After receiving a Chicago hardy fig as a gift from a co-worker’s parents who’ve taught themselves to propagate these Sicilian treasures, I realized we’ve added nearly a dozen herbs and fruit trees to our mix. And, each will need to be brought inside before snow flies.
It’s not exactly a conservatory, but it is a bit of a botannical oasis.
Joining the menagerie this year will be a number of new tender perennials that can’t survive a Finger Lakes winter.
In addition to the fig, we’ve acquired:
— Lemon verbena, epazote, Greek oregano and culantro, all purchased during Rochester Public Market’s Flower City Days
— Four-o’clock flower (mirabilis jalapa), started from seed
— Lemongrass, a gift from our daughter Hannah
— Dwarf cacao, meyer lemon, and coffee trees, gifts from our son Zachary
Each is exotic and horticulturally fascinating — broadening our palate in unexpected ways. But, they’re also each decidedly “not from around here,” so the pressure’s on to meet their varied needs.
Currently, they’re content in pots outside — some basking in full sun; others lounging in the shade. We water as needed, if Mother Nature doesn’t provide. The epazote is especially thirsty, drinking at least once a day — a useful repository for dehumidifier water.
I have yet to compile details on their various nutritional requirements. I suspect I’ll need to create a chart to track it all.
In the meantime, with each successive addition, my anxiety level is rising. One killing frost — not exactly in the forecast anytime soon, I realize — and these subtropical and tropical beauties will be lost.
There’s too much thoughtfulness embedded in their greenery to risk that, so I’m marking the calendar for a grand Day of Entrance— a "coming in" party, if you will. I hope there’s enough room in the sunporch to house them all.