Sunday, January 24, 2010

Celebrating Clivia

The vibrant Clivia, which I showed in my January Bloom Day post,
is brightening our winter days, much to my great delight!
I find orange a little difficult to fit into my garden, but here in the house it goes beautifully with the surrounding, mostly green houseplants. 
I've been photographing (perhaps just a tad obsessively, but look at that color! Remember...we northerners are color deprived here in the frozen tundra) its daily progress as it unfolds those glorious orange blooms.
You'll find the first 2 days' photos in the previous post, and the following were taken over the next several days, as the flowers gradually opened.

Day 3 - January 17th

Day 4

Day 5

Day 7Posted by Picasa
I actually forgot to take a photo on day 6, believe it or not!

Day 7 again
(so I took extras on day7)

Day 8

Day 8 again - January 22rdPosted by Picasa

There are 13 blooms on the stalk and all are open now except one. It's truly magnificent. I'm really loving this plant! And yes, I'm still taking photos of it!

Molly is there below the table in one of her favorite birdwatching spots (often all 3 house cats are there)......

Chickadees are very busy at the feeders each day. The little sweeties are just one of more than 13 varieties of birds that visit our feeders daily. I'm counting birds 2 days each week for Project Feederwatch again this year. It's a fun winter activity, is easy to do and you learn so much about birds while aiding scientists to collect data. If you'd like to find out more about it click the link on my sidebar.

The birds keep us well entertained while the garden sleeps...and we all wait for spring.

I passed my 4th blogiversary on January 14th without remembering it (again). My, how the years go by!

Here's a link for Clivia care if you'd like to find out more about this gorgeous plant:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - January '10

Here we are in the middle of January already and it's Bloom Day again!
Does the 15th of the month come quickly, or is it just me?
I'm not complaining though. Spring is that much closer (although it still seems a very long way off).

I'm very excited to have this glorious Clivia beginning to open just in time for January's Bloom Day.

It was a passalong gift from my friend, Marie, as was that lovely trailing Coleus behind it. She has given me so many beautiful plants.
Clivias are related to the Amaryllis and are cared for in much the same way. I kept mine outside on the front porch in a shaded spot during the summer, and fed it regularly. It's been living upstairs in a cool bedroom these past few months....until today when those lovely orange blooms began to open!

The Columnea is still producing its dolphin shaped blooms.

It's nicknamed the Goldfish Plant, but I think the flowers more closely resemble the shape of a leaping dolphin, don't you? Posted by Picasa

My little Palm is flowering again.

I love the shape of these flower clusters with their strings of tiny dots. Isn't nature amazing?

Among my Christmas presents from my dear husband were Paperwhites and an Amaryllis. The Paperwhites remind me of ducks at the moment, but they should soon straighten up.

The green pot holds the new Amaryllis and the other 4 are from previous years. The promise of beauty to come!
My lovely Star Begonia (in the red pot) has not been doing well for the past few months. Does anyone have advice for ailing begonias? Posted by Picasa

I'm very pleased with this Alternanthera (Purple Knight) that I'm overwintering. It's looking much healthier than the one I tried overwintering last winter. 

I think it really likes my hubby's plant shelves. Posted by Picasa

I love this pink Wax Begonia with the burgundy leaves.

This Bacopa is an experiment in overwintering, and so far it's doing well and even producing blooms. Posted by Picasa

In the cellar a few geraniums are blooming, but this one is by far the most enthusiastic.

Upstairs in a south window Geranium Belladonna is doing nicely.

The red cactus surprised me a couple of days ago when I went to water it. There are buds forming! It bloomed in the spring and now it's going to give us a second show!
Does anyone recognize the vine that is growing with the cactus? This cactus was given to me by a friend and I noticed the vine later. Her exact words were, "Do you want this monstrosity?" It needs repotting and is woody in parts, but is otherwise doing very well. The little vine really took off this past summer and even produced tiny pale pink tubular flowers.

Hannah was pleased to follow me around as I took photos of the flowers. The poor kitties are so bored being cooped up in the house during these cold, snowy winter days. But spring is coming! Posted by Picasa

While we wait, why don't you spend a little time (or a lot) perusing all the beautiful blooms on other Bloom Day posts all over the world?
Be sure to visit Carol of May Dreams Gardens to find the links.

Happy Bloom Day everyone!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Hail to the New Year!

Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is upon us.
Old Man Winter is having a blast!
He came early in December, dug in his heels, and seems determined to stay for the duration.
This past week he has socked us with plenty of wintry weather. We've had snow every day in varying amounts, and today the temperatures were frigid, the snow heavier and the wind wicked.....a good day to rug up and stay warm inside.

This sweet little Downy Woodpecker, on his way to the suet cage, obligingly took a minute to pose nicely for a photo (or two or three).

I felt sorry for the birds having to deal with the such cold temperatures and that nasty wind today. They were busy at the feeders all day. That's a Tree Sparrow on the left and 2 House Sparrows on the right.

December flew by with the busyiness of Christmas preparations. Hannah "helped" me decorate the Christmas tree.

Hanging the ornaments brings nostalgic memories of Christmases past, children growing into adults.....

and having families of their own.

Celebrating the birth of Our Savior.

I love baking and decorating Christmas cookies!

One of my favorite presents came in a package of lovely surprises from my very dear friend Alice, who blogs in Canberra, Australia at A Growing Delight. Posted by Picasa

It's a card with a picture of Kookaburras. When the card is opened it plays the sound of the birds "laughing". I almost died of fright when I first opened it (thank you very much, Alice!) and Hubby and I had a good laugh :) Hannah was completely enthralled, and determined to find the creatures making that wierd noise.

Jasmine also came to investigate....

but decided she was not particularly impressed.

Another very sweet surprise came from my dear friend, Vero, who blogs in France at Au Fil du Jardin. She sewed this beautiful card! Isn't the little snowman adorable?

Hubby and I spent a quiet Christmas Day with an old friend visiting in the morning, and then all the family came on Saturday for the weekend. We had a wonderful time of laughter, good food and just being together. It's such a treat to have everyone here at the same time...something not so easy to accomplish these days. Posted by Picasa

Daughter 2 gave the grandsons noisemakers.....and won the hearts of all the adults, especially their parents (uhuh). Do you suppose she holds a secret grudge against her brother for some long ago incident? Hmmmm.

The big kids had to get into the act when the "Whacky Sticks" were opened. I can't remember their exact name, but this one is fitting. They made a lot of noise when whacked together! (I think those toys were probably mysteriously "lost" shortly after they arrived home).

And now here we are in 2010! (already!)
This white world of winter is very beautiful, despite the cold.....

but I'm dreaming of spring and the flowers to come!
(there's still one Anemone de caen flower blooming and another one coming).

Alice and Richard, there's still some shortbread left!
It won't last long, but
I'll bake a fresh batch when you come to visit :) Posted by Picasa


Thanks for a wonderful year of blogging and friendship. I look forward with eager anticipation to this next year of blogging adventures.

May God bless you all, my dear blog friends.