Can a garage breathe a sigh of relief?

By Ed & Lois Riley
Last November, in preparation for winter, we provided what protection we could to the potted plants that we have at our beach house. If anyone has seen the number of plants that my wife, Lois, has in pots then you will understand that this is not a simple or short task. (A friend started to count the pots one time and stopped at 91 with less than half his count completed!) After moving many pots into out-of-the-wind locations, the usual methods of covering plants were used, i.e. plant ‘blankets’ and old bed linen, with those covers being secured in various ways to prevent any strong wind blasts taking the coverings away. Lois has many years of experience in doing this and, dutifully, I followed all directions in getting this work done.

That same experience guided us to cater for the succulents and cacti in a different way, knowing that if appropriate actions were not taken, then those types of plants would die – with no chance of coming back. So, no sheets or blankets for those guys. Only a snug, relatively warm environment would do – and that meant the garage. So, we moved pots and pots and pots into our garage. We had pots on the ground, on folding tables, on cupboards, in the dog’s paddling pool, hanging from shelves, and all over the golf cart. All available space was utilized without stacking one plant on top of another. We also installed a couple of heat lamps to maintain a fairly constant temperature and we left the garage lights switched on to simulate sunlight. Even our resident cats thought it was like a tropical paradise. At least, that was how it seemed for a while.

We have all endured a winter that has seemed, to most, to have been longer, colder and wetter than usual. Other than the weekend of our Mardi Gras parade, the weather has not been conducive to re-exposing the potted plants to the elements. In fact, the recurring threat of ‘Arctic blasts’ and low pressure weather bands forced us to extend the protective measures and to further consign our garage to a mimicry of Moody Gardens.

This past mid-March weekend, we saw the light – sunlight, and a break in the cold weather. So, we decided to empty the garage of all the potted plants in there, to sweep up all of the fallen leaves and to clean up the soil that the cats had decided would be better in places that we had not thought of previously! Even though we needed the help of pain relief medication, we were happy to rediscover our golf cart, our bicycles, my lawnmower and other equipment that had been forgotten about for over 3 months.

The plants are now back outside, and looking very good for the attention we gave to them, and our electricity bills should go down by a little. Also, I could swear that I heard the garage breathe a sigh of relief.

(This article published 3/16/2015)

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2 Responses to “Can a garage breathe a sigh of relief?”

  1. Gladys Pacr says:

    Love this Ed.

  2. Shelly Butts says:

    Great article! Enjoyed!

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