The day after…. and, what to do with a Boston Fern

If you’re curious, I was spared the decision of whether to drag former maggot-infested racoon-proof garbage can back up the stairs and through my apartment this morning. My legions of fans must have raced up the street to nab it as a souvenir. Either that, or the downstairs neighbour stole it and put it in her restaurant kitchen.

I finally moved the monster Boston Fern out of the bedroom and on to the deck this morning. It’s been doing ok in the bedroom, but I’ve been feeling kinda of guilty about depriving it of a summer vacation. All the other plants get to go outside.
Actually, the internal debate has been: (a) if it goes outside, it will sulk and drop all its leaves when it comes back into the bedroom in the fall. It’s been doing just fine in the window’s eastern exposure, even if it does looked a little peeked in winter, or, (b) some time outside will fatten it up, give it more strength to make it through the winter. And I feel guilty — ferns should be outside, showered with water and soaking up the humidity and the fresh air.
The bedroom is looking naked without it. The house always feels a little empty when the kids go off to summer camp.

My orchids are showing signs of recovery. Lots of new growth on the phragmipediums, the zygopetallum, zygonaria, and the lycaste, and even my pescatoria dayana has stepped back from the brink of death. My bifrenaria has good leaf growth but practically no roots (though there are some starting), so it’s top heavy and keeps trying to jump out of the pot. The phals aren’t looking quite so chipper, so I’ve stuck ’em on the bottom where I don’t have to look at them. Nothing like humid weather, and the absence of racoon attentions. It seems that the anti-racoon zippered greenhouse device (scrounged from a garage sale but originally from Lee Valley) is working. Though last night Mr. Racoon paid a visit, and I noticed he tore the zipper at the bottom, stuck his paw in and pulled a phal out of its pot. I tried to do some duct tape repairs, but it wouldn’t hold when I tried to zip the cover back up.

I still don’t know which plant is which. During the worst of the racoon invasions earlier this summer, the dang-blasted critter pulled out all the name tags, or they fell out when the pots were knocked over. I have to wait for most of them to bloom before I’ll be able to stick the right name tags back in.

Last night the racoon also uprooted some other small plants and knocked over the pescatoria (which is not in the greenhouse, it’s sitting on the deck), scattering hydroton balls all over the deck as per his usual tricks. I think he likes to dump them on the deck and play with them, like a kid playing with marbles.

I read about someone who indulges this behaviour by filling a kiddie pool with toys and putting it on their deck. Then they stay up late and watch the racoons play with them through the window.

Maybe I should stick some toys out there at night, and see if that distracts the fat bastard from my orchids.