Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Holiday Garden, Part II

I have even more flowers in bloom now than I did at Thanksgiving! I always feel so blessed this time of year to see so many of God's beautiful blooms around me! So, in addition to the flowers I showed you at Thanksgiving (you can see that post here), here are some new ones that came into bloom.

This is my Amaryllis. They really are not hard to grow and can produce flowers for many years, depending on where you live. Here in the south, they tend to get rust (the fungus kind) so they can be a bit difficult to keep for years. I can only get them to flower for 3 or 4 years, then the rust overwhelms the bulb and they end up dying. Still, they make such beautiful flowers, I can't live without one (or two)! This one is on my fireplace mantel with the orchids I have in bloom.

At Thanksgiving, I showed you this picture of my Brassavola Nodosa. The flowers were just about to open.

Here is is today! These flowers opened about a week ago. It is one of the two flowering plants I have in bloom that only give off their scent at night. The scent is so lovely! It fills the whole room. This one is on my dinning room table.

The last plant I have in bloom is a corn plant. This is the very common everyday houseplant you can find in stores everywhere. If you keep it long enough, it will flower! My plant is 28 years old. It has never been repotted, never been top dressed with 'fresh' soil and it is only fed houseplant fertilizer sticks twice a year. Sometimes it is watered weekly, sometimes it is watered once a month! The point being, this plants get almost no care! Yet, it has rewarded me with beautifully scented flowers for the past 10 years. The shorter days of the year signals the plant to bloom, I don't do anything to help it along. 

The flower stem is on the top of the plant. Here is a close up.

It lives in an east facing window most of the year. At Christmas time, it goes into a corner without light (natural or artificial) to make room for the Christmas tree. My plant is about seven feet tall. This plant has got to be one of the easiest plants to grow, ever! Mine is practically neglected, yet it faithfully blooms every Christmas! At about sundown, it scents my family room, kitchen and master bedroom! 

I also splurged (read that to mean it wasn't in the budget) and bought a new poinsettia plant this year. Most of the 'white' varieties that are available are really light yellow and not a true white. Well, this year I saw a true white variety! It has a touch of pink on the leaves and looks so beautiful, I just had to have one!

Poinsettia plants are a splurge for me because I don't buy them each year and treat them as short lived gift plants. I grow them like a regular houseplant and 'force' them each year to bloom in color. The red ones are the easiest to get to bloom. All other colors and varieties are very difficult for the home gardener to 'force' successfully. However, I am stubborn, so I am going to try to get this one to bloom next year! I took this picture because it may be the only way I get to look at the pure white color next year! We shall see! 

I sincerely hope that you too have Christmas blooms at your house! To me, Christmas isn't Christmas without tropical plants in bloom!

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