February 19, 2016
Did I say conservatory?
I don't have a conservatory. But I do have a sunroom, with windows on three sides.
Outside its south-facing windows, the light casts long shadows through the Oak trees.
On bright, sunny days, the light illuminates many tracks from squirrels, rabbits, birds, raccoons, and humans.
Looking out from the inside, I can almost imagine the snow as a sandy beach.
Inside, the sun is bright enough to encourage plant growth.
Because it's closed off and only partially heated, the sunroom is cooler and more humid than the rest of the house, so scale insects and spider mites don't thrive here.
I've noticed as the days are getting longer, many of the rock garden plants are looking happy.
Unfortunately, some hens (Sempervivums) are elongating before forming chicks, although others are ready to fill in.
I saved a few Fuchsia plants before the first hard frost. They aren't flowering yet, but this should give me a head start on some hanging baskets.
The Meyer Lemon, which had some major issues in late fall and early winter, is sprouting new growth. I'll save that story for a future post.
The toad is watching over all the progress.
This was a happy accident: I plopped some variegated English Ivy (Hedera helix) in with Purple Shamrocks (Oxalis triangularis). I really like these two together.
The few strands of Ivy that I brought inside in the fall have tripled in volume, shown here with a Spike (Cordyline australis).
The Walking Iris (Neomarica longifolia), which grew two new "babies" this past summer, is showing signs of generating more.
My potted Cyclamen has survived several years now--going dormant on the back porch during the summer, and booming back to life during the winter. No blooms yet, but I expect them to start any day now.
I don't use grow lights, but I'm experimenting with some seeds in the sunroom. If they're successful, I think I'll try more.
What about you? Do you seed-start or overwinter plants inside during the winter? I'm finding it's a little addicting.