Today, we’re going to take a peek inside our small greenhouse. We built this from a kit back in April 2014. It’s held up well!
First view inside. Mainly cactus and succulents, but also a few other things that I want to keep alive over winter. The shelves came with the greenhouse and are sort of on their last legs. I was going to make some more robust shelves this winter. We’ll see. Time has a way of passing quickly and I have a backlog of güeva (slothful lassitude) that I want to wallow in.
View to the left and the right. I always dreamed of having a lush greenhouse just overflowing with tweeting birds, frogs, and greenery everywhere. Here is the reality. The oil heater keeps things slightly above freezing, unless the power goes out, which it does quite frequently out here in the boonies.
The only wildlife inside the greenhouse at the moment are the slugs, who threw a party and dined on half of this Gymnocalycium flower bud (left).
Speaking of cactus…Has anyone else ever been disappointed when they’ve grown a cactus for years, and then it finally blooms…and it’s just a meh color? Seems that I often end up with a washed-out, pallid, dirty pink color rather than the vibrant pinks, reds, oranges, greens, and yellows that I really want.
At least Huernia zebrina (right) never disappoints.
Sigh. I give up on growing Aloe variegata. This is the fifth one, from as many different sources, that has gotten mealybug. This seems to be one of those plants that is impossible to obtain bug-free. An oleander (Nerium oleander) in the large pot in the back as an insurance policy in case the one planted outdoors dies over winter.
An olive (center) that I need to plant out next spring. Agave geminiflora on the lower left and Agave americana ‘Variegata’ to the right.
My variegated Agave is surprisingly heavy and awkward to move in and out of the greenhouse each year (left). It’s in a large terra cotta pot and I end up bleeding a little every time I move it. Totally worth it.
I propagated a whole mass of ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense) to try outside in the rock garden this year (right). Surprisingly hardy, I’ve watched one survive the past three winters outdoors in Corvallis. I was a little surprised to find out that ghost plant is native to Mexico – in the back of my mind I was thinking it was African, but then I noted the specific epithet paraguayense, which implies it’s from Paraguay. Surely, there must be a story here, right? Yes, there is! Apparently the plant was discovered among some South American cacti imported into New York back in 1904. The botanists at the time therefore incorrectly assumed it was from Paraguay and the plant was forever misnamed. Native populations have since been found in Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico. See more over at the In Defense of Plants blog, here. A surprising number of plants from the Chihuahuan desert do well here, so I am going to give it a go and see what happens.
I think that’s it for today’s post. Maybe we’ll dive into the other plants in the greenhouse some other day. I am going to head outside and sort some rock before it starts pouring rain.