Wednesday, 18 November 2015

coming indoors

The chillies have started to suffer end of stem rot. The shoots and tips suddenly wither as the plant auto-amputates the cold-shocked stem, which then sprouts a fur of soft grey mould. The effect is very strange, like a special effect abruptly applied, like a zombie plant limb. Sometimes an entire flower goes in full bloom, the little lanterns suddenly browned and sprouting the instamould seemingly in moments.

So I've brought two in, the largest and most prolific of the Vampire/Nosferatu (I planted both black varieties, and am honestly not sure which is which) and one of the Kashmiri chillies planted from a bag of delicious dried chillies sourced from The Eden Project. We're growing them for culinary reasons, but I suspect they will not be as nice, grown in my back garden (verandah now). They're both still in their outdoor pots while they acclimatise (the Kashmiri sharing its pot with a scented geranium, which is loving the sudden warmth!) but once I'm sure the warm shock isn't going to kill them I'll move them to their winter homes. Vampire had a zombie twig (now removed) so that's the more vulnerable of the two plants, I'd say. There are another five or six chilli plants out in the greenhouse - but they can't all come in. Can they?

I've closed down all of the begonias and dahlias too, and tucked them into their dry, spent compost for the winter, bar the tree Begonia which is still (improbably) flowering in the corner of the Patio. It'll need to be taken into its winter home this weekend though, I think. It's getting cooler and way wetter. I'm almost nervous about how big the corm will be, but I can always stow it in a washing up bowl or something if none of the pots are big enough.The ginger lily went in at the same time. It was a bad summer for tender bulbs; not a single tiger lily flowered. Typically this was the year I'd decided to send Tiger lilies to all my sisters... and it just wasn't the weather for them.

I yanked up all the Zinnias bar one and into the compost they went. Some year I'll get them out into the garden.

Then to the grapes. I picked a bowlful (they have oh-so-nearly ripened) but they were too acidic for snacking, and I ended up putting them in the compost. On the vine; big black bunches of fat grapes, tattered yellow autumn leaves. I probably have enough for wine again, but I'm barely drinking at the moment and lack enthusiasm. Maybe I can find someone else who wants the grapes.

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