19 November 2007
Indoor blooms to prevent November Insanity
Well, despite my optimism on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day I don't think our Golden Wings is going to get to open. We've had three successive days of quite cold weather. No, make that bonechilling cold, at least today when the lazy wind doesn't go around, but through, the unsuspecting person lured outside to fill birdfeeders. And of course it's a cloudy day, so the sky is shades of grey, which doesn't produce a lot of light to come in windows and cheer the soul.
I get through the fall and winter months by having fresh flowers and flowering plants in the house as much as possible. My office has east and south light, and that helps too, though there are mature rhododendrons and a host of spruce trees to help reduce available light somewhat. But since I spend most of my waking hours in my office, slaving over my computer to produce articles, I figure there should be plenty of plants to keep me company.
I treat cyclamen as pretty annuals; when late spring comes, I plant out the ones that have shared my office all winter, and they do nicely outdoors, flowering until hard frost turns them to mush. Their flowers remind me of happy, brilliantly coloured butterflies, and their foliage is just gorgeous, with those wonderfully patterned leaves.
I've written before about my fondness for outdoor members of the Euphorbia genus, but the first euphorb I got to know (other than the poinsettia) was the Crown of Thorns. It used to be you saw this plant with red or white flowers, but now there are other shades, including this whimsical pale yellow.
I know that Kate of Kate Smudges knows this plant, but have others fallen for it? It's called Blue Haze (Evolvulus) and it's usually sold as an annual for planting outdoors; at least that's been my experience since I first found it several years ago. The only thing about the plant I don't care for is its ability to attract hair from the catchildren, who seem to be fond of visiting it (though they don't chew on it, just bump against it.) The clear blue flowers are somewhat similar to Plumbago (my plumbago isn't flowering yet, but it's another glorious indoor plant if you have bright light and a warm room.)
I love the bright happy colours of kalanchoe, and usually have two or three of them splashed around the house for bursts of brightness. Their sprays of small, fourpetaled flowers last for a long time, and if deadheaded, they'll usually produce more sprays, at least until well into spring.
I have a confession about this phaelonopsis orchid; I thought I'd killed it for sure earlier this autumn, because it had been seriously neglected for a few weeks (as in no water, no misting...no looking at it! Poor thing). I'd moved it to a different spot and errrrr...forgot it was there. Happily for me, it responded to a little emergency care, and responded in fact by sending out two new secondary shoots of flower buds. I've contritely promised to treat it better over the coming months. Do you suppose that will kill it?
Yes, I know they're common as all get out. But maybe that's why I love them--because across the world, people know and love geraniums. I'm especially partial to a deep-wine ivy geranium which is in the kitchen, but it's currently forming new flower buds and has no flowers, so this pink stalwart will have to do.
I read too much. Specifically, I read maybe too many gardening blogs, because I don't always remember where I read what. One of my garden blogging friends posted about streptocarpus the other day, and I'm havin' yer basic brain fart because I do NOT remember who it was--nor do I have time right now to search through those thirty or so regular reads to figure it out. Just suffice it to say that others also extol the virtues of the Cape Primrose. I can see them becoming a habit, if the nursery where I purchased this one continues to bring in a host of different colours. I like them better, I think, than their relative Saintpaulias (African violets) in part because they aren't cat-hair magnets.
Sure, I could have held this til December Bloom Day...but I'll just get more plants for then, okay!?
What's flowering in YOUR indoor garden?