This morning my thermometer read 24 degrees below freezing. I couldn't wait to get to work today because I knewI could escape the cold just by walking in the front door. Outside of Logee's a blanket of white snow covered the outdoor gardens and I was glad that our hardy banana was fast asleep under the frosted haystack. With a few steps to the front door I left the stark stillness behind me and walked into an alive, pleasantly balmy space. I walked around our seven retail greenhouses, letting the flowers and fragrance guide me.
Our mid-winter flowering plants were everywhere. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of Medinilla Magnifica housed in our “Potting Shed.” This impressive bloomer displayed large umbells of pink blooms that were cheery and welcoming. Of course, it would take 2-3 years to get flowers like this from a seed grown plant but once mature, flowers can be expected from spring through summer and for high light places like the greenhouses, mid-winter gave way to blooms.
Another surprise this morning was the single bloom of a red passion flower (called Passiflora piresii) in the “Long House.” Since passion flowers only bloom for a day, it was amazing to find this bright red flower perfectly happy growing inside the greenhouses on one of the coldest days of the year.
Next, the sweet fragrance coming from the “Big House” drew me into the depths of its tropics. The double ball standard of “Canary Island Broom” (Genista canariensis) was beginning its blooming season (January to April). The Big House is cooler at night, therefore, inducing blooms for many plants in that greenhouse, like our camellias.
My walk continued into the “Extension House” where a single bloom filled the house with an intoxicating fragrance. Gardenia nitidia is a rare gardenia that blooms intermittently throughout the year and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for flowers and fragrance.