16 January 2011

Bursting with indoor colour for Bloom Day

I don't do a post for every Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, mostly because I don't like to follow memes every time they run. But in the bleak midwinter, we need an outburst of colour to cheer our souls, and I have to say my house is blooming happy right now. Let's lead off with those tropical-looking darlings, members of the hibiscus family. I have two young, vigourously growing plants, both of which are flowering right now. This porange (pink-orange) beauty is one of my favourite indoor plants.
Hibiscus are well suited to growing as houseplants for most of us. They like it a little warmer than some varieties, so at this time of year I move mine out of my office (the coolest room in the house, unless I run a heater) and to the sunniest, draft-free spots. They don't like soggy feet but need to be watered regularly, especially this time of year. I draw off a watering can full of water and leave it set all day before I water the hibiscus, and this keeps them from getting shock to their roots.



They and their relative the flowering maple can be prone to whitefly and aphids. Touch wood, I have none of either in the house these days, nor any spider mites, probably because I mist the plants pretty much daily with water that has a drop or two of liquid seaweed fertilizer in it.
Many of my African violets have been taking a bit of a flowering break, but are ramping up to begin another outburst. There are a few blooms happening, however, including this lovely double lavender-purple one...
And this ruffled, deep pink and white beauty. I don't know that this is Honeysuckle Pink, the colour of the year as defined by Pantone, but it's definitely a happy African violet!
We put it to a vote, and my cohorts in the amaryllis loving world agree that this is 'Apple Blossom' amaryllis. What is interesting, and a bit annoying, is that this is a new bulb, and I didn't buy it to be that cultivar, but something more unusual. Obviously, somehow it got mixed up but it's okay, because it's a beautiful cultivar. I especially love the green-apple throat of the blossoms.
I'm more bummed out about this, as I bought a collection of amaryllis from a reputable mailorder company, and these are supposed to be 'Green Dragon'. As you can see, they are anything BUT green. I assume, however, that the mistake was made at the company that supplies the mailorder company, as every one of the bulbs that were supposed to be green are this variety instead. Oh well. I'll send the company a note, but I don't consider it their fault.
For the past couple of years, I've nurtured this zonal geranium, or pelargonium, which is called 'Graffiti Violet.' Photos don't do it total justice, as it's a vibrant red AND the most vibrant fuchsia imaginable. I love it, and have taken a few cuttings so as to have more of it next year.
This NOID pelargonium was given to me after a talk several years ago, and I really love it. Usually I leave the zonal geraniums outside to meet their maker in winter,  but I bring this one and 'Graffiti Violet' indoors, and they bloom regularly throughout the winter.
I've rabbited on about my phalaenopsis orchids quite a bit in the past few weeks, but I include this photo for a different reason. Local potter Denise Aspinall doesn't have a website yet, but she does have a profile at the Wolfville Farmers Market website. She has recently started doing plant pots along with her line of gorgeous, functional porcelain ware, and of course I had to add one of her big pots to my collection of great planters. I've suggested she make bird and butterfly baths too, so I'm hoping she works on those over the winter--I think they'd be spectacularly popular.
During a mild day earlier this week, I responded to the pleas of this striking phalaenopsis orchid to rescue it from sure death at a department store. It's a vigourous, healthy plant, and I couldn't bear to see it dwindle away and die. Of course not!
The crisp white blooms of this cyclamen are so beautifully dipped in fuchsia, a great cheerful colour for this time of year. Cyclamen like a cool room so they thrive in my office, and then go outside for the summer. Sometimes, they collapse and die despite the best of care, so don't take it personally if they do. That's plants for us.
To further encourage us that we'll make it through the winter, the first of my forced hyacinths are beginning to open, filling the hallway with the scent of spring. Not everyone enjoys the scent of hyacinths, but I like them and am always happy when they begin to flower.
And the most definite sign that we'll see spring once again was found outdoors a week or so back. These are the buds of hellebore 'Golden Sunrise', which I bought last year and nurtured tenderly throughout the year. I went out to see how this plant was doing and found it budding nicely under the snow, took its photo for posterity, then replaced the snow gently, and mulched with evergreen boughs. I'll see them again in a couple months time. Spring always finds us again...eventually.

21 comments:

  1. I smiled when I saw your photo of the bright red flower today, and we are on the same wave length, since my post yesterday is of a bright red flower. Our motivation was the same; we needed some color in winter.
    Your hibiscus are especially gorgeous.

