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Trying to keep our tropicals happy in the depths of winter!

Ensetes and Musas in a propagation unit

One of the distinct advantages of having our mist propagation units up and running is that even when things are far from tropical in the wider green house, you can keep tenders at temperatures where they are happy.

While so far it hasn't been a very stark winter, the heated greenhouse is only kept a few degrees above zero.  For plants like these young bananas and Ensetes, that really is too cold.  So they are flourishing in the added warmth and humidity.

On a cold day it is very tempting to climb in and join them!



Making use of our mist propagation units.

Mist propagator unit.

Something that we have been experimenting with over the last year and a bit is using mist propagation units.  These are enclosed units with controllable heat and watering / humidity systems.

These have the obvious advantage that they allow you to control and vary the growing conditions to a far greater degree than you would using just the heated greenhouse. This will hopefully mean we can grow all sorts of new and different plants.

However they don't come without some issues. The heat and the humidity can easily get out of balance with what the plant needs, and they are great environments for pests and diseases to spread very rapidly.  For that reason we are keeping a very close eye on how things are doing in the mist propagators.


Less welcome signs of life returning!

Molehill in grass

While signs of life in the garden are generally welcome - the evidence of that a mole has taken residence is not something that many gardeners are overly pleased to see.

A friend's garden has been badly hit over recent months, and it is not just the lawn that has suffered.  A mole may not have much interest in eating your plants but its digging can be very damaging and disruptive.



Signs of the new year coming

Hazel Catkins

Despite all the recent hard frost, these hazels are still hanging on to the remnants of last year's leaves.  

More importantly they are very much showing the signs of the season to come as their catkins are rapidly developing.  Nature doesn't stop for long!



More pattern, more detail

Frost on Anemanthele lessoniana

This time the subject is Anemanthele lessoniana, the Pheasant's tail grass - a plant that is wonderful value at all times of year!


Winter is about detail and patterns.

Stephanandra tanakae covered in frost

As I have referred to often in recent posts - winter in the garden is all about patterns and details, which are highlighted by the winter's frost.

This is shot taken looking into a Stephanandra tanakae, a shrub with a delicate structure and fine orange stems.



A frosty, foggy start to the New Year

Frosty, foggy landscape

Taken while out walking off the culinary excesses over the New Year Break - a very different start this year to last.  So far this winter we seem to have avoided the endless wind and wet weather.  Certainly not complaining!



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