Lower and lower go the night temperatures as we Madisonians work our way towards the Winter Season. And so it was time to move the summer geraniums off the front step. But to where? Plants of summers past have taken refuge on the window sill at my office, adding a much needed splash of cheer to a legal office. But the sill is full, what to do? It was a spark of memory that I went with, something I'd tucked away in my mind while emptying out my childhood home this past year.
In the basement of the home I was raised in, among many things, I found my mom's geraniums. She would put them in a brown paper bag, pot and all. When summer weather returned to Madison, she'd place them on her back porch for another season. My mother left this world in February of this year, but her plants were there in the Spring as we began to sort and clean. Sadly, even though I had meant to bring them to our home, the plants were sold with other odds and ends. I may not have her actual plants, but I do have her frugal idea. When you pay for quality plants, why toss them in the compost heap with the fall leaves. Have them "winter".
My allergies make bringing lots of plants into the house a challenge, but as I write, the three geraniums that graced our front steps all summer long are snug as a bug (please, no real bugs) in Hy-Vee and Trader Joe's bags. Nestled close to the exterior door, the one I had meant to replace this year. The old door is still there -- life happens, items get pushed off and off on a to do list -- and I hope the plants will stay cool, and do a little bit to block any draft from that old door.
Check in next Spring when the plants re-emerge. Suggestions or tips on extending their life are always welcome, so please leave a comment.