Friday, November 11, 2016

Lingering Colors of November; Orchids in Sunroom

We are celebrating a lovely snow-free fall thus far.  The garden is cleaned up, though the marigolds still glow from the raised beds.  Tiny blades of fall-planted garlic are poking through the soil where the dog hasn't disturbed them with bone-burying activities.  Some of the cool-weather-loving flowers like violas and primulas are having a fall revival.  It is nice to see their colors as a preview of spring.

Lewisia (below) is one of my favourite small perennials for rock gardens.  I tried growing it in the bark-mulched covered garden beds, but it did poorly there.  Lewisia requires VERY good drainage.  The bark mulch makes it too soggy for its liking. This one lives in sandy soil amid boulders surrounding the playhouse.  It occasionally gets some hose spray or a tip of a watering can once a week in summer.  Really, it is very hardy.  I think if it were really water-starved, it would go more dormant in the heat of summer and revive in the fall, like this one has done.  If they are happy, they will seed themselves around a little.  I did grow a few of mine from seed this year, but germination requires periods with pots in the refrigerator. 

Lewisia cotyledon.  This was planted this spring and has been blooming much of the growing season.
I have been gradually filling in the crevices between rocks with various colors of Sempervivum (partly to displace the dreaded black widow spiders). These are great little succulents, extremely hardy, and creep slowly to occupy their places.  I see that the local garden places sold flats of them which you could plant as a block, though I think most people would separate them out and spread them around.  A bright ceramic pot full of these and the non-hardy (but larger and more dramatic) Echeveria looks stunning.  My mother copied me in making some succulent pots of her own this summer, filled with these pretty little rosettes. 
Sempervivum (hens and chicks) put on their best colors in the cool weather of fall
One of the irises has been reblooming in October and November.  Great!
 This lovely yellow daisy-type flower belongs to a very drought-tolerant plant I put near the road this spring.  It survives only onrain, and lives in gravelly soil.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what it is.  I have googled some of the local xeriscape databases, but still have no idea.  If anyone can help me out, I would be grateful.  

Unknown drought hardy plant
My favourite garden hangout at present is inside with the indoor collection.  On the left shelf are the orchids with the pinky LED grow lights.  On the right are various perennials, succulents, and cuttings of garden pelargoniums and stonecrops.  The two big hanging grassy plants are Cymbidiums (orchids).  I keep this room at 12-25 degrees C.  The Dendrobium nobile (orchids) are starting their little flower buds, triggered by the change in temperature.  I don't fertilize them now and I water them less in the fall. 

Flower spike starting on Cymbidium

This empty tray is seeded with spinach.  I might want a snack while I'm out there.
 What is your garden happy place? 


  1. Hi Lisa! Happy New Year. My friends over on Facebook say your yellow flower is Calendula officinalis. Maybe you can check it out. Not much on my blogging these days but I want to put something up soon as I have lilies and Clematis growing in my workshop under lights and they are doing quite well. All the best!

  2. Yep, looks like Calendula to me too.

  3. Extremely interesting to read your blog. I just wish you wrote more like back in the days when you lived in Saskatchewan. Thank you!