15 December 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day--in the bleak late autumn!

It's been months--well over a year, actually--since I participated in one of Carol's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Days, and I thought in keeping with rejuvenating myself and my blog, I'd join back in the fun, because it IS all about having fun with plants. Especially in December, where we've gone from sub-arctic temperatures to rain, fog and drizzle. Too soggy for me to venture outside but I know from being out yesterday, putting up lights, that there's nuthin' bloomin' outside, so we need to adjourn to seeking out indoor blooms.

To keep me from becoming an irritable writer and spouse, I keep fresh flowers around the house as much as possible during the dreary months of late autumn and fall. I realized yet again today, though, that one of my favourite cheer-me-up colour ranges of the spectrum, however, doesn't necessarily photograph as well as I'd like with a digital camera. The hot pinks, magentas and fuchsias of the floral spectrum tend to blow out quite a bit unless you use a filter, and I don't have one to fit the particular lens on my camera at the moment.

I have done one round of experimenting with David Perry's Mason Jar Master Class, but my wide-mouthed mason jars have a textured pattern in the glass, and aren't as tall as I'd like. That being said, I did like the light play on the paperwhite flowers that I dropped into the jar the other day for a trial run.

Before frost hit, I remembered to rescue a couple of my outdoor pelargoniums and bring them inside. This salmon-coloured one is happily adjusting to life in a not-so-sunny-but-warm kitchen, and putting up lots of new blooms.

This is one of those 'colour not done justice' photos. This fantastic pelargonium has flowers that are bicolour, red and hot fuchsia, but it's hard to see that no matter how often I experiment with photographing it.

That's okay about the colour blur, though, because the flower shape is just so striking on this one, I wouldn't really care what colour the blossoms are.

My cyclamen are still doing very nicely in the coolness of the office, although I feel the need to add a couple more colours to the collection. When I venture out tomorrow for appointments and errands, who knows what will follow me home?

The last phalaenopsis flower is still hanging on tenaciously, and I think this particular orchid is considering putting up one more shoot of buds. The other two are resting, spent after a long flowering fiesta.

My friend Neville MacKay gave me a bouquet containing these dendrobium orchids more than 6 weeks ago, and there are still three stems producing flowers. Another week or so and they'll be done, but what joy they've given me!

Meanwhile, that first Amaryllis is being coy about opening her flowers, but I find once they start to show colour, they unfurl fairly quickly. Going to watch closely for the next day or so and see what happens.

One of my favourite cut flowers are the curious Bells of Ireland, Moluccella laevis. These have been hanging out with a bundle of fuchsia dianthus for well over a week, and show no signs of really faltering. I love their somewhat-alien appearance, and find they have a faint but fresh, minty scent. The green bracts tend to dry to a tan colour, and the flowers themselves are pretty insignificant at the centre of those 'bells.'

I'm in the process of decorating our Christmas tree, but it's no wheres near finished. And I have a confession that's somewhat scandalous. I don't have a lot of Christmas ornaments that are plant-themed. I tend to collect penguins rather than plants in ornaments, but I do have half a dozen of these wonderful handmade ribbon pinecones scattered around the tree.

And for giggles, a sparkly branch of pomegranates and berries festoons a pot already occupied by two whimsical pottery mushrooms and a somewhat-chewed blue plumbago plant. Hmmm. Who might have chewed on that plant?

Surely not Spunky, here looking annoyed because I woke him up to take his photo! Well, yes, actually he is the chief plant-nibbler. Happily, he never dines on anything toxic, and he tends to look both innocent and annoyed when caught in the act. He's very tired right now, a morning's naughtiness having worn him out. So I think I'll take the hint and join him in a nap.

This concludes our Bloom day tour! Don't forget to visit around the blogosphere and see what's blooming in other gardens or homes, and thanks as always to Carol for having continued this fun monthly event for us to enjoy.


  1. I was looking at your beautiful indoor plants and thinking "she must not have cats!"... then I scrolled down and saw cute Spunky!
    My cats both eat plants, but one of them is much worse than the other. My Gracie's favorite are daisies - so annoying! But also cute, when she gets a yellow nose. Ha.

    I'm not familiar with pelargoniums, but those are stunning!! As is your photography of them!

    Happy GBBD!

  2. How lovely - your Pelargonium has lots of pseudo-umbels. Tee hee. That is the coolest Pelargonium flower. I have lust in my heart for your Cyclamen. They are my favorite houseplants. (Psst - don't feel too bad, I don't have any plant or garden themed ornaments either.)

