This is a type of African daisy, Venidium, which I haven't seen offered for several years. That's a great pity, because like Osteospermum, once the risk of frost is past in the spring this annual blooms like gangbusters well into autumn, until that hard fall frost finally does it in. It comes in orange, red, or these cheery pink flowers, with grey-green foliage that makes a nice foil to the flowers.Jolly Farmer, and it's a fragrant variety. My other cyclamen aren't fragrant, but they bloom prodigiously, and their foliage is so gorgeous they don't even have to bloom to make me happy.
If you haven't gotten into orchids because you have heard they are too fussy, you ought to start with moth orchids, phalaenopsis. That's how I got started, some years ago, and I've expanded my collection to include a few paphiopedilums (lady slipper orchids) as well as the oncidiums mentioned above. Phalaenopsis are such easy going, forgiving, and long, long blooming orchids, you just can't get along with only one. Just avoid those hideous blue-dyed ones, okay?
Because we know what sort of losses and changes have happened in my life this year, I'm not doing much in the way of Christmas decorating, contenting myself with enjoying the season at other people's homes, including my family and friends. I d, however, love this quick and easy way to make a centre piece using a few small twigs of fir, pine, holly, euonymous, and some multiflora rose hips and a couple pine cones. Arrange in a dish with a little piece of florist's oasis or a kenzan/flowerfrog, set it into a basket or other holiday-themed container, and you have a cheery accent for coffee or dining room table.Tuxedo Stanley. You may have heard of Tuxedo Stan, who ran for mayor of Halifax during the recent municipal elections, hoping to get new laws and protections in place for homeless and suffering cats in the municipality and beyond. He has a store of goods, including his Minions, with all proceeds going to help Spay Day Nova Scotia, an excellent program that needs our help. I'm all about helping the helpless, especially felines, so I was happy to adopt Tuxedo Laverne, seen here posing with my wreath from Ouest-ville Perennials.
I am spending the Christmas season with my son in Toronto, and after that I'm having my own late Christmas gift: a knee replacement surgery. So I may be sporadic in posting over the next number of weeks, but I'll be on Facebook and Twitter when possible whilst in the hospital, where I'll only be for a few short days before returning home, where a friend is staying with me til I'm back on both feet again. Here's hoping for a very Happy Knee Year for me...and for all of you, the happiest of Christmas seasons, and the best in 2013.