Moving Inside

This was the scene last night about 7 pm when my friends were planning on coming to sew. Needless to say, they stayed home. What a bad thunderstorm!

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It was about 89 degrees at that point but by morning it was in the mid 50’s and by tomorrow morning it’s going to be in the 30’s! Those plants had to get inside so for the first time in many years, the plants moved inside without being treated outside for bugs. I’ve got my work cut out for me. All I can say is that 150+ plants are inside somewhere but not their winter resting place just yet. These pictures will give you an idea of what lies ahead of me.


Front entry.

South porch area.

Sewing room.

I’ve had this fern for many years and I considered leaving it outside to freeze but then I decided I couldn’t do it. It lives in the piano room during the winter. It is just so darned big!

The girls might come tonight to sew. This chilly weather feels like a pot of homemade soup. I will spend the weekend cleaning up plants and putting the house back in order. I will also print the measurements for the gray and orange table mat.

56 thoughts on “Moving Inside

  1. Chris

    Wow, that’s a lot of plants. It will brighten your winter months. We have a frost warning tonight in northern Wisconsin so will have to bring my few plants also. Enjoy your weekend. Stay warm.

  2. Sharon lowy

    I am Bringing my plants in today. Like you, this is a bit early but the weather is iffy. I can put mine in the garage and spray them for bugs..makes for double work but luckily I don’t have the volume you do. Illinois weather is was in the 80’s earlier but now dropping and windy and overcast.

  3. Jean

    It’s going to get into the 40’s one night here in ETN, but no frost yet. Fall is early here too! Strange.
    -Jean 💟

  4. Marsha Ransom

    It’s crazy weather days here in Michigan, too! Yesterday it was hot & muggy; today it’s chilly and feels like rain. I think it was spitting a bit of ice with the rain on my way into work this morning.

  5. Carol

    Oh, boy, I love that table mat, I’m thinking of colors, can’t wait! Thank you. 🙏🏻
    Your storm is headed our way but no rumors of 30 degree temps, thank goodness. But I sure am ready for the 60s tomorrow should bring…92 today and very humid, and high winds! All the planters are in safe places for now, patio furniture put away or tipped against the wind. I, too, am ready for cool weather cooking, just printed a recipe for crock pot meatballs, Sunday or Monday’s project.

  6. Gayle Shumaket

    Your storm made it’s way to me in Northern Michigan. Our local volunteer fire dept. has been out 18 times today for trees and downed power lines. I’ve been keeping hubby updated he’s in the U.P. bird hunting with our sons and other assorted family and friends. That’s pertinent because he’s chief, oldest son is captain and youngest son is also a firefighter. I’ve been happily quilting and knitting.

  7. Beth Laverty

    When we moved from Maine to Pennsylvania I left all of my houseplants with friends. I now only have one indoor plant, a miniature Schefflera. It always reminds me of the Huge one I was able to grow outside year round when we lived in Puerto Rico (on a Navy base,) I did bring a few outdoor things to transplant such as chives and a couple of other herbs. And I now just enjoy my outdoor hanging baskets in the warm months. I don’t envy you all the work. I hope you have some help.

    And doesn’t that bowl of soup sound good. I have to start thinking along those lines soon but it still is not too bad here yet.

  8. Cheryl Kirchhoff

    Hello from St. Paul,
    What a wild night that was. My heart hurts for those in the Fairibault, Owatonna, Waterville, Northfield and Cannon Falls areas who suffered damages in the tornadoes.we had lots of rain, but that was the extent of it.

    Your plants are beautiful.

    Do you have extra hours in your day? I think maybe I’m being short changed with only 24!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cheryl K – no, I’ve got just 24 hours but my house is not as clean and tidy as I would like and then I feel guilty if I have any spare minutes and don’t clean.

    2. Leslie Kemp

      Cheryl, I agree with you thinking about Mary’s days! She sure fills her hours fuller than I do!!!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Leslie Kemp – so not true! I don’t know anyone who works harder than you do, Les!

  9. Betty Klosterman

    We saw the 6″ rain Sioux Falls got yesterday afternoon. This morning my friend in Belmond sent a picture of water running over # 69 just north of town. How did it go in your area? My cousin sent a picture of damage done near Northfield, Minnesota. Very interesting! In the meantime, it was down in the low 40’s last night. And there is a nice breeze today, but a bit crisp. It feels good. This will pass and it will be very nice again. As for the plants, when I trim one I can hardly bring myself to throw the clippings out, but I do. None of my plants are very special. Oh, my Christmas cactus had 273 flowers last winter! And the dirt on it is so hard it chinks. I did start a few clippings as the original takes up the whole table. My plan is to get rid of the original.
    Can you just fumigate a whole room and get rid of all the critters? Do the succulents have the mealy bugs in their crevices? They are so much fun. Have a nice weekend.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty – Iowa river over its banks west of Garner so I’m not surprised that there’s flooding in Belmond. You hit my problem right on – I trim the plants and can’t throw the pieces away so I grow more – duh. Hope I can find some friends who want plants! Haha!

