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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My biggest plumeria is blooming indoors!

Well I can't say I was expecting to post pictures of flowering plumerias in December in New York, but here we are. I've only had this happen one other time with a plumeria and it was 4 years ago and that plumeria was by a very bright window. This plumeria gets no direct sunlight indoors (plumerias usually require a lot of heat and sun to bloom). Plumerias also require a lot of heat to bring out the colors of the bloom, but I was very surprised to see decent coloration on the flowers and the inflorescence looks pretty healthy.
Another really cool thing about my largest plumeria flowering indoors is that I get to actually get close to the flowers. Usually the flowers are 15 feet up but since this plant is right next to my stair case I get to look right at it from my second floor. Here are some pictures…

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's been a very warm Christmas Eve. Temperatures in the 60s after midnight is comfortable on a cool night in July and just about unheard of up here during the winter! Daytime temperatures in the 60s are hard enough to come by. Here's a whole slew of pics over the past week. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Enjoy the nice weather, I'm sure the cooler weather will be kicking in very shortly.

Some inside pictures. The ti plant and plumeria is all decked out for Christmas.

My ti plants all reliably bloom in time for Christmas.

Kitchen palm trees are also decorated for the holidays.

Close up of the christmas lights with a decent shot of my Cordyline Australius.

Took the ti plants out to enjoy the nice weather and spray them for bugs.

At night

Christmas Morning

Sabal minor, Loquat, and Washingtonia robusta in daylight on a sunny and mild Christmas morning.

My Med fan palm was completely defoliated nearly a year ago, but it is looking much healthier now!

Replacement Trachy going to go into it's first winter.

The confederate Jasmine only went inside briefly during a cold spell in November.

My Agave Parryi Truncata has yet to go inside. It's probably the least hardy cultivator of A. parryi but it is still pretty hardy!

My Yucca Guatemalensis has also been outside the entire time. It will go inside when temperature threaten to go into the low 20s again.

My succulent planter has seen better days but it is still alive which is impressive considering it has been outside this entire time in a clay pot on a metal table!

The trachys are looking good so far!

I will eventually bring the Spanish moss inside, but not until temperatures are forecasted to go below 20. The more time they spend outside, the better for their survival

On Christmas Morning….

I will also bring my passiflora indoors before the weather gets too cold. It is marginally hardy in my climate but I don't want to risk it since I have come close to losing it in past winters.

Not worried about my Y. Filamentosa one bit!

Floral Azalea doing well indoors.

Kliems Hardy Gardenia looking good so far

Frostproof Gardenia in this cold microclimate in the yard was nearly killed to the ground after last winter, but with only snow as protection, it still managed to come back!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Front yard Palms in Mid December

Quick update on my washy (tied up and ready to go under it's protection at a moments notice), my Loquat (haven't given this tree's protection method too much thought yet) and my Sabal minor.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The sun woke me up this morning

I always keep one window open in my room for the plants and today the sunrise woke me up. I wasn't mad though one bit, instead I took my camera out and snapped a picture. It was a beautiful sunrise!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A garden in my Basement

I decided that I would like to keep my plumerias growing throughout the winter. They take a long time to break dormancy in the spring and this past year all of them except my tallest plumeria made blooms too late in the season. The grow lights should help prevent that from happening again next summer. Some of my plumerias have buds on them indoors so maybe I will get lucky and enjoy some blooms indoors and again outdoors! Here's a picture of the setup. I'll give you guys another update in about a month!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014

UPDATED: Comparison PICS: Pool area Spring 2014 to Present

The pool area has changed quite a bit over the past season as it does every year. So here's a post on how it's changed this season. I will continue to add pictures because the season isn't over yet and even when the growing season does end, the area still has some beauty to it when it's all cleaned up.

Coming out of a very tough winter. Everything looks alive but beat up for sure. 
April 5, 2014

June 18, 2014

August 12, 2014

September 11, 2014

October 3, 2014

October 25, 2014

November 14th, 2014. 
Still in the process of digging, mulching, and cleaning. No hard frosts yet.

A few blooms in Mid November in my NYC yard

It might be mid November and it might be NYC but that doesn't mean there aren't some tropical plants still blooming. We will be getting our first frost tonight so everything that is tender will be melted in the morning. First off here's a cool map. How often is it that you see the southeast getting their first frost advisories the same time as NYC!? There are no other freeze warnings outside of the city since all the surrounding area has already seen a killing freeze. The urban heat island effect has a lot of downsides but the one positive to it is a noticeably longer growing season.

One plant that will not be melted are my hardy palms. They are hidden during the growing season by tropical plants that outgrow them, but they really start to shine this year when all the other greenery is just about gone. Here is my Trachycarpus.

My Sabal minor has 100s of seeds on it this year despite seeing some very low temperatures last winter (3F unprotected). It made a full recovery over the summer though and is almost as full as this time last year.

This is my first year growing Washingtonia Palms. If you aren't familiar with these palms, they are those extremely tall palms you see lining the streets in California and are very popular in any subtropical climate in the US including Florida (although the ones in Florida usually die from lightening long before the get as tall as the Washingtonias in California). Mine will never be that tall, but I am looking forward to testing their limits here in New York. They will start to suffer below 20F so I will be protecting mine once night temperatures start to threaten to go into the low 20s. More on protection later!

Last Ginger blooms of the season

My front yard does look empty without the banana tree, but if it overwinters well it will be back in that spot in just a few months.
The Cassias in the front and the back are both still blooming great. I got these as pretty small plants back in April and they are now taller than me!

 Mandevilla vines are very tropical. A touch of frost will usually knock them out for good and they will not start producing buds until the weather starts getting hot (late June or so around here). However, they will not terminate buds in cold weather so the flower buds they made from summer so they look great well into the Fall. It probably will not be alive tomorrow morning but it looks perfect today.

When it comes to blooming I can't think of a much better plant than knock out roses. They are low maintenance and bloom heavily in the spring and in the fall and sporadically all summer long. The bloom season is basically early April to late November which is incredible in this climate.

Here's a look at my kitchen now that the plants are inside for the season. 

The ginger smells amazing!

Thanks for looking! Unfortunately this will probably be my last post for the growing season, but definitely not my last post of the year! There will still be a lot going on outside as I begin to protect my palm trees for winter and lots going on inside too with all the tropical plants.