From the Sperry Garden – November, 2008

It seems like winter moved in faster than normal this time around. We had a light freeze on October 28, making it, I believe, the third earliest first-freeze date in weather history where we live, north of DFW.

In any event, all of my plant treasures are tucked in for the winter, and I’m having a ball tending to them. The big crotons, philodendrons, palms, ficuses, aglaonemas and spathiphyllums are all growing well, filling up probably two-thirds of the 30 x 60-foot commercial greenhouse. The rest is dedicated to my beloved succulents, specifically haworthias, aloes, gasterias and sansevierias. Many of the plants you see have spent the past 21 winters in this same place. Others among them are newcomers to the Sperry collection, having been bought from eBay and other online sources, also at local sales of the cactus and succulent societies.

It’s hard to imagine a winter without a greenhouse. My dad and I built one when I was in high school in College Station. I used it until I transferred as a college junior to attend The Ohio State University. In college I had access to greenhouses, and I’ve had my own home hobby greenhouses ever since. I’m 64, and I just did the quick math. That’s 50 years of hobby greenhousing for me as of 2008.

I take my radio or my iPod with me when I head to the greenhouse, and I find it to be some of the best time of my life. No e-mails or cell phones. No doorbells or phone calls. Just time to enjoy life as it’s intended.

Consider the option: a home hobby greenhouse at your place. You’ll never regret it.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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