Monday, December 15, 2008

Green inside and out

Well, the outside part will not last for long, I’m sure. As it happens, though, we are "basking" in 40-50ish temps today and what little snow we had has liquefied (you can see it in these images, some taken before it melted). The white stuff will return within a few days, I hear. December is a strange month in Buffalo; we don’t get the serious cold weather until after the New Year—generally speaking.

However, I can’t say I have any outside flowers. That would be lying, and the worse kind of lie—one with no chance of being believed, ever, by any of you. I’m fine with no flowers though; I’ve never had them before in December, so why should this year be different?

For Bloom Day, I offer a selection of what I’ve got growing inside. The plant room that I converted last year is doing much better than it did then. There is hardly any leaf drop and one gardenia still seems to be considering throwing out a few blooms. The alocasias, colocasias, and musas (close-up at top) are slowly growing more leaves, while (great excitement!), my dendrobium orchid has new buds.

I attended a winter plant sale at our Botanical Gardens (above) and picked up three new houseplants: a plectranthus, an abutilon, and some kind of coppery-leaved chenille plant. I don’t always know the Latin names for my houseplants, I must admit. Some of them are very long, involve too many consonants, or are otherwise hard to remember. I hope to keep these alive at least until summer, when they can go outside, but we’ll see. I’ve heard ominous things about the abutilon from GBBD founder Carol. The plectranthus is the one with all the blue flowers in the foreground. Very pretty.

The flowering houseplants are performing on cue and as expected. Ever since I bought the special African violet pots, they seem to pretty much bloom nonstop. I highly recommend these containers, which control moisture perfectly (I have shown these before). I have three Christmas cacti, all blooming. And of course the cyclamen, always in bloom at this time.

At the office, I have decorated my plants for the season.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, here are some painted poinsettias at one of our local nurseries. How about that for winter color! Frightening, but fascinating.


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm so jealous of your plant room & all your indoor plants. I love Cyclamen! That one is such a wonderfully shocking pink, just what a winterweary soul needs.

Gail said...

Frightening and fascinating is right...they wood look good with Easter died carnations...another horror!

A plant room would be lovely..I could have it except that's my husbands office and the guest room!

Plectranthus are among my favorite tropicals! Enjoy your basking days.


Kathy said...

I've grown cyclamen outside, but not inside. Do the inside ones have a dormant period?

EAL said...

MMD and Kathy,

The cyclamen blooms profusely from late November through February, and only offers leaves for the rest of the time. I have had this one for ten years. I repotted, but it is still SO potbound. It doesn't seem to mind, though. There is no real dormant period, just a non-flowering period. The leaves are attractive, however.

I bought it for 99 cents at some not-very-good nursery.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are going to love the Plectranthus in your garden next year. I had one this year and that thing grew and bloomed nonstop all summer.

I do envy you your plant room. I don't even have a room that faces south. WHINE... Oh well, the plants I brought in are hanging on.

Leslie said...

My cyclamen are all outside too, and have a dormant period in the summer.
You might be the indoor bloom queen...and you certainly will be when your bulbs get going!

Carol said...

I think sometimes indoor blooms are more personal, as though that plant bloomed just for the gardener.

And I like that cyclamen. I've never gotten one to live, to my knowledge... I think I'll try again!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

I'm still thinking a terrarium would be a good addition to my living room. Bulbs, terrariums ... is there no end to your villainy?

Darla said...

A plant room? How lucky are you? Great blooms.

EAL said...

It's just a little plant room.

And that is SO GREAT you're getting a terrarium Cindy. That makes me so happy.

dr aletta said...

What great ideas. I'm sharing this with my gardener sister who goes nuts about this time of year.

Layanee said...

Kris over at Blithewold just did a great terrarium post so I was happy to see yours. I think it will be a good project for January. Trip to Logee's anyone!

Those poinsettias are a crime against nature!