Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall cleanup

It's been sunny, warm and dry - almost drought conditions - all month until finally, Thursday night, we had about .3" of rain and a cold front moved in. Frost warning for Stafford County tomrrow night (October 19), so I moved things and transplanted things and cut things back.

First, the big pot on the front steps got its annual haircut. By fall, it's usually spilling over, and this year with the purple fountain grass (Pennisetum 'rubrum'), it also waved in your face. I decided to move the grass, along with a smaller version that had been in a pot on the steps, to the other side of the walkway, where they can wave in the breeze without attacking anyone.

In the pot I put some hastily chosen bulbs from Roxbury Mills: 5 each of February Gold narcissus, Apricot Beauty, Beauty Queen (said to be pale salmon, we'll see), and Black Beauty tulips. I topped it off with these pansies,
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which echo the color of the dark red chrysanthemum in the front garden.

From the pots in the back, I took out the two caladiums, knocked off the dirt, and left them on the table to dry in the sun. Theoretically, you can then store them in vermiculite and start them next year, though one source said they're not as vigorous the second year. I have loved them in pots this year and noted that Dave's Garden people suggest a Florida company, Caladium Bulbs 4 Less, as a good source.

The gorgeous dragonwing begonia I cut way back, as Mom suggested, and brought inside. I also potted two of the pink Babywing begonias and brought them in. I'm not too hopeful that they'll make it through the winter, but it's worth trying.

Finally, I made cuttings of the two coleuses I liked this year, 'Dipt in Wine' and another whose name I've lost.  
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I'll try to root these and pot them up.

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