Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cleaning up the flower pots...

Fall has arrived in full, and this past weekend, I finished removing the flowers and their pots from my back deck.  This is always a big chore, because our deck is raised up a story, and it's either down a flight of stairs and up the side of the hill to the garage, or through the house.  My husband helped me with most of them, and I just handed them over the railing down to him so I didn't have to lug them one by one.  Many of them are earthenware, and weigh a lot! I think I had about 20 pots or so, plus 5 window boxes.  I emptied the dirt out first this year, hauling it by the bucket load to the front hill garden to leave it for the winter.  I usually either dump the pot's contents into a compost pile, or keep the dirt in the pot.  But this winter, I wanted more room in my garage, so I emptied them all.
We've had a couple of frosts now, and I lost my morning glories, lantana, part of my nasturtiums and the leaves on my Mandevilla, which is a house plant.  Should have brought that in earlier, but they were calling for 32F, and it actually got down to 27F.  Oops.
I did bring my goldfish plant into the garage though, good thing!  It's looking so beautiful, as it always does after it's been outside for the summer.  It too is a house plant, but loves humidity, just loves it.  It always loses a lot of leaves during the winter because of the lower light and dry air (be sure to fertilize it, it's a heavy feeder).  My shamrocks always flourish outside too, and then look sketchy for the winter (you can 'rest ' them in the garage for the winter, water a bit monthly).  Probably the rain helps them too, instead of constant well water.
Speaking of, I did set out my big containers to catch the rain water off the roof, and for the most part, didn't have to use nearly as much well water for watering.  Water needs in July and August are high, and had to water at least once per day.  Maybe I ought to add perlite to my dirt mix...
Now I just need to wash the pots and saucers and put them away in the garage for the winter.  I'm somewhat relieved and a bit sad at the same time, throwing out my plants.  Kind of glad to not have to worry over and water them, but miss their cheerful blooms.  I did keep the Lantana, which I had overwintered in my garage last year - it did WONDERFUL this year - it was HUGE!  Plus the Fuschia, which lost all but one stem over the winter, but boy, did it make a comeback!  I almost threw it out this spring, but it was gorgeous later on.  My mother commented on it when she visited the first of October for my birthday.
I kept one geranium.  I don't have much luck overwintering them.  I think it gets to dry and cold for them.
OH!  My canna lilies, which my realtor friend brought to me this spring.  She brought a big container full, probably ended up with about 15 or 18 pieces by the time I divided them, and planted them in 3 large containers.   Lets just say, those babies love to multiply!  Oh my goodness. I had to break a pot just to get them out to dry for the winter.  I had probably 15 - 20 canes in each pot this summer.  Way too many, I know.  Lovely little red flowers though.  I am giving some of the tubers away, as I just don't have the room for them in my flower gardens or pots.  This pic is early summer.
PS:  I eventually lost the bulbs to mold over winter.  They probably should have been kept in some peat moss or shavings.  My garage is too cold some winters, and my basement too warm.