While I was walking around in the Dollar Store before Christmas I saw these boxes of clear lights that dangle down. I had better plans for them than just Christmas lights. I bought a box for just $8 with the intention of hanging them in my greenhouse. Today, I finally hung them and love the way they make it look like a magical fairy land in there after dark.

new lights lit and hangingThis isn’t the best photo, but what do you think? I sure wish I had bought about 2 more boxes though and now all the Christmas stuff is gone and they’ve got Valentine’s Day stuff out. Oh well, I like these and I can add more down the line. I’ve had my greenhouse for years but just now got around to making it more like I want it, I guess I can wait a little longer.

Want to see how my greenhouse is looking these days? Mid winter is just about the worst time for my greenhouse. The heater has taken its toll on the plants and even though it is heated and kept no cooler than 48-50˚ F, cold nights just don’t agree with many of the plants. Plus, the lack of sunshine doesn’t help any either. Some plants do okay, but I’ve sadly lost a lot of plants and it’s definitely lacking that lush jungle look that I love when I first bring in the plants for the cold season, usually mid to late September.

So here is the early – mid winter greenhouse tour. Stop looking in from the door, come on in!

dog and black cat looking in window

Zoey and JuJu wanting in


Licorice plant growing in greenhouse

Licorice plant growing surprisingly well near the cool concrete floor

pink rose like bloom of the Rozalea

Pink rose like bloom of the Rozalea doing really well

I like to hang things that make me smile in the greenhouse and this sun face does just that. It’s a bird house but I’ve lost the perch somewhere. I could just poke a little stick in there… add that to the list of things to do (number four hundred fifty million).

sun birdhouse

Say Ahhhh

A pretty purple beaded candle chandelier

purple beaded candle chandelier

I love a little glitz and romance

black cat

(Below) I thought this picture was cute of JuJu swatting at Mocee and then I noticed the sad state my plant was in. It got over watered. Keeping a greenhouse is surprisingly hard to maintain that perfect condition. It experiences wild fluctuations of temperature in one day’s time. The humidity, too and go from nearly 100% to 20% with the sun shining in and fans running in winter. I’ve got a misting system, but gave up on it as I never could seem to find that perfect ratio and lost a lot of plants to rot.

tuxedo cat and black cat playing in greenhouse


A stick on the other panel of polycarbonate was scaring her, it was hilarious to watch

JuJu loves exploring all the ledges of the greenhouse.JuJu-behind-iron-gate-in-greenhouse JuJu-on-bakers-rack

Begonia flower bud

red bud about to bloom on a begonia

A view out the window of my art studio into Studio Gardens… ( My greenhouse is attached to my art studio and are joined by a door)

birds at feeder in winter

Droves of hungry Golden Finch eat from this feeder all the time

Some of my plants are very old. My mother’s and my grandmother’s plants. While I have sadly lost most of theirs by now a few stragglers hang on like this Asparagus Fern. We always called it Sprengeri in my family, it’s Latin name. Not that we’re snooty plant people. asparagus fern

I decided to pull this butterfly bush in rather late this past year. It was probably late November. I had flashbacks of last winter’s fury and how my butterfly bush didn’t come back, along with many others in my area. It was a fluke that it’s in a pot. I had planted it in the ground during the summer and moved it about twice. This last time I dug it up because it was going to be trampled because we needed to get back behind the koi pond where I had it planted so I just potted it up until everything was finished. It never got planted. It seems perky enough though. These last few days of intense sun have livened it up. It hasn’t done much growing but it’s alive at least. I also managed to get two cuttings off it that are in the greenhouse and alive as well.
butterfly bush in a pot

Cannas have always been a favorite of mine. At my last house, I had a sunroom and they did fabulous in there. I don’t think they are as fond of the cool nights in the greenhouse. Look at that leaf coloring!

red and green striped leaf of a canna

What can I say about this next plant. A Creeping Gloxinia, poor thing. Man, you miss a day or two (okay, more) in the greenhouse and you’re reported by the plants to the authorities and there are always martyrs. I swore to myself I would do everything I could to keep this plant for this next season because I just discovered it and fell in absolute love! But alas, it must’ve been a passing affair because I seemed to have broken that promise. I only hope that I can revive it. I hate to keep buying plants over and over again when I have a perfectly good greenhouse myself to keep them in. I need to learn this one’s secrets. It really was lovely and now… well it’s just pitiful and it’s all my fault.

dried up hanging plant

Help me!

