Finished setting up the winter garden. It’s a multi-stage process:
— first the plants, mostly tropicals, come in from the back deck.
— then they get moved around, as I try to find the perfect combination of sunlight — there are only four sunny windows on the first floor, so sunlight is the big limiting factor on how many plants I can squeeze inside.
— I make sure that none of them will drip on the floor — a combination of a few large pots that don’t have drain holes, some pots that have built-in drip saucers, some pots that have little plastic saucers added (my least favorite solution, because it’s not as pretty, but sometimes needs must), and some large trays filled with clay stones that absorb water; I usually water the stones too, in the hopes that it’ll keep a little more moisture in the environment.
— if any of the plants are sprawling too much, I add trellises so they’ll go vertical instead of wide; I also move them around for aesthetic impact, mostly trying to do a mix of heights and fullness
— and finally I trim off the excess — some of the vining ones, like mandevilla, go a little nuts in the summer, and need to be cut back to manageable proportions indoors
I’m almost done with the trimming — the duranta is blooming profusely right now with its little purple flowers, and I mostly want to trim those branches off and bring it back down to half its height; I’ll wait ’til the blooms are done before diving in with the shears. But otherwise, all set for the oncoming winter — welcome to the jungle.