Thursday, January 6, 2022

Midwest Gardening: Wintering Indoor and Outdoor plants

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With Christmas finally put away, I moved all my house plants and some of the plants I'm wintering over around in the house to get the best light.


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Our house is really made for plants. With the outdoor temps now hovering at 5-10 degrees and worse windchills here in Chicagoland, saving some plants inside is GREEN and cost effective.  This is an Hibiscus with orange flowers I severely cut back and stuffed in a pot and brought it in the house, late in November. I knew it had been nipped by frost so the cut back was necessary. Hibiscus have quite woody stems, so I crossed my fingers. 

We are getting new growth now.

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The top four leaves and the nubs are all new...Yay!  They aren't horribly expensive, but definitely not cheap.

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This grass was from our pond grass. Very few garden centers had water plants this year, but I was told this was for both water or dirt. I don't remember the name as I split the pot into four chunks. Now, it's doing very well in the planter, and is thick and deliciously green.

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This is a very old plant---I sacrificed and only brought in a couple of pieces to restart. It is actually my mom's plant from my grandmother's funeral from  early 1990's. It crawled through my mom's kitchen curtains and actually attached to the wall---it was that vigorous. It hasn't done that well since I cut it back this year. I will fertilize now and see if it gets some new growth. It has very leathery leaves from being outside. The very hot temperatures this summer were hard on many plants.

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My herbs have been cut back pretty heavily from use. I've never had much luck with basil inside, but the Thyme is doing well. So nice to have tasty fresh herbs in the kitchen in winter.

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We had a pig roast in September, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas where I used almost all my Rosemary. Hopefully it will re-sprout when I fertilize.

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My one year-old Christmas Cactus, bloomed the week of Christmas. We had a dozen large blooms or so. It really was pretty. I'm going to put it in a big pot in Spring and fertilize then. 

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This is from some cuttings on my Purple Heart plant I have in the bedroom. I'm doing the cuttings for a friend, and it is on the kitchen table. Our kitchen gets lots of light and in a month we will be starting seedlings and all these  plants will end up in the living room. I change the water often because we have iron laden well water. Very hearty and healthy, but prone to iron 'bloom' in sitting water. 

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This gnome is going to the garden, it's an adorable gnome on a Corgi, my friend painted for me. He looks great as a  kitchen decor item. I'm not totally ready to give up my 'Winter' gnomes, and they are sprinkled about the kitchen.

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In the bedroom I have two Mandila hanging from the ceiling. All the plants will get fertilized later in the month when there is more light coming in. Try not to fertilize plants when they are stressed. We did very little fertilizing last summer because plants were barely able to maintain the leaves they had---or grow new ones.

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One of the hanging pots also has a Sweet Potato Vine. It's usually much darker burgundy, but with limited light, it has stayed lighter. I covered the pots with some gift bags in blue to blend nicely in our blue bedroom. This is a southern exposure, but lots of trees block the afternoon sun...so I supplement with grow lights.

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Here's a Philodendron and a huge Ivy Topiary-'Tomato Cage Tree' that went bonkers last summer, and is still growing fiercely in the house. It's really huge and full now and was lovely with little seed lights on in the extra bedroom for the holidays. The pot has grown very light in weight, the ivy has basically 'eaten' the dirt. I will have to transplant again, and I will do a light fertilizing once a month to help replace the nutrients lost from the disappearing soil.
How to make an Ivy Topiary Tree, HERE.

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While it was there, I had this grow light on it and another lamp on all night long.

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This is the light I use in the blue bedroom to help on cloudy days. They are temporary and rubber covered handles which don't harm the wood cornices.

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The lowest pot on my shelf is the shade loving Rex Begonia. The scraggly green is a New Guinea Impatiens, I'm going to try and make cuttings and see if I can propagate a few plants when we do our seedlings. 

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This plant is a form of 'Purple Heart Plant' or Tradescantia. It gets very purple with lots of light...you can see it struggling here (North side) under the lamp. As soon as the Christmas Tree is packed up (IT TAKES DAYS) to pack it up and wrap all those ornaments, and everything else is down, I'll move it to the living room. anyway, it keeps growing.

PLANTS improve the air quality in your home. They basically remove toxins from your environment. Not to mention, anything Green is always a mood lifter during the winter months. 

Plants I no longer bring inside:
Springerii (Asparagus Fern)inexpensive and too messy.
Spider Plants (you can always get a spider plant free from someone)
Rubber plant (Too big, I gave them to my d-in-law)
Dracena (they just get too big for my small home)
Spike plants (inexpensive and take up too much room)


How are your plants doing this Winter?

