Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Some (after) Christmas Cacti

The only houseplants I own are safely locked away in terrariums due to a cat that enjoys her leafy greens a little too much.  I've actually loved houseplants from a young age (during one of our moves as a kid I tenderly stuffed a fairly large asparagus fern into a box and carried it on an airplane).  So I especially enjoy seeing my mother-in-law's beautiful collection of houseplants when we visit.

Lots of buds!
Among my favorite are her Christmas cacti.

My mother-in-law says they are fairly easy to care for.  They don't need much water (it is a cactus, albeit a tropical one, after all), and they don't even need much light.

a bud about to bloom
Her plants are around five or six years old. She says they are also fairly easy to propagate from stem cuttings.

The flowers of the Christmas cactus are exotically beautiful.  Though with how my mother-in-law arranges them, the plants look amazing all year long even when not in flower.

Christmas cactus placed in a glass seashell with stones
Oh, how I do miss having houseplants!  

Anyone want a veggie-loving cat?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Name That Mystery Plant!

ugly, weed-looking plant
Yes, this post is going to be on this ugly, weed-looking plant.  But it's not a weed.  In fact, I'm quite certain it is a flowering perennial that I planted on purpose.  But what kind of perennial is it?

not a weed
The facts, as I recall them (which may or may not be true facts due to my terrible memory):  I winter sowed these seeds last winter.  (Or maybe I started them from seed indoors?)  Anyways, in spring I planted several of the little plants in a partly sunny spot, sure that I would remember what they were, and then (of course) promptly forgot their name.

looks sort of like a salad?
Unfortunately, they never flowered this past year, which I was counting on so that I could figure out what they were.

hey, they survived the voles!
Any ideas from any of you wise gardening sleuths out there?

This is yet another reason why I have a gardening blog....

*UPDATE:  Jenny aka Lancashire Rose solved the mystery!  I did indeed winter sow some seeds for Gulf Coast Penstemon last year.  Now I can look forward to some pretty purple flowers this year.  Thank you, Jenny!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Earliest Daffodils

Well, it seems like I've away from the Red House Garden forever, between traveling for the holidays and then with everyone in the family falling sick with various ailments, including yours truly.  But I'm finally back and in the garden, planting those poor, dejected, last bags of bulbs that have been waiting to be planted!

And, of course, as I've been planting those last bags of daffodil bulbs, guess what's been blooming?

Oh, crap.  
I think this is my garden telling me that I am officially late with my bulb planting!

Though, to be fair, these aren't just any daffodils in bloom.  These are Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation', the earliest of the daffodils.  Blooming in January or February down here in the South, and in March further up North, they will keep blooming even if temperatures drop into the teens.  Last year, mine bloomed even through a snowstorm.

Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' blooming in the snow
Thankfully, it is not snowing here now, but is instead ridiculously warm.  Perfect weather, in fact, for planting some more bulbs...

I'm almost done, really!

For what's currently blooming in other gardens around the world, 
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