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  2. I see lots of 'happy campers', jodi. You must be delighted with your awesome parade of indoor color!

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  3. What beautiful flowers...worthy of a florist's shop! I should be able to grow hibiscus outside in my climate but have had no luck. Yours are gorgeous. My husband and I were in Nova Scotia in Oct (Halifax and Sydney) and loved it!

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  4. Wow, Jodi -- what you don't have outside you have more than made up for inside. Your wide variety of blooms are stunning. I would have never thought of hibiscus as indoor plants, but yours are so pretty & colorful. And I'm astounded by that geranium -- pelargonium -- I may have to go in search of that one! Happy Bloom Day.

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  5. Absolutely awesome piece of ceramic and here I am with my poor orchid in a miserable plastic pot...thanks for the inspiring BIG Picture!! Think I need at least one more orchid to really make a statement(YUP)...

    A joy to look at all the pink photos. Today's write up in the Herald was also, very good and I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

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  6. Great pivtures as always - i especially like your oink pelargonium - ref the green dragon - the englinbe in this picture - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Stroudley_Terrier.jpg/300px-Stroudley_Terrier.jpg - is painted in a livery known as stroudley's improved engine green - so maybe he named your amaryllis aswell

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  7. Very pretty for this dreary month!

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  8. So many pretties in the dead of winter! I have amaryllis buds, a late start with Christmas leftovers on sale.

    Bright vivid colors brighten dreary days. You have a fantastic collection.

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  9. Jodi, I love all your blooms, but especially the pelargoniums! I'll have to look for 'Graffiti Violet'. I love that color combo! Love your first Hibiscus, too.

    I have to say that in my experience no single bulb is the victim of mislabeling more than amaryllis. It happened to me this year (with 'Elvas' which turned out to be 'Dancing Queen'), and it's happened to me numerous times. It doesn't seem to matter where I get them either. That leads me to believe that they're mislabeled at the growers. This is probably more annoying to those of us that have extensive collections of them and want something out of the ordinary, rather than something we've already got, no matter how beautiful they may be.

    I knew you'd have some cyclamen. I don't know anyone who can keep them healthy better than you, and I always think of you when I see them. <3

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  10. Look at all of those pretties! I want to try my hand at an orchid and see if I can keep it happy.

    I especially loved seeing your hellobore buds. I am always excited to get to this point of winter.

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  11. Jodi, you have quite an array of blooms this January. Those hibiscus sure give one the itch for summer. My poor hellebores aren't setting buds yet. Nearly every blog I read has buds. Hmmmm I guess my hellebores are just too smart or lazy. Can't decide which. ;) Happy GBBD.

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  12. You are surrounded by such beauty right in your home!

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  13. Linking back to you. We have porange flowers too! Came with me as cuttings from the last garden. Now shrubs as tall as I am.

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  14. Wow, you put me to shame in the January indoor flower department -- or, come to think of it, in any other month, too. I love those feathered pelargoniums, and that sounds like a stunning colour combo. Interestingly, Gayla Trail had the same mislabelled 'Green Dragon' that turned out to be red. So perhaps the error occurred at the source.

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  15. You have a lovely collection of very cheerful blooms and I particularly like "Graffiti Violet". My house is looking very bare in comparison.

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  16. You make me wish I was a houseplant gardener! But, your beautiful plants would die of neglect here~Love the porange~both the flower and the color name! gail

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  17. I'm so glad I popped over today...your flowers are all beautiful. I love outdoor gardening, but sadly neglect indoor plants. You may have just inspired me to try again...

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  18. Hi Jodi, like what Diana said i would never have known that Hibiscus can be an indoor plant. Here they are perennially outside, rain or shine, planted on the ground and they fend for themselves. But your blooms are awesome, which made up for the efforts put on them.

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  19. What a beautiful array of indoor blooms, Jodi! This is a great way to get through this cold winter. Yes, as you say, spring will find us eventually. This year I didn't get my geraniums in before they were zapped by frost, and I'm regretting my procrastination. My mother has a few that she has kept for years; they seem to like her cool but sunny front porch.

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  20. I love these photos! That sweet pink African violet is to die for. Stay warm.

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  21. You have just inspired me to buy some new plants. These are gorgeous! I forgot how much I love these!

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