Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day dateline February 2010

Yesterday’s snow melted away, and once again the landscape is brown and gray.  I’m a poet and didn’t know it.  Ha!

At 26F outdoors, there are the occasional pansies bowing their little heads.

The pansies will perk up once it's sunny and a bit warmer.

The Helleborus argutifolius ‘Silver Lace’ is trying to bloom, but it’s been so cold and snowy.  As soon as the weather stabilizes a bit, I’ll trim away the old leaves to make way for the new.

Helleborus argutifolius 'Silver Lace'

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ is just beginning to bloom.  The blooms really are this red, but they are also a bit shrunken from the cold.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'

Do Goldfinches count as blooms?  What about chickens?  No, I suppose not.

Chickens yearning to be free

Indoors, it’s a cornucopia of flowers.  We have African violets all over.

African violets. None were labeled, so I don't know the cultivars, but the one on the right has variegated leaves.

The Cyclamen HH gave me for Valentine’s Day.  He didn’t know what it was, but he thought it was pretty.  Besides, as he told me, he went to Lowe’s for something (I can’t remember what), and it was on the display rack right beside the checkout stand.  Nice to see that after 21 years, he’s still the same romantic I married.

Valentine's Day cyclamen with a Fresh Cut Roses scented candle

I started them late, so the forced bulbs are just starting to make their appearance.  These white hyacinths are very pretty.

Hyacinth 'Carnegie'

I broke down and bought an orchid one cloudy day. We’ll see if I can get it to rebloom.  I didn’t take a photo of it.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti are still in rebloom.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts GBBD every month on the 15th.  If you visit her blog, you’ll find lots of other bloomers there, and tomorrow is foliage followup hosted by Pam at Digging.

Oh, and don’t forget about my seed and book contest.  I hope you’ll enter.

The great houseplant census of 2010

Mr. McGregor’s Daughter asked all of us to take a census of our houseplants.  Somehow, this census is supposed to save her relationship with all of her houseplants, or was that her husband?  I can’t remember.  She said anything alive counts, so here goes:

Barely breathing bulbs count.

The above are barely living tulips.  Don’t ask me why they look so bad.  I also have a very sad Norfolk pine which is hanging on, and being the merciful sort I am, I did not photograph it because it was too embarrassed.  Let’s move on to the amaryllis (really Hippeastrum) which finally decided to bloom after Christmas.  I had plans for it with the jolly, red decor, but sometimes plants don’t cooperate.

'Red Lion' graced us with its presence after Christmas.

The next picture is in here just because I love the vase which I purchased online.  I also have a blue one, but forgot to photograph it.   Antique stores are another great way to find bulb vases, once you’ve gone over the edge and are growing bulbs everywhere.

Just love this vase. A hyacinth bulb

My double pink hyacinth called the double Chestnut Flower (1880) is starting to bloom.  It is surrounded in the pot by white hyacinths which, I’m guessing, aren’t going to catch up to the pink one.  Oh well, something to look forward to I suppose.  I bought the double pink from Old House Gardens, and it does live up to the catalog’s glorious praises.  It is nicely scented and beautiful to gaze upon.  At the moment, watching it unfurl those double petals is about as good as houseplants get in my opinion.

Double pink hyacinth is so heavy she's being propped by a marker.

“That’s not fair,” cry the Christmas cacti, Schlumbergera et al. (one of them may be a Thanksgiving cactus).  All three are perched indignantly around the tub reminding me that they have now bloomed twice.  I do enjoy bathing with them, and after reading the new issue of Country Gardens magazine, I think we should add some African violets in vintage containers to the mix.  They could sit in the windows I think.

The red one
The bright pink monster I've had for years
The light pink one I saved from Wal Mart last year.

I’m really rather ashamed of how light pink is potted up.  Its original dark brown pot was knocked over by one of the cats, and HH threw it into this pot.  Because I’m a terrible indoor gardener, I’ve never re-potted it.  I think I’ll fix that this weekend.

If we're counting, this is four in one pot.

I found this little number at a local nursery last winter.  I felt bad because I didn’t have any indoor plants except the cacti, so I saw this little jungle number and brought it home.  It also resides in the bathroom which is the best place in my house because of the humidity.  The aforesaid kitten likes to hide between the leaves and eat this plant.  It hasn’t killed her yet, so I guess it isn’t poisonous.  Oh, and before you call PETA, I’ve tried to get it away from her.  I really have.

Isn't that pretty?

A few more bulbs (about ten in all), and that’s it.  However, against my better judgment, I’m considering a terrarium.  This afternoon I bought and I’m now reading Tovah Martin’s, The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature because she is coming to Oklahoma to speak in Tulsa (February 13, 2010) and Oklahoma City (February 14, 2010) as part of the OHS’s education series.  By the way, the talks are open to the public and free.

Martin almost has me convinced.  The terrariums look easy care, and if you want to live inside this house, you almost need to care for yourself, especially if you’re a houseplant.  Just ask the cacti.