  3. MMD: We're gonna giggle about pseudo-umbels for a while, aren't we?

    Ginger, thanks for visiting! Loved seeing your blog, so I really, really bless Carol for the link-love she sets up at the end of her posts.

  4. I love that you don't limit Bloom Day photos to the outdoors...thanks for sharing what's blooming IN your home! And the effect of the mason jar is quite stunning - I never would've thought of that!

  5. The mason jar technic is very interesting. Nice indoors blooms, they will certainly brighten a grey day.

  6. You have lots of nice indoor blooms. This reminds me that I haven't even purchased an amaryllis this year! What is wrong with me? I love the cyclamen too - very pretty.

  7. Hi Jodi~~ What a delightful post. So you have mischievous felines too? Dumb question. ALL felines are mischievous which is one of the reasons we love them so much, right? "Number 3" is nibbling on the tips of my wire vine. I hope she, like Spunky, knows to stay away from the poison plants.

    It seems that everyone has paper whites blooming. I love your perlargoniums, especially the star-shaped one. It kind of looks like a poinsettia.

  8. Love your indoor plants, love your cats. I'm currently enjoying a small pot of blooming African Violets and waiting for a GREEN amaryllis to bloom. Something new and differant. Will post a picture of it on my blog when it's open.
    If your kitties would like to meet my kitties - www.cathouse.blogspot.com
    Happy Holidays,

  9. Jodi, I never know whether Coal will eat a plant or not~~It's the mess that comes after that is also a problem! In the meantime it a pleasure to see your lovely indoor beauties (cats included)....Fresh flowers are wonderful for keeping a house summery! gail

  10. Hi - welcome back to bloggy world. I like reds especially when I'm feeling low

  11. What a floweriferous post. I am glad you decided to join in the fun. I really like cyclamen. I am so jealous that you can get cyclamen to grow inside and bloom no less. I can't keep one of those things going for anything. Hmmmmm. Happy GBBD.

  12. You have so many pretty blooms inside. I'm heading to a nursery tomorrow and was thinking I might need a Cyclamen or two or three...

  13. Fabulous flower array, Jodi! (Not to slight dear Spunky, of course, what a classic expression. I can just hear him saying "Why? WHY?!!!") I love fresh cut flowers during the dark months, too, and I cling to every African violet, pelargonium, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, and orchid bloom that shows itself. Even our jade plant is blooming now, showing its lovely star showers in the greenhouse. Naturally, I'm also jealous of your clematis, which look so extremely lush and happy. I hope you bring a white one home to join them soon.---Silence

  14. Beautiful flower photos, Jodi. (I think Our Friend Ben must mean cyclamen -- I just rushed though the pix again thinking, How did I miss those clematis!?) Thanks for the link to the mason jar master class, too. That looks like a fun project... wonder if my point 'n' shoot will allow me to get close enough.

  15. Hi Jodi,
    I enjoyed seeing your indoor blooms. Your photography is a joy to experience. It's cool that Spunky's perch matches his fur.

  16. Even with nothing happening outside, you've definitely made up for it indoors! It's warm enough here for amaryllis outdoors, but they don't bloom until spring--You've way ahead of us!

  17. Penguins on a tree - how fun is that?! Personally, I'm a cardinal and bird nest freak when it comes to holiday trees. I adore your photos and admire your wide-mouth Mason Jar attempts, which I've yet to try. LOVELY FLOWERS! Hi Spunky.

  18. Gack, I certainly DID mean cyclamen, my brain must have been in power-save mode, sorry! Thanks, Helen, for saving the day (if not my sanity). Sheesh!!!

  19. Oh, look at your indoor garden. I love the cyclamens. I wonder if a few would be happy in my bathroom windowsill . . .
    What a wonderful gift of looooong-blooming orchids from your friend. I bought this giant, gorgeous cymbidium orchid from costco last year but didn't have a perfect place to put it, and now it has finally died. I felt guilty the whole time I watched it wither away, leaf by leaf. So I'm relieved it's finally gone for good and I can stop feeling like a failure!

  20. You have so many colorful indoor blooms, Jodi! I find I have trouble getting colors to show up accurately on indoor photos, but yours turned out so well. I just read an article about cyclamen being tricky to keep indoors, but yours look so healthy--what's your secret?

    I don't have any garden-themed Christmas ornaments either; love your ribbon pinecones. And none of my cats seem to nibble on plants, but they do like high perches like Spunky:)

  21. Hello,

    I have seen your blog around Blotanical for a while and decided to visit. I'm glad I did :0)
    Isn't it wonderful that we can continue to garden indoors even when it is cold outside? Your Cyclamen are beautiful. I am growing Orchids for the first time and am enjoying them so far.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.



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