Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bringing the outside in

It’s 41 degrees (Fahrenheit) here in Manotick, Ontario as I write this and the temperature is dropping. It will be well below freezing tonight and not for the first time this fall.  I don’t mind the weather as it’s high energy with the sun shining at least part of the time and a bright blue sky.  But I miss my summer flowers!  

The house has a two-foot roof overhang by almost all the windows. That keeps us cool in the summer, but it seems dark and unfriendly without a peek of brightness through the windows. Even our hysterical and hyperactive squirrels weren’t able to lift the mood. 

This year I couldn’t bear to part with the beautiful coral geranium that brightened the deck all summer.  We usually let the begonias and geraniums go, but now in our bungalow we actually have a bit of room. What harm could it do to cart some inside and hope for the best?

We’ve salvaged two geraniums, a small begonia and most of the herbs.  The parsley, thyme, rosemary and chives were not looking their best in their newfound window, that doubles as the orchid rest home. They declined to be photographed as did the naked orchids. 

I also made a mad dash with the garden scissors before the driving wind, rain and the odd (gasp!) swirling snowflake destroyed the blooms on the hydrangeas.  They have repaid me by staying perky for two weeks in various little vignettes and I think they’ll last longer.  

And in the middle of typing this, I remembered the lavender.  Although the blooms are long gone and I wasn’t sharp enough to harvest them at the time, too busy promoting The Wolfe Widow and working to meet our deadline for The Marsh Madness, the next book collector mystery.  But never mind, the little stalks smell nice enough and are cheering up the place too.  

I noticed that a lonely clematis bloom was resting bravely on the deck.  Where were you all summer, I wondered?   

The good news is that the house looks much more cheerful and the transplants from the garden will keep me happy until the amaryllis and Christmas cactus bloom.   

The bad news is that they seem to have brought a couple of hardy mosquitoes with them!  So smile, slap. Smile, slap.  

I’ll let you know how long they all keep.  And in the meantime, how about sharing your own secrets for saving plants and keeping things bright in gloomy November. 

Tips, tales and all that good stuff gratefully received, my friends.