22 March 2009

Sometimes "I want that!" turns into "I just GOT that!"

It's been fun reading the reactions of others who see new plants (whether new to them or new to everyone) and how they deal with that rush of "I WANT that!" Sometimes, we succumb instantly. This time of year, after all, is when the glorious green phalaenopsis spoke to me last year, begging me to take it home. How could I refuse? And see how it's repaid me?

My stroll around den Haan's garden centre in Middleton on Friday gave me a much-needed boost. There's something about the scent of warm soil, green growing plants, and humid air that just makes me feel much better about life in general. There were a lot of plants I could have taken home with me. I love the abutilons, but they were looking a bit spindly after the winter, though still flowering joyously. 

There are certainly a lot of colours that weren't available when I first grew these mumblety-seventeen years ago, at Agricultural College. I always had one or two in my room on campus, though they were prone to sulking in the dry air. 

There were a LOT Of pansy geraniums, also known as Martha Washingtons and Regal geraniums. I happen to love these, both for their scented foliage and their really handsome flowers, and this one came home with me. The photo doesn't do it justice; the flowers are a very, very deep wine, about the colour of a good Wolf Blass Shiraz wine. (why yes, that's my favourite red, why do you ask?) And in fact, this variety is called 'Maiden Burgundy.' 

So bemused was I by the happy blossoms I never thought to check the other regals for their cultivar names. I almost brought this one home too, but was distracted by the lavender instead. 

Aren't they great? I know that magenta isn't to everyone's liking, but at this time of year, nothing brightens a blog post like an outburst of magenta...

Or maybe you prefer this hot pink one with the red accents. I like it but really the burgundy one did the trick for me best. I think this and the magenta cultivar may be among the longest-existing colours, which is probably why I tend to look at them, smile, and move on to the next. Familiarity, and all that. 


And finally, the plant that has caused me a great deal of plant-want-angst this winter, the clivia. Kylee has one, and I know some of our other fellow bloggers have them too, but it's Sunday morning and I can barely find the top of my desk, let alone references to clivia in other blogs. I stood and looked and looked and looked at this plant at the nursery, and almost--I repeat, almost--brought it home. But it's expensive (moreso than the orchids) and I just wasn't sure I could justify it, so you know what happens...I get you guys to talk me into it. After all, I can't buy any outdoor plants yet. So let the convincing begin! 

(and longsuffering spouse, you might listen to them...just sayin'.)

28 comments:

  1. Well, um, around here they're actually kind of difficult to find: WCW told me a while back that they'd never had Clivias at work until I found some to bring in, and she's been there for five years. So if you do find a good one, it's worth grabbing it while it's there, because you may not have the chance again for a long time.

    They're also really excellent, long-lived, easy-care foliage plants, so long as you remember to stop watering in the fall. And obviously the flowers are pretty, too.

    They do seem to be prone to mealybugs; WCW has had some trouble on that front recently, I know. But other than that, I don't know what more you could want an indoor plant to do for you.

    How'd I do? Do you need more convincing?

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  2. I love bringing home new plants. You've picked some good ones. But your willpower must be strong to be able to pass up those flowering Clivia!

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  3. Oh the Clivias are just beautiful,
    and worth having. As for the insect
    problems, if you place a small fan
    near it bugs tend not to come around as much when there is air flow.
    Love the Magenta Geraniums!

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  4. I must say that clivias are worth the money. I wrote about mine today again and there is just nothing like them when they bloom and they have few problems and bloom in the shade. Is that what you needed?

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  5. Ok I had to go look this one up. I have never seen one but they are sure beautiful. I found this one on another blog, go check it out... Start your own seeds cheaper!!!
    http://growinggreener.blogspot.com/2008/03/clivia-seed.html
    It sure looks worth trying. EBay has lots too...
    GO FOR IT!!!

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  6. Jodi -- they're beautiful! What gorgeous blooms. And they're ORANGE! How much more convincing do you need than that? :-)

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  7. Clivias are my obsession. I have them growing in every available spot in my house. They are one of the most forgiving houseplants I have grown and my collection is rapidly displacing all of my other houseplants! If you like the green leafed, orange flowered variety, check out the incredible Chinese and Japanese varieties with gorgeous variegations. You won't even care if they flower.
    Also watch for yellow, peach and green coloured flowers–harder to find but well worth the search.

