Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

As some of you may already know a couple friend’s and I have been working on a greenhouse at the nursery. We recently got a push to get things finished quickly as space is running low in the main house and the spot where my tropicals were living needs to be freed up by Monday. We put a good effort in Saturday morning and I was really blown away by how much we accomplished. The main structure is now whole, and we even got it skinned. Now all that remains is the finishing touches, a second layer of plastic and the doors in the front. By next weekend we should hopefully have it ready for the plants, of which have now been transferred to racks and have been moved to another non permanent location.


It doesn’t look much right now but soon it will be filled with many tropical oddities. 

I can’t tell you enough how much I love greenhouses, what a treat it is to walk around a lush growing area at this time of year. Dianthus, cyclamen and primulas are almost ready for the first hit of spring. Next thing you know I’ll be pulling racks of Danova mix primulas, dead heading, dead heading and more dead heading. Thus is the life of a nurseryman. Having worked with this company for almost 5 years now I must say we’ve really pulled it together. While things were certainly fine when I first  arrived, as the years go on one notices the recipe for success is much more fine tuned. Our fearless leaders do a great job and I’m pretty proud to be apart of it all. Everything’s looking so nice lately.

A quick December Greenhouse walk around:


Earlier this year I was reading about different techniques for taking cuttings of Dahlia imperialis. One person suggested cutting off a 1ft cutting with a growth node and to lay it down on it side. 1-2 months later it looks like the cutting is a success, new growth has started and I’m pretty sure this will be a viable cutting. Meanwhile the other cutting in which I cut the top growing tip and plopped it in the soil, is also growing quite happily. The conclusion? Dahlia imperialis cuttings are extremely easy to get going, and next year I’ll do a lot more.


Sadly my Echium pininana isn’t looking any healthier even though it lives in the warmest house on the property. Still trying have faith that it will bounce back come spring. “It’s just a little wilty, it’s still good, it’s still good!”


Succulents and tropical foliage. It was nice to spend some time with the plants today.


Sometime’s I wonder why I do this to myself. Then I quickly snap out of it, I love them!


Hamming it up with my refugee tropicals.


We’ve been blessed with gorgeous sunshine for almost two weeks now. If December was like this every year I wouldn’t be so eager to escape to the tropics.


Some people fight for the corner office, I think my view is better.


Greenhouse 1 of 6, primulas. *Shutters*


So many Dianthus super troopers. Looks like a healthy crop!


Probably one of my most favorite crops we grow at the greenhouse, florist cyclamen (cyclamen persicum cultivars)

Thanks for joining me on my tour.


Filmed on an iphone, makes for a squished video.

3 Responses to A quick visit to the greenhouse: December 2011

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
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