about the light set up. It’s a basic T8 shop light with generic 5000K “sunlight” light bulbs rated for laundry rooms and closets. I may be feeling rich but I’m not going crazy with special (aka expensive) growlights, and based on the success of the first light setup this one should be fine.
My credit card got a little more excersise over the next couple days. Not much, but I’ll wait a few days before fessing up to my other purchases.
Cyclamen coum in full bloom under the shop lights
In a way it defeats the purpose of growing a hardy cyclamen if you grow it indoors, but on a cold day like today indoors wins. My winter garden consists of a four bulb flourescent shop light hung over a makeshift table, but it seems to do the trick for things like cyclamen, snowdrops and hellebore seedlings. The cool temperatures of the garage are perfect for these winter growers and assuming their caretaker can handle the responsibility of watering, they should make it through the winter just fine.