Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trusty Stalwarts

The nights are starting to get quite chilly, so I have begun moving the most tender tropical plants indoors. Among the first to come inside were curry leaf (Murraya koenigii), pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius), galangal (Alpinia galanga), and the most delicate form of holy basil or tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) that I grow - the last was already beginning to droop a bit from the chill! Another plant that has begun to droop recently but for reasons that completely elude me is a little seedling of some species of broom (either Cytisus or Chamaecytisus) that germinated last spring from a mix of seeds I had collected here and there. At first I did not care much for it , but then it grew nice and healthy all summer without demanding any attention and produced lovely silvery-grey foliage. As often happens with initially inconspicuous plants that surprise me with their vigor and carefree disposition, I eventually grew very fond of it. Then a few days ago it began wilting all of a sudden; at first I thought it might be the cool weather, but it has hardly been cold enough yet to bother any broom. Too wet perhaps? I have moved it to a sunny window for the time being and am letting it sit dry. Hopefully it will recover.
Luckily there are other plants that are not deterred by the change in temperature or wilting mysteriously, at least for the time being. The beautiful and intensely fragrant antique rose 'Gruß an Teplitz' has just produced a new flush of flowers, as has the night-blooming Epiphyllum strictum in the sun room.

Rosa 'Gruß an Teplitz'

 Epiphyllum strictum

I also just took cuttings of my perpetual carnations, something I have never done before. According to the vintage gardening books I consulted it is a rather delicate process involving "sharp sand" and "gentle bottom heat" - hopefully the only sand I could get at the nearby garden supply shop and a seedling heat mat set up in the sun room will be sufficient. Two big boxes of bulbs have also arrived, but more on that later...

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