Monday, September 24, 2012

The Big Winter Move Begins

On Friday night, as the rain fell and the chilly wind blew through the Penthouse, I began preparing the dining room in earnest for the return of the citrus and tropical plants from their scattered homes around the Garden. I stopped and grabbed two more lights (I need one more and I'll be set...unless I set up another set of shelves), assembled the Metro shelving that has been "stored" in the Malibu's boot since early Summer, I went to work. 

Thankfully all of my precious (to me) citrus and non-cold tolerant figs made it home along with the dwarf banana and the 'Mojito' elephant ear. Yesterday I hauled the now giant cut-leaf philodendron up the three flights, and began potting up the agaves to bring in, but I'll update you on all of that later once everyone is finally home.

A real happening Friday night at the Penthouse includes cleaning and assembling shelving.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon. The cold rain stopped and it turned bright and sunny the moment the last citrus tree was placed in the Bu.

I also brought home my little collection of scented geraniums from Logee's. I almost forgot! I ordered two stephanotis plants! Oy vey, the Penthouse is filling up before I even bring everyone home! There is still the Martha Washington to bring home, and three "fancy" geraniums, as well as two ivy (also called "balcony") geraniums I would like to keep alive. Right now, as temps are a bit warmer, the scented geraniums are home, but living happily outside right behind the window boxes. 
I wanted to spray them with organic Neem oil while they were still outside. However, since it was raining I brought them home and did it in the bathtub. Neem oil is a natural, and strong smelling, pesticide. This insures that no white flies or scale tagged along on the leaves. It still smells a bit in the Penthouse.
And now everyone is warm and happy again! The little fig in the bottom center is the "Petite Negra" who arrived as a teeny plant almost two years ago. Summer camp was good for him!
I still need to get more pebbles, both for looks and to help keep the humidity up (the pebbles keep the pots raised up enough that I can fill the trays with water). The Meyer lemon whose pot is in the lower left is really leggy, and I'm sort of thinking I need to cut him back. Or maybe move him to the top shelf where the tall variegated citron sits. There are a few more inches of head space up there.
Speaking of the Variegated Citron, the buds keep appearing and getting bigger and bigger! Fingers crossed!

And for the first time ever, the Meyer lemon I've owned the longest (indeed, it began my "collection") is putting forth some buds. Why couldn't this have happened at the start of Summer? Fruit tends to stay on better than buds when the plants move in for the Winter. Hopefully all will go well.