Alright, so while I’m talking about trying to revive plants here’s another to add to the list. This was once just nearly the pride of the greenhouse not long ago. Now it’s, it’s… well it’s just plain sad. It was a beautiful False African Violet (Streptocarpella), now too leggy and needing resuscitation.




We three are “hanging” in there!

Pelargonium, aka Geraniums are one of my all time favorites and a staple in my greenhouse and gardens. I can’t get enough.


Geraniums – A long time favorite for so many reasons.

A friend of mine gave me two hibiscus “trees” about a year and a half ago. They look sparse now, but they fill out real nice come summer. These are the fancy kind with the braided trunks and spectacular blooms.


Lantana just below. With a nod to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day… “I have a dream” that I will again bloom! “We shall overcome” … “that crazy witch who doesn’t take good enough care of us!”


The next photo needs a film rating. I’m sure these nasty little mealybugs are fornicating. They are everywhere. I’m sure they’ve lead to the demise of many favorite plants. Keeping them in check is as easy as keeping crab grass in check. Right. Bastards.


Can I just say to get what you want for Christmas, buy it yourself. I did just that with this beautiful metal mermaid hanging sculpture made by Kotah Moon. I have three of his pieces now and just love his free spirit style. This little beauty is seen right outside my art studio windows and hangs in Studio Gardens. I took the photo from within my studio. I just love her!Metal-Mermaid-sculpture

Next up, and I do mean look up! Oleander on the left and in the pot on the right is Salvia and Madevilla vine making a comeback I noticed today.Oleander,-Salvia-and-Mandevilla.JPG

My palms are doing pretty good, too. I had it a little too close to the heater and it got a little crispy but it will recover. I’ll repot this in the spring and no telling how big it’ll get. I LOVE my tropicals. I have a bunch of tropical paintings planned this year.Palm

I’ve been saving my water plants from the koi pond and over-wintering them with success the last few years. This is a papyrus called “King Tut”. I also have “Little Tut”, a shorter version.Papyrus-King-Tut


Tiny hen and chick with another sedum reaching out.

I brought a couple pots of sedums inside the greenhouse mainly because I thought they were so cute. Most should come back outside in my zone 6. I hope I didn’t make a mistake by bringing them in. They seem okay right now, a little worse for the wear and I see mealybug in there (bastards). I think I’d need to torch my whole greenhouse to get rid of those stinkin’ bugs. I know I won’t ever get rid of mealybug, you just do your best to try and control it. It is a never ending process.sedum

A late morning view into the winter greenhouse. See the white pvc at the top? That is my misting system that I abandoned.south-wall-in-winter-greenhouse

This next plant, an Upright Fuchsia (Gartenmeister), has flowered all winter long despite looking a bit pitiful and gangly. I’m going to try really hard to get new starts from this plant because it flowered like gang busters last summer and the hummingbirds went mad for it.

Upright Fuchsia Gartenmeister ’2

Upright Fuchsia (Gartenmeister’)


Upright Fuchsia Gartenmeister’

Another view from the windows of my art studio, just a few steps from my greenhouse. I can’t wait to see all my flowers out around the koi pond again and leaves on the trees.

Here’s a sweet little wandering jew plant all hairy and purple.

wandering-jewI hope you’ve enjoyed the winter greenhouse tour. I’ll probably be posting more with the longer days which means more action going on in here.

I did start a couple paintings that I have the intentions of making into Valentine’s Day paintings but we’ll see. I just never know what the muse will tell me to paint, stay tuned!

pink and yellow background washes on paper

backgrounds for who knows?!

I’ll leave you with a favorite tropical painting of mine… Tropical Getaway. Click on the painting to see print purchasing options.

Tropical scene with red buildings with thatch roof and tropical plants and trees

Tropical Getaway


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