Helleborus orientalis is the scientific name for this Lenten rose.
Blooming now (January) in my garden.
Reminding us that spring will come.
They are poisonous, so do not put them in a play yard or pet run.
I cut off the old leaves once the new growth is up enough to stay out of the way of my clippers.
The leaves are tough and leathery with raised veins.
This makes them perfect for using for impressions in “fossil stones.”
I will be doing a post on how to make these in April.
Follow the Fossil.
Watching an amaryllis bloom is like a lesson in life.
The first day, it emerges from the sheath, which falls away like a plant placenta.
The second day, it opens up to reveal that there are two sets of twin flowers.
The larger two will open first. They are opposite each other on the stalk, for balance.
Color begins to blush through the petals as they stretch away from each other.
They are making room for their dazzling, dancing dresses.
The third day, the ruffled and wrinkled big sister buds smooth out their frocks.
On the fourth day, the little sisters begin to grin and show their purple stamen teeth and pistil tongue.
While the two big sisters fling back their petals to expose their shiny, bright faces.
Then they flush with a final burst of color. Like getting prepped for the party of life.
Standing up straight and facing the new day with a fresh face.
FOLLOW the developing FLOWER.
P.S. This is my
Monte Carlo blooming for the second time since Christmas.
This fern has many features that I love.
Its trade name is Blue Star Fern. One of its scientific names is
Loved feature #1. It is blue. Blue is my daddy’s favorite color, because he loves bluebirds.
My last post featured a plant that was also”peacock” blue, you may recall.
Loved feature # 2. This fern also has interesting leaf/frond shapes. Not just one shape, but many.
I wonder how the plant decides which frond gets to be a glove and which is a mitten.
Loved feature # 3 is this marvelous venation pattern. Lower plants have to use structural support that relies more on tinsel strength than bulk.
And last but not least, Loved feature # 4 is its cute little hairy feet.
Not as cute as a rabbit’s foot of course, but still cute. This root actually looks like Barley.
Follow the Fern… I mean Flower.
The “lace” of the plant kingdom is the low-growing selaginella, nicknamed spikemoss. They are moss-like, but are more complex with branching, horizontal stems and roots.
I only have one type of selaginella that is hardy enough to leave outside. It is the Gemmiferous form that turns “rusty” colored in the winter, thus the name ferous/iron.
Selaginella moellendoffll/Gemmiferous spikemoss
These ancient plants are even more primitive than the ferns. Their leaves are scale-like and small.
They stay low to the ground due to their lack of supportive tissues.
My favorite type is this lovely blue, appropriately called Peacock Spikemoss.
Selaginella uncinata/Peacock Spikemoss
I also have a form that is sold under the name”Frosty Fern.” This is not a fern, it is a variegated spikemoss.
These lowly but lovely plants reproduce by spores, not seeds.
They are great in terrariums. I put them in with carniverous plants to keep them company. They love to grow up the glass.
Follow the Flowerless.
I am a fan of anything that blooms in January. One on my indoor, winter bloomers is a lipstick plant. It’s Latin name is Aeschynanthus radicans.
The blooms form in clusters on the ends of the stems. They start as cup-like calyxes.
Then the blooms emerge. Just before the blooms fully open, the whole structure looks like a tube of lipstick.
I love the deep ox-blood calyx coupled with the bright red petals.
Follow the Lipstick
I can’t stand to see a plant suffer.
Shopping after the holidays is particularly painful, because I know that any “gift” plants left in the stores will die a dry and sunless death.
This year I rescued two, tiny, Norfolk Island Pines that were covered in glitter. One of these was given to my sister. The other is recovering nicely with me.
Norfolk Island Pine/ Araucaria heterophylla
It really perked up when I replanted it. I tried to remove the glitter, but it would not wash off.
The other rescue was an Minerva amaryllis bulb in a box. (Did anyone see those dipped in colored wax? