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Lawn and Garden

Indoor Gardening Ideas

10/01/2011 - Last month certainly was one of the nicest Septembers I can remember. I was caught totally off guard by the 28 degree night we had around the 15th, as I am sure many of you were too. That night pretty well ended the season for most flowers and vegetables, although I am still finding good squash and pumpkins in my sister's garden. (I have to raid her garden since I didn't grow one of my own.)

Now that Halloween is approaching, my thoughts have turned mostly to indoor gardening again. At our growing greenhouses the poinsettias are now nearly fully colored and are looking great. Having these houses filled with poinsettias all fall, makes it seem like we go right from the fourth of July to Christmas.

At our retail store I have stocked it with hundreds of varieties of plants and just in time too, because the indoor gardeners have come out in force. When it comes to indoor plants there are some we grow and some we have to bring in from outside the state. As many of you know I hand pick nearly all the plants we have in the store. This is by no means the most economical way to stock our store, but it gives me the chance to see new varieties and to bring in some new and interesting things when I see them.

Probably the best fern I have ever come across is new to us this fall. It is called a "Mothers" fern. The Mothers fern has all the exotic good looks of the rarest tree fern, with the easy care of the Boston, or Kimberly ferns. Not to mention it is a much better house guest than either one of those ferns, because it won't make a mess on the carpet. It is one of those plants that immediately catches my eye as I come in the greenhouse, even in a sea of green it shines. If you're in the neighborhood of our greenhouse stop in and check this one out. But don't hold it against me if we are out that day, they seem to disappear as soon as we set them down.

Another plant that has recently been turning heads at the greenhouse is an upright euphorbia. This plant looks like a four foot tall cactus, (most people think that it is a cactus) but it grows much faster and it bleeds white (like other euphorbias) if you injure it. Before I go into much more detail about this plant I have to give credit where credit is due. This plant has been available for years, but we haven't carried it for a few. It's recent renewed popularity is totally due to one of my favorite customers special orders this spring, her name is Just kidding I wouldn't dream of mentioning anyone's name without first making sure they didn't mind being associated with a Pollock like me. When I brought that plant in for her it lived at our retail greenhouse for a while, before I planted it in with her other plants. People saw it and they wanted one too, and although it took three months for me to finally find more I did, and now it is still hard to keep them in the store. I think the reason it is so popular is because it is easy to care for like cactus, but it looks much more inviting because it is not covered with spines, and it is a beautiful bright green on the new growth. The thorns it does have are small and located on the edges of the plant. Don't be fooled though, this plant is just as bad as a cactus if you decide to wrestle it or stumble into it. It is very painful if its thorns get ahold of you. I have recommended it's placement around wet bars in homes to deter ornery relatives from having too many martinis during holiday parties!

With its ease of care and rugged good looks the upright euphorbia is surely a good old plant to take a fresh look at. There are many other great new plants at the greenhouse that I would love to tell you about, but they will have to wait, because I seem to be running out of paper left on the page. So, please have a safe and Happy Halloween, and I hope the nice fall weather lasts well into November for us this year.

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