    If you don't want to spring for the one in the greenhouse, let me know and I will happily send you a plant or two once the weather warms up. I have lots of seedlings that need transplanting and may even have a yellow or red flowering one to spare!

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  8. Clivias are my obsession. I have them growing in every available spot in my house. They are one of the most forgiving houseplants I have grown and my collection is rapidly displacing all of my other houseplants! If you like the green leafed, orange flowered variety, check out the incredible Chinese and Japanese varieties with gorgeous variegations. You won't even care if they flower.
    Also watch for yellow, peach and green coloured flowers–harder to find but well worth the search.

    If you don't want to spring for the one in the greenhouse, let me know and I will happily send you a plant or two once the weather warms up. I have lots of seedlings that need transplanting and may even have a yellow or red flowering one to spare!

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  9. Oh yes, get them. I was in a greenhouse this weekend and I have a bad case of the "I Wants". Just seeing these pictures gives me the "I wants".

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  10. Are you convinced yet? Here's the thing Jodi, if you don't get the clivia, as soon as possible...someone else will...Then your inner gardener will never let you forget it! Never! gail

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  11. I totally enable you. My friend has a clivia that is doing very well for her, and we are in a similar climate.So, yes, please get it! It is small thing for the amount of pleasure it will bring.

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  12. Get the Clivia. One of my former coworkers had brought hers into the office, where it thrived & bloomed, despite the painfully dry air. She had it in an eastern exposure. It seemed very low maintenance.

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  13. Hi Jodi - haven't visited for awhile..hope all is well. All this colour has just made me very happy and spring-like (we're still wallowing in heaps of snow here on the other side of the bay).

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  14. I love those geraniums, especially the first one!

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  15. Gosh that's a pretty pansy geranium. These all look like comfort plants. Some people go to food to comfort them. We go to plants.

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  16. Jodi~~ I've never grown a clivia or an orchid so I can't recommend them from a personal standpoint. But I know how therapeutic it is to have new plants. Go for it. :)

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  17. "it's our economies we regret never our extravagances"

    will that do? :)
    K

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  18. I have been looking at these for a long time now. Absolutely beautiful but I have no idea of cultivation. Might have to have a look now!

    http://ryans-garden.blogspot.com/

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  19. Sitting on every gardener's shoulder is a wicked minded antonym to Jiminy Cricket whispering "Just one more won't matter. You can always find room in the garden somewhere"

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  20. Love, love, love green phalaenopsis orchids but, as of right now, I do not own one. On the list which gets longer by the minute.

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  21. That 'Maiden Burgundy' is lovely. I'll look for that one. Hope they carry it locally.
    Marnie

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  22. I also put in a love note to the green phalaenopsis orchid, but what's amazing me here are the clivia fans coming out of the woodwork. I'd always just turned my face away because of the price, but possibly I may have to re-investigate - or get a new career to support my plant habit! Also was enticed by the Martha Washington photos; I didn't know they had scented foliage, I've usually gone for the scenteds.

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  23. I love all those Martha Washington geraniums; I think you made an excellent choice, Jodi.

    After looking at your "spring" photos on your previous post, I think you deserve that clivia. Anyone who can endure that much snow for this long deserves a pick-me-up!

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  24. Want to trade? I have one for you Jodi and I live about half hour from you...that's not far from you seeing all the travels you do! What a gem of a geranium you found...I love the scent of them, have a few myself but not as pretty as those.

    Lavender

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  25. Jodi, my dear, do you REALLY need convincing? Well, how about this? Let me tell you about mine. Remember how I picked the one that had TWO bloom stalks? Well, now it's putting up a THIRD! Gotta love a plant like that! And the original bloom is still looking good!

    I'm not sure how much they are there, but I know they have come down in price here. I paid $19.99 for mine and I think it will prove to be worth every penny.

    It's a quality plant, an unusual one, at least for us Northerners, and someday when they aren't one of the "it" plants and aren't so much available again, you'll be glad you got when when it was.

    Besides, how can we compare notes about our plant children, if you're "Cliva barren?"

    Go get it, girl!

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  26. I think maybe I need to be introduced to bonehead. ;-)

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  27. If you were nearby I'd give you one of mine, Jodi. They grow very easily outdoors here in Cape Town - I just ignore mine, and provided they get lots of water, they flower happily every spring.

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