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Thanks  ALWAYS  for visiting,
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. Please do not use my photos without permission. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts, or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thank you for your cooperation,


Sandi 

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Top 10 posts for 2021---6 are Midwest Gardening!!!

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I wish I had started blogging twenty years ago...then I would have a personal record of the climate changes here in the Midwest. 

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Years ago, I remember planting the garden in March. Springs have become cold and late. 

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Last year we had to water the yard in April---unheard of in all my years--a drought in April. We often have had drought years---but it seems to have become the standard for very hot and dry June-September now, besides the dry late Spring. 

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If we did get rain, it was a deluge and ran off the hard earth instead of soaking in causing even more havoc in an already stressed environment.




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I also had a huge influx of readers on old Barbie posts as well as Canning Tomatoes, and Canning Zucchini, and Sweet and Sour Soup, from years past. The sources for these most viewed posts appear to come from Pinterest for anyone interested.

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Pandemic not withstanding, we were all anxious to get back out into the real world after our vaccinations. My excursions were very limited: a few lunches, a wedding, a funeral, antiques and thrift stores, and a visit with cousins. Other than immediate family and a handful of friends, I've stayed home like most everyone else.

Anyways...here are my TOP TEN posts for last year.(Posts that were original to 2021). 

10. Antiquing: I Found my Marbles

This little side-trip was lots of fun, and I'm sure the eye-candy was the reason for the popularity of this post! Still enamored with all the enamelware!

9.  Midwest Gardening: Finally Crops and Garden Food

Well, who could resist this scrumptious looking bunch of fresh veggies...!

8.  Favorites:Identifying Blue and White Plates

I talked a bit about porcelain marks and sources for English Pottery. I have so many pretty pieces, I can't have them all out at the same time!

7. Midwest Gardening: July and after the Rain

I think gardening was a challenge for so many across the country this year. I show the good and bad of what works and then what doesn't. Our Phlox were outstanding this year, apparently they love the heat, and of course our constant watering!

6. Fall Update and Midwest Gardening: October-Windows, Pumpkins and Minis!

Construction is always an issue. I really didn't really address all the issues we had with this project. It was hot and miserable working on this. Poor hubby had problems with products, so no extra posts. Making something new blend in with a fifty year-old house is always an issue. And it was completed quite late---so no  final post. More to come this Spring!

5. When Does Furniture Painting Become an Art?

I ventured out with two cousins to one of their favorite haunts up in Wisconsin. This store was a real hit with readers...and the owners painting of furniture was an art. 

What I didn't tell, was how lost I got on the way home----seems Google Maps uses road numbering system, while small communities use local names for 'country roads'. Winding through the 'lakes' district in S.Wisconsin and N.Illinois is not something I will do again. 

4. Our Tradition Updated and a Veterans' Program

We had all these deer in our kitchen right before Thanksgiving. The update was a huge hit with readers and with our neighborhood in our Christmas lighting. 

3. Midwest Gardening:Snow, Critters and Squirrels

We don't have any pets which is guaranteed successful blog fodder. So, I posted a bit about the critters we have visiting here--the photos of the huge NAKED possum that visited our porch in Fall at night, wrecking havoc with the pumpkins didn't come out...LOL.

2. Midwest Gardening: July 31, 2021

More gardening posts...we really did get a lot done in the yard. Hubby rebuilt  the fire pit after this photo and we actually had a pig roast, which I didn't even post---too busy dodging wasps that day to take photos! Nasturtiums are on my always plant list now---they never quit blooming.

1. Midwest Gardening: Our Front Yard and New Plants

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Late Spring and Early Summer we all have dreams of a gorgeous garden. Hope springs eternal. These gorgeous hydrangeas never did lift their heads off the ground, and the plants barely grew at all??? 

Now, what to post in the New Year??? Apparently, I have to continue post gardening, antiques, and also create, repair, and redo! 

Hugs to you all, Dear Readers...
May 2022 bring more moderate weather across the country, health, prosperity and happiness for us all! 

If You enjoyed this post please FOLLOW IT in the upper right hand corner, to get just one email of each new post.

Thanks  ALWAYS  for visiting,
I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

I will post at the following Link Parties, I hope you visit them.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise designated. Please do not use my photos without permission. I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts, or any products shown or anywhere I shop.

Thank you for your cooperation,


Sandi