So long, summer

I know the calendar said summer ended a month ago, but in my mind, it’s not over until the last vegetable has been harvested and the ground is regularly freezing at night.

fern with pumpkins
I try to stretch out the season as long as possible by covering the plants in my garden and bringing the potted ones into the house overnight when those first freezes are forecast. But once we get into mid-October, it becomes a losing battle, and I have to admit defeat.

Swedish ivy

A lot of my green plants still looked gorgeous when I carried them in for the long winter earlier this week, so I snapped a few pictures … because I knew they were going to start turning brown and dropping leaves the second they crossed the threshold into the house.

Swedish ivy
This Swedish ivy is two years old. It spent last winter in my living room, dying a slow death. There was almost nothing left of it by spring. Once it got warm enough that I set it back outside, it exploded back to life.

lipstick plant

This is a lipstick plant. It’s supposed to be a houseplant, but I set in on a shady spot on my front porch over the summer, and it loved it.

lipstick plant
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly plants grow outside.

I can’t remember the name of this plant, but I’ve had it for about five years. Every spring when I set it out on the deck it grows like crazy. I used to let the vines trail down over the edge of a plant stand, but there’s so much weight on the bottom now, I started setting it on a table, so the vines are supported.

asparagus fern

I’ve had this asparagus fern for a couple years. Some of you might remember from this post that it was in sad shape when I first brought it up from the basement in the spring.

cat with asparagus fern

Here it is then, in all its glory. Calvin didn’t mind that the plant was half-dead. He turned his back on the healthy, organic cat grass I had grown for him and started noshing away on the poor sickly asparagus fern.

cat with asparagus fern
So it was no surprise that as soon as I carried the now-healthy plant into the house the other day and set it on the dining room floor, he immediately walked over to investigate — and started chowing down.


I also dug up a few plants that were in the ground — like these tiny succulents — in hopes that they would survive the winter indoors.

butter crock as planter
I had picked up this butter crock at a thrift store a few weeks ago, thinking it would be the perfect size to plant the succulents in.

gravel provides drainage for plant
Because there are no holes in the bottom, I put a thin layer of gravel on the bottom to provide some drainage. 

succulents in butter crock
I filled the pot with cactus potting soil and put the tallest plant in the back.

succulents in butter crock
Then I potted up the rest of the plants.

succulents in butter crock

Aren’t they sweet?

fern on porch with pumpkins

Of all my plants, I think this fern is my favorite — mostly because I’ve never been able to keep one of these alive all summer before. Here’s hoping that it survives the winter for me, too…

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