Thursday, 20 October 2011

Winter protection part 1: Who's made the cut

A selection of the smaller pots.
Sadly there is now no denying that winter is about to arrive, and it is time to pack up the plants and decide which get the pampering and which get the tough love or worse.

First stage was to gather the smaller plants together, it seems my OH may be right after all and I have too many pots.  Actually the small pots are fine, no matter how many, they fit on shelves, in gaps, anywhere with a bit of a rain cover.  The problems are the larger pots that are too heavy for shelves, but need to given more protection than a simple rain cover. More about that in the next post.

First in the rain shelter were the medium sized pots.
Many of the plants in here are considered tender by many people, but seem to scrape through for me every year.  Admittedly I doubt I would have tried some of them if it wasn't for lack of space.

This year along side the usual experiments with echeverias, the big trial is of agave utahensis. I was lucky enough to rescue a set of mature plants at the start of the summer (they are painfully slow, so to get to this size I would guess they were over ten years old).  I posted about them at the time, here, and always had in mind to try some with different levels of protection.  In theory they should be hardy down to silly temperatures if kept dry, so time to put it to the test.

With the bottom layer full, the small table goes in for the smaller pots.  Amazingly I had judged it about right and there is still a little space on this for the odd pot I am bound to find somewhere.

The cold frame is a step up from the various cloches and plastic rain covers that many plants have. I'm not sure I'd like to be a plant in my collection.  I am sure that when the real cold arrives I will be wondering if I made the correct choices, especially if the winter is anything last last year. 


  1. Hello,

    i love your blog !
    i did a post about you here :


  2. Delphine. thank you, I am pleased you enjoy it and am honoured to have a post on you blog about it.

  3. I hope that you have a better winter this year. I think I might have a space problem myself. I went a bit nutty this year and have way to many to fit in my garage.

  4. Candy: yep having a 3rd bad winter in a row would not be good. It does to be at this time of year when you notice how many new plants you have. Hope they all fit.

  5. You have some beautiful plants, well worth protecting. I hope they all make it through.

  6. I need help with an agave id. In the bottom picture, its the agave in a terra cotta pot closest to the bottom left corner. Im almost %100 sure its the same as one the I've had a hard time identifying. Thanks. Loving your blog. I dont know why it took me this long to find it; im a big fan of danger garden

    1. Hi Paul. It is agave sharkskin (which may or may not be the same as agave sharkskin shoes)