Every autumn brings with it not just the colors that we all love, but for me, a scramble to get non-hardy plants indoors. You'd think that this year with its lingering mild temperatures I would have things under control, getting the growing tables in the basement ready in time, having a place for everything.
But no. I still procrastinated this year, getting the tender plants into the garage or basement the afternoon before the first frost. Placement isn't important during these scrambles, only getting the plants inside. Hence they end up in "bad" places -- like in my more-important-than-ever workshop area as seen above.
They add a nice touch of outdoors to an otherwise "sterile" room...
...but they're so much in the way! (There's a table saw underneath the begonias above...)
The growing tables are getting quite full of succulents this year...
...even though they aren't organized and don't even have all of their bulbs working yet.
I don't even have any cuttings rooting -- just this one:
Where will the grasses go? I wish I didn't like propagating plants so much, and that succulents weren't so easy to clone.
Another issue: some things are just getting so big!
That's my prized totem pole cactus, which has been growing much faster than I expected.
The Plumeria (right) is also getting big...
...and that Agave I inherited was already big (and lethal). Glad I didn't get around to putting it in a bigger pot this year!
Since our cold nights have dipped just barely below freezing and only for a night or two, and are then followed by a week or more of warmer temperatures, I've been moving some of the plants outdoors and back in again. The bigger ones have taken their places upstairs as houseplants for the winter, like the huge Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera):
The Pachypodium lamerei has a new spot this winter: in the corner!
It was next to a chair last winter and some close calls made me find a more out of the way spot for it this year. Although we were thinking about repainting this winter, so I guess this thing will be a bit of a menace wherever it lives!
I also must remember that it has a mantis egg case on it that I need to remove soon and put into the refrigerator or I'm going to have a surprise mid-winter!
One other procrastination that causes me more trouble each fall:
Since early autumn is always so dry here, my hoses are in use almost up until the cold arrives. Even the best hoses stiffen in colder weather, so coiling these for winter storage is always more work than it should be.
I do need to get organized with these plants because the bigger ones (Papyrus, Colocasia, Cannas, tender grasses, bananas) still need to be dug and stored, so the little ones need to find their places.
With only one more night of the next 10 forecast to be close to freezing, I don't feel rushed at all though. I'll be scrambling again when the first hard freeze is predicted, as always.