It has been such a hot, dry summer so far. While I was away, I was told we had a significant amount of rain… and then back to old business of dry, hot summer. It was almost as though it really didn’t rain, but there was a visible difference in the garden, with a marked increase in the overall size of…everything! And boy, has it been hot, with very little escape except driving from point A to B… oh how a simple thing such as a car with air conditioning can improve the quality of summer livin’.
I decided to dive into a world of daylilies last week at a local daylily farm, and oh my god, I had no idea there were so many variants of every color. Fat ones, frilly ones, tinny winny, spidery, smelly, striking, and common. Open your eyes beyond the Stella de Oro!! I managed to make it out of there with my credit card intact—and 4 new daylilies, of which I had never heard of until that day. Let me tell you about them. A daylily is such a tough perennial, and on top of that, very prolific and intensely satisfies a person’s need to collect something, as I have seen at this farm. Unfortunately, I don’t like to collect things unless there’s a designated place to showcase them. The good news is, I have blank spots all over my turning circle garden’s plan, so I will house them in amongst my rock garden until I begin breaking ground in the turning circle. Not till after buggy season dwindles down.
The clearance events have been beginning to sneak up on me too, and I’ve been diving into the discounts, collecting more azaleas and rhododendrons as well as perennials. This is probably the second most exciting part of the year for me. FORGET BLACK FRIDAY! Let’s call it green Thursday! There should be a completely refilled launchpad by the end of august.
But that’s not all I’ve been up to lately. I’ve been traveling. I went to my favorite (so far) botanical garden, from where I draw a LOT of my inspirations. You can get inspiration at many public garden displays, but this one offers things I don’t see locally: large, tropical greenhouses.
I went this year to get as much technical information as I could on the construction and workings of their tropical houses, as well as some of the displays hung, built and set up in there. The way they mount and display some of their potted and epiphytic specimens really coincides with my personal business passion.
So I was shutter crazy, to the point that a woman approached me (or rather, cornered me into speaking terrible French) to see if I needed further questions answered. Unfortunately, the Horticulture Info desk was closed. Frankly, I’m not sure they were prepared to answer both my technical or English speaking questions.
I have a second greenhouse frame sitting by the Privet hedge, and it’s just waiting to be transformed into something useful beyond a place to grow beautiful gardens of Queen Anne’s Lace. I took a few notes on what I’d like to get installed, and it should be possible in this greenhouse, as it is only small and would not cost as much to heat.
The greenhouses that excite me the most are the tropical type. When you enter and your glasses are immediately fogged by the humidity, that is kind of a happy place for me. Well, okay, this week? Humidity has become a little excessive.
So what am I going to plan in my tiny greenhouse frame? I used to joke that garden visitors will exit through my gift shop, but I no longer want this greenhouse to be a gift shop in a traditional sense.
This greenhouse will be covered the same way as my large one, with a double layer of inflated plastic. I’m hoping to find some twinwall polycarbonate to install on the front and maximize the light. The back wall will be wood, or other material to hold a false natural layer of things that simulate trees or rock. I took a really good look at the trees on which the Bromeliads perched. Yes, I’ll be installing Bromeliads and Orchids here, and there will be hooks to hang or display some things that I will sell.
It will be heated. From all of my conversations with other greenhouse keepers, the best option is propane. And there will be an automated mist system to keep things at their optimum humidity level. Scaling it down to my frame’s size will be the puzzle. The orchids will likely benefit the most from this. It’s meditative to spray them in the house, but it comes to a point where dozens of plants to mist and water becomes very time consuming. And they sometimes seem out of place. They gaze longingly outside, I know they do!
It’ll be a tiny tropical oasis in the dead of winter.
But for now, Queen Anne’s lace lives here.