After spending a summer nearly empty, my solarium is now nearly full of plants again. Photo: laidbackgardener.blog
Well, after a week of cleaning plants to remove any insects and lugging them back inside, I’ve finished bringing my some 300 houseplants back indoors. And it’s high time: nighttime temperatures are starting to drop below 50 °F (10 °C), a bit chilly for tropical plants; plus the meteorologists are predicting a more cool nights than warm ones over the next two weeks.
I could have gotten this done faster if I’d taken full days to spend on it, but, as a freelance writer, I long ago learned to keep strict working hours, 5:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., minus a lunch break, come what may, and work 7 days a week (it takes those kinds of hours to make a living in my field), so only allow myself the right to care for my plants in the evening.
The few plants still outdoors are the ones that, like cacti and certain orchids (Cymbidium, notably), like a cool fall. They’ll be brought in before the first frost. Indeed, sometimes I bring them in overnight if an early frost is annnounced, then put them back outside a few weeks more if the following nights are expected to be warmer, depending on the weather.
One of the rare nice things about this year of the COVID crisis was that all my evenings are free. Normally, I have two or three lectures per week at this season, and they usually means I usually have to rush to get my plants in. This year, they’re all canceled, letting me work on my plants at a leisurely pace. I’m enjoying this so much I’ve added to my agenda a “no engagements” period for the first week of September, to be renewed annually.
I just love it when my home is full of plants: “my own personal jungle” I call it. Especially in a climate like mine where there is a 6-month winter. I have no need to flee to the South for the cold season like so many of my compatriots do. Plants give me tropical warmth all year long!