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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.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Some greenery around the yard today.

The weather was a little chilly today, but nice enough to get a lot of digging done. The bananas are all snug for the winter and most of the potted plants are indoors. I still have a lot of things in the ground in the backyard still around but I will attempt to take those in before our first frost which on average is in mid November.

The last nice pictures of my large Ensete banana. This plant weighed at least 200 pounds even after the leaves were cut off. Very very heavy for its size. The trunk is about as tall as me.

It was painful to cut off all these beautiful leaves,  but that's the only way for such a big plant to fit in my small garage for storage during the winter

Cassia blooms are still very nice.

My dog was very curious (and also enjoying the breeze)

The cut leaves on the Ensete banana trunk made for a pretty cool look

Wider view

A nice shot of some Virga. The sun was starting to set so it looked really cool. I kept looking for a rainbow but I couldn't find one. I must have just missed it behind the trees or houses because the conditions couldn't have been better for a rainbow.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Ginger Blooms in Early November

My Butterfly Ginger is still doing really well. I love the tropical fragrance this late in the season.