Marty’s Gardening Journal, October 28th, 2008

Read More 10-2008 Toad liliesTheir neighbors, some coleus grown from last year’s cuttings, were equally colorful. This past weekend I meant to take some cuttings to grow new plants for next year. Unfortunately, the first light frost did them in before I got around to it. I guess I will be growing coleus from seed next spring instead.

The fish in the pond have grown a lot. The babies from last year are nearly ten inches long and they are only a little smaller than the adults. Because of the dropping water temperature their movement is much slower. I feed them very little now as they exhibit little enthusiasm for their regular food. Instead they forage among the rocks for bits of algae and other tasty morsels they come across.  The one goldfish in the little pond was brought in from outside and now resides in a tank in the basement. While The Spouse advocates getting another goldfish so they “can keep each other company”, I am all too familiar with that scenario and ending up knee-deep in baby goldfish. For now the goldfish has some catfish as tank mates and that’s all it is going to get.

The toad lilies were at there best until last week, when the frost got to them. I call the walkway to the little pond “Toad Lily Lane” as one side of the walkway is lined with them. Many bees gathered there to take advantage of its nectar so late in the season. While the individual flowers on these plants are small, there are so many of them on one stalk that the sight of them can cheer up anyone late in the growing season.

My new sitting garden in the front of the house has been cleared of most potted plants. The fuchsias are all brought in to overwinter in the mudroom under growing lights. I plan on taking cuttings from them to grow more, since I want to have them potted in both the front and the back garden. The orchids have also been brought back in and I just discovered the beginning of a flowerspike on one of them. For now, the Brugmansia, or angel’s trumpet plant is still remaining outside, close to the house. Two cuttings taken in late May were rooted and potted up in July. Since then, they outgrew their original pots. Now nearly three feet tall, the flower buds are starting to open. While doing some research on the internet on these plants, which are new to me, I found out they were named after a Dutch natural history professor from the University of Leiden, named Sebald Justin Brugmans, who lived from 1763 till 1819. Those Dutchies sure get around, don’t they? I already bought new containers for them for next year, as nurseries are clearing their stock. I got a really great deal on two large glazed pots which will become their new home. Of course, the following winter they will be forced to overwinter in the garage as there is no way I (or The Spouse!) will be able to get these containers up the stairs and into the house. But that will be next year’s problem!

For now I enjoy nature’s colorful show with visions of yellow, oranges and red. It will be over in a few more weeks, but it sure is glorious while it lasts!