  10. Donna Sproston

    96 and humid yesterday, 60s today. Fall arrived almost on schedule. Your plants will keep you smiling all winter, looking forward to spring. We are off to Ireland, but I look forward to catching up on your posts and making a devil’s claw may when we return. Last night I had the pleasure of hearing quilt artist Luke Haynes. When he said he buys all his fabrics on sale or by the pound at Goodwill, I thought of you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna S – have a great time in Ireland! Not familiar with Mr. Haynes but I love his attitude to acquiring fabrics!

  11. Kate Schloemer

    Wow, so many plants… my house is to small for all them.. but I absolutely love plants and wish I could have more..
    I was in the path of the storm last night to. Fairmont area had a little over 4” of rain and lots of stick and limbs in the yard to pick up.
    Not ready for these cold temperatures… I have a couple succulent to brink in tonight if it’s going to get that cold .

  12. Pat Smith

    Yikes! A sky like that would have sent me to the basement! I’ve spent a lot of time in basements is Iowa and Kansas with threatening weather.. I really don’t know how you do it all in the 24 hours each day contains. You must get up really early. Cool here in VT—in the 30’s tomorrow night. I’m ready for the change with flannel sheets on the bed.

  13. Susan Sundermeyer

    Talk about going from one extreme to another! Hurried up and got the yard mowed this morning because we were expected to have strong storms go through Dayton, OH this afternoon. So far we’ve just have had sprinkles. Supposed to be in the lower 60’s tomorrow. Sure tired of the 90’s. Hello Fall!

  14. Bobbie

    Wow, Mary I can’t believe how many plants you have. I know I couldn’t keep up with all of them. I don’t have a green thumb. I either over water or starve them to death. I just buy baskets every year. Our weather is turning some cooler at night in the 50’s but still warming up in the day. Going to have a little rain then clear and have a few days of 70’s. My hubby is building me a she shed for a longarm so I hope it stays nice till he gets the roof on. I sure don’t want him sliding off a wet roof.
    Your picture of the sky was a little scary looking. Maybe like a tornado warning looking sky. I was born in Alabama and we had warning but as a kid didn’t pay much attention to them.
    I love reading your blog and Reed is a sweetheart. So nice he like to do and see so many different things. I loved his rug he made.
    Don’t over do it getting those plants ready for the do need about 35 hours a
    Have a nice weekend.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Bobbie – don’t I just wish there were 35 hours in a day! I could fill all of them! Don’t love your plants to death with water – if you follow that advice you can grow any houseplant!

  15. Kathy Hanson

    We were so lucky here in Rochester, MN – so much damage around us. I can’t imagine handling all those plants but I know that you love every one of them! You amaze me with all you do in a day – wow!

  16. Scott

    haha, you must not have deer eating every outside plant like we do! So many plants you put outside and bring in! amazing!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Scott – 7 acres is fenced 6’ high so no deer in the yard! Too many houseplants!

  17. Linette Anne Stewart

    Your plants are gorgeous Mary!! I can grow a few and struggle to grow Geraniums because my grandma grew them. I have two huge Boston Ferns – any advice on keeping them alive during winter? God bless you for your wonderful posts.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lunettes Stewart – I don’t grow geraniums well at all but a friend just sent me a picture of her 13 year old geranium! It’s the most beautiful plant I’ve ever seen! My big fern is so root bound it needs water every day because there’s simply no soil left – it’s all roots so it’s like a hydroponic plant!

  18. Leslie Kemp

    Mary, please tell me someone(s) helped you move all those plants!! They are lovely. We have a very dark house, so plants are limited here. I LOVE plants!! You continue to amaze me. P.S. Diane has her leaf quilt finished!!!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Leslie – wow! Already finished her maple leaf quilt! No, I moved them all in myself and now I just need to shuffle them to the correct room with the best light for each variety – or as best I can provide!

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Mary, what your readers that had never had the pleasure of visiting Country Threads might not have noticed: you have a lot of your big plants on/in old wash tubs, grocery carts and utility carts, etc. They have wheels. That would really help in moving the plants around. It was always so much fun to just walk around and see all of your plants, but I don’t think there were that many then. And can’t forget the critters, too!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Betty – well, the wheels of the grocery cart don’t turn and the wash tubs have tiny little casters that also don’t roll. I do, however, have a wagon with bigger wheels that I can roll into the house. This year I’ve decided to leave the huge plants in the garage – if they die I guess I don’t care.

  19. Dee T

    I think you will be up all night sorting your plants. Looks like a plant nursery. Beautiful. Make sure you get some rest so you can finish tomorrow. It doesn’t look like a quick fix .

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee t – it’s 11 pm and I am going to bed so that I can hopefully finish tomorrow ! Wish me luck!

  20. Diane in Newark, Ohio

    Wow. 150 plants! I will not tell my husband!! He’d love to have that many. As far as making more from clippings–my neighbor did that and then this past Spring she had a sale of all of them. She made a ton of money and bought a tree!!.

    We had a hot, very windy day today, but it’s going to be 65 for the Ohio State game tomorrow.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Newark – by the time Reed moves his over here, too, it will probably be 200 plants!

  21. Colleen

    Here on the coast in the middle of California we are warm now expecting to be cooler this weekend then warmer for next week
    We will have rain in October maybe.
    I do only out door plants and trees I am have peas and green beans starting and we are counting the avocados on the tree I started from a yummy avocado years and years ago 15-20-25 really don’t remember. Also various flowering plants the nasturtiums are coming back after my husband pulled them out thinking they were weeds, also the belladonna are blooming one clump at a time usually they flower together but this summer we didn’t water much due to water shortages so that might explain that.
    I guess with our water issues I should only do indoor plants

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Colleen – we are inside more months than outside and I always say that gardening in pots means no weeding! Easier on the back! Wish I could send you a few of mine!

  22. Jo in Wyoming

    Oh Mary, your house looks better than our nursery! What a variety and you know how to take care of them all. Beautiful, just beautiful.
    Today my little quilt group went to Quilt-A-Fair in Colorado. 70+ vendors, a wonderful quilt show and demos. It is a fabulous way to welcome fall. We saw many friends from this whole area. Now all I want to do is cut and sew. Such inspiration, rejuvenation and general wonderfullness. Is that a word?
    We too had a little frost last night and the punkin fields are glorious.
    Wish you could come over and we could have some blackberry cobbler.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – wouldn’t I love to come for coffee and then sew! This Friday Connie and I are headed to Des Moines for their quilt show – I’m ready for some inspiration!

  23. Kim LeMere

    We drove the Scenic Bluff Hwy from Prairie de Chein into Missouri today and all the streams and rivers were roaring in Iowa. I think most of the state has seen lots of rain the past few days. We are headed home to TN but its nice to take the scenic roads and enjoy the ride. We even managed to stop at a few antique spots along the way. Staying in Hannibal Mo today and will do some exploring of the town before we head south. It such a pretty stop on the river.
    Stay dry, make some wild rice soup and enjoy the sewing with friends.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kim LeMere – I taught in Hannibal, MO years ago and I loved the town! Ate the best catfish at the hotel there!

    2. Diane

      Hi Kim, We took our grand daughter to Hannibal and found a great quilt shop with beautiful fabric. I made her an adorable dress and cute bag. She was 9 then and 17 now. We also liked the Mark Twain museum.
      Have fun:)

  24. Sharon Bennett

    Wow! What a temperature difference! I would have needed a bucket brigade to bring all of those plants indoors so quickly! 🙂

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gretchen Weaver – so your mother must have been a little off her rocker like I am, huh?

  25. Janet Baer

    I grew up in Louisiana and my mother had a fern that was over 50 years old. One of her elderly neighbors gave it to her when she was first married. When it got to big for the tub it was in, she would split the roots with an ax. She would give pieces to our neighbors. My mom, like you, could grow anything. If she put a knife handle in the ground it would probaly sprout!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janet Baer – but could her neighbors keep the ferns that she gave them alive? I would need an ax to split this one, I think!

      1. Janet Baer

        I don’t know if any of them are still alive or not. I left Louisiana 30 years ago and Mother died in 2003. I haven’t been back since then.

  26. Sandy

    Mary, this is totally unrelated but I have been struggling with HST units for a bed quilt. I really dislike making them and then having to “square them up” to the needed size instead of just making them the tight size to start with.
    What method do you and Connie use when you have to make a large number of HST units? Did you use a different method when you first started Country Threads?
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom,


    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – I totally agree – why make them bigger only to have to trim all of them! Connie prefers Thangles but I like to cut to the exact size. Add 7/8” on to the finished size and cut once diagonally. If you want a 2” finished triangle square, cut the original square 2-7/8” x 2-7/8” and cut once diagonally, match up the triangles and sew with a PERFECT 1/4” seam.

      1. Sandy

        Mary, thank you.for this info. I am going to do this method from now on. Love seeing all your plants inside. What a huge Job, I don’t know where you find the time for all your “chores” and sewing too. You’re my hero 😍

  27. Martha Engstler

    Here in the Gettysburg it really feels like fall today but still in the low 70’s. Guess it’s time to bring the orchids in that I want to save. I have a sun room and they get more sun that I read they should but they bloom anyway. We have had so much rain this summer that I haven’t had to water them. To much rain for the tomatoes and geraniums (worst year I’ve ever had for them.) I love seeing all the plants you bring in Mary. It’s healthy, I think, to have them inside.

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