We’ve had the ‘killing frost’ for winter of 2017-2018 in keeping with the autumn season. Amazingly, our season was delayed at least 2 weeks this year. The soft plants have turned to slime. I have a good supply of plants to winter over in the basement. I left them outside as long as I dared to give bugs and parasites a chance to chill and croak or move on to warmer climates.
Those rescued plants will become a major winter to spring project. Additionally, this gardening tool set looks as if it would be SO handy to help me get the old plants through the season. I would use them to get the new slips going strong for boxes and containers summer of 2018.
Gathering a Collection of Favorites
Happily, I’ve gotten a generous collection of plants that I know can thrive in the Missouri summer which can be HOT, DRY, HUMID, WET or CHILLY!
Former old favorite wax begonias have come back to the planters after a few years of being rejected as ‘too common’. The bright foliage doesn’t ‘faint’ in the heat. The flowers aren’t susceptible to insect damage. Especially pleasant, the “mother plants aren’t difficult to keep over the winter. The bright blossoms and foliage blend well with neighbor plants. I have 5 varieties in my collection.
Two years ago we bought a six-pack of dying RED foliage plants at a local green house. They were suffering in the hot sun on the bargain table. Last year, the slips I clipped off to re-start, bloomed in the basement. Unexpectedly, pretty little fringes of flowers decorate the leaves as they flourish a dramatic deep RED. I can pinch them back to keep them fuller, making a terrific contrast for the other plants.
A few Vinca minor varigated plants had been struggling to survive. I was giving them far too good care! The vines thrived last year because I left them outside, swooping the vines around into the containers to layer. In addition, with a lovely touch, they offered a lovely touch with their classic blue periwinkle blossom in the spring while layering created more plants than I needed. No plants were destroyed in this experiment! I managed to find a spot for all of them.
More graceful vines including Bridal Veil, fuzzy bunny ears, silver and purple wandering Jew and tiny mouse ears and dramatic decorative sweet potato vines create delightful fillers among the begonias, foliage and vince vines. The graceful vines all have 3 petaled flowers. Bridal Veil is a prolific bloomer!
Mother Plants Produce More For 2018
This year, there are three times as many good, solid plants to be ‘mother’ plants for next spring’s planters. Some of the current ‘mother’ plants have been in my collection for 3 years. Consequently, I’m looking forward to the clipping, slipping, rooting and re-potting for a new season with my plant friends. All the while, remembering past springs like 2016 with Under the Big Top – Tenting Baby Plants. Along the way, I learned that Vinca Minor is very irritating to tender skin! The rash they can cause resembles poison ivy enough to fool me for a while.