Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Red and the Green

The subject today is neither an English-Irish conflict (Iris Murdoch’s novel of the same title) nor yet the clash between carnivorous and vegetarian diets (Le Vert et Le Rouge, a novel by Armand Chauvel). Rather it is about an annual event in this household, analogous to the autumnal equinox but always coming later—namely the day when The Plants Come In. This event is caused by early frosts; we’ve got good documentation of when that has happened since 2011. In that year the plants came in on November 11—the latest date in the entire series. Thus 2012: October 28; 2013: November 7; 2014: October 18; and now, 2015: October 16.

These dates always mark the first day of the move—and the effort usually takes several days to accomplish. Some plants are easily grouped together. We cover them with sheets held in place with clothes pins; they can easily survive a few hours of frost and then stay outside for several days yet until the cold sets in seriously or we grow tired of draping them each evening.

Above a couple of photos of the Red and the Green which, this year, got left out to fend for themselves: carnations and all but one, the biggest, of our jade plants. They’re enjoying the quite real warmth of the sun this morning.

The autumnal event, of course, is matched by a vernal counterpart—which also comes later, indeed usually two months, and counting, later: the day when The Plants Go Out. That day has been pretty much centered around May 5. That process also takes two days—because we’ve got a lot of plants to move. The heaviest go out first. We know: you get the hardest job done before you tidy things up with the little stuff…

1 comment:

  1. The start of the cold season turns our basement into a veritable indoor garden; " improvised sunlight" provided by several, appropriately hung, fluorescent bulbs keeps the plants and flowers safe from frost and winter's darkness, until next spring when REAL sunlight warms our part of the world once more.can start to grow and blossom.


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