Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tough Decisions

We had one of the most beautiful fall weekends. The sun was shining and the temps were in the mid sixties. The only problem is that the night time temps are beginning to be in the thirties which means it is time to take stock of the outside planters.

I already brought inside the ferns shown below. They are so large and take up so much room. When I brought them inside last week I thought I could just leave everything else outside. I thought I could just turn my back on them and let nature take its course.
I just couldn't do it. As you can see I brought all the pots that need to be decided on up to the patio to wash them, water them outside one more time and try to decided who gets to come in and who is going to have to face the frost. Just thinking about those pretty colorful faces watching for me to come around with hose in hand to give them a drink. They don't ask for much.Like this bromelaid. It kept falling out of the pot it was in last winter so this past spring I just tossed it onto the ground. There was originally two of them and look what happened over the summer. There are now three. Can I just leave it here to freeze to death?? The other thought being since my house is so dark I always lose some plants to lack of light. Do I toss them onto the compost for a quick way out or do I take them inside to struggle for several months. Oh my, decisions decisions. This is the worst decision of the gardening year. Sigh~~

25 comments:

Joyce said...

Lisa, I'm a notorious plant rescuer myself. We now have all of mine, plus my daughter's, and some my mother handed off to us. It's like living in the jungle!

Mary said...

Lisa, I know! I know! We have a frost warning tonight, too. The only pot I brought inside was a 5-foot hibiscus tree - into the sunroom which isn't very sunny... It'll eventually be moved to the west bedroom.

Decisions, decisions. Tomorrow after work, I'll walk around and see the damage and think of you...

Teri C said...

Oh those poor plants. Maybe you should send them to me in Arizona where they will winter over so well :)

I don't envy you all those decisions.

EAL said...

This is my dilemma too. I can't save everything. I also had to pull healthy annuals out of pots so I could fill them with bulbs.

I did get a lot in though. My plant room now officially looks like a jungle.

But a lot of them had to perish.

garden girl said...

Hi Lisa, I thought getting the grow light for the basement would solve my problem, but I've just ended up propagating more plants and still have those tough decisions to make.

There are plants in the basement, living room, and dining room, and still more out there in the cold, cruel world to decide upon. I have a feeling the first frost will make some of those decisions for me!

Rose said...

Oh my, to think their lives are in your hands...
I haven't heard a frost warning here yet; maybe I'd better check the forecast! I keep finding other things to do than bringing plants inside; I have a feeling I'll be putting out blankets the first times we have a frost warning, putting off decision time.

verobirdie said...

Uh, what big decisions you are facin. I would thake the bromelaid, by any means. ANd all the others too :-) Difficult, difficult. I still have a few weeks before frost strik, but I too am considering this issue...

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa.......it is so hard to know what to leave to the elements.....I used to do just what you are doing, that is when I decided to get the greenhouse......would not be without it now.......

Bet you keep them all.......

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Rescue what can be rescued, I have got my veranda extremely full with plants from the garden and greenhouse, it's like a jungle...and i like it :-) LOL Tyra

Marvin said...

This sounds so familiar since Jo brought our houseplants inside yesterday. Washed and watered one day and brought them inside the next. I supplied a strong back to help move the larger ones and listened sympathetically to Jo's lamentations.

Everything comes inside except for the annuals. This year being weirdly warm, we don't have a frost in our forecast yet, but it will happen eventually.

Our house is small and we don't really have room for them all, but they come inside anyway. By winter's end most are looking pretty sad due to being knocked around by us and the dogs -- and lack of sunlight too -- but the vast majority survive.

My sympathies. It's not a pleasant chore, but one many of us face.

Jayne said...

I can see wanting to have them ALL inside, yet, knowing there is not room for everything. What a dilemma!

tina said...

I have the same problem-where to put them all? My house is rather small so it is an ordeal. Those ferns are very pretty.

Kim said...

Oh, my goodness, I hear you. I hate it when the first frost approaches because my "house plants" love it out on my screened porch. They look so sad by spring because my house is so dark. Maybe I should just give them away, but then my porch would be bare all summer. Your plants are spectacular, and I'd be very tempted to save them all.

Layanee said...

Hard decisions on 'editing'. The house is a jungle! Time to clean and cull but I feel your pain!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Lisa, I know how you feel. I can't make myself toss them. Usually I can find someone who wants to take them in and try them for house plants. They don't usually look good all winter and sometimes end up getting tossed anyway. They do brighten someones house for a couple months.
Marnie

Shady Gardener said...

You have some great plants, there. Do you have a friend or neighbor that would Winter over a plant or two? I've temporarily solved a bit of my space problem, due to the fact that I have a lot of amarylis plants (and they're in the dark corner of the basement for awhile!) ha.

I looked around your "artsy side" blog a minute ago. I don't understand some of your abbreviations... HAW? and ATCs?
I know, I'm just acronym-impaired.
:-)

I like that you have special days for posting your artwork, and enjoyed the posts about your watercolors, etc. You're having a good time. I need to take more time for that!

RuthieJ said...

I suppose adding a greenhouse at your place is out of the question??
I would have a difficult time choosing too.

Gail said...

Oh, that is a dilemma! I couldn't throw them away, either. Is there a nursing home that would want some of them? I can't bring them in (plant eating cat) so I have never gotten into collecting houseplants. The cat leaves the ones I have alone, but anything new must be tasted and vomited all over the upholstery. Good luck!

Gail

arythrina said...

I'm with you! The orchids were a no-brainer, and I couldn't resist trying to save my tropical hibiscus. I'm probably going to try to get a rex begonia out of the ground and my colocasia, but leave the coleus (they were dirt cheap!) to the whims of the weather...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Joyce, you must have good light in your house. I wish I had more room.

Mary, the hibiscus sounds like it was a keeper since it was so big.

Teri, I wish I could send them to you.

EAL, the carnage is over. I have all I could bring in inside now.

GG, I wish I had a basment I could put them in with a grow light. That is a good idea.

Rose, they are talking like we might have a first frost the end of the week. We will see. It is to rain and get cold. I hope it does rain.

Vero, I brought the bromeliad inside. You don't have to worry about it.

Cheryl, I wasn't able to fit them all inside. I had to leave three big pots out. I won't empty the pots until they are mush.

Tyra, I wish I could afford to build a greenhouse. I could surely use it.

Marvin, I am glad to hear I am not the only one with this dilemma.

Thank you all for your support. I have felt so unhappy about leaving some out this year. Some years, when they don't do well, I can just dump them into the compost uncermoniously. This year I had some good pots going. I just hated to get rid of them.

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
I do understand!!
Last year when I was sick I just let them all go. This year it is easy, I had one small pot to bring in.
I do remember the wintering over of many plants. I loved them all.
Sherry

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Shady Gardener you aren't acronym-impaired. ATC means Art Trading Cards, HAW means Happy Animal Wednesday and HCM means Happy Cactus Monday. Please join us.

Cicero Sings said...

Loved your comment about Topsy having to deal with a "heathen dog". LOL D had a good laugh too.

cyndy said...

Those kind of decisions are just the worst~

culling...survival of the fittest!
ARGH!

...it's always easier when the frost comes whilst you are out of town.

Kerri said...

I know from whence you speak :) I'm having a very hard time trying to decide what to save and not save. We'd love to keep them all, wouldn't we? Every one is precious. I hope you're going to save those lovely begonias! Will the cordyline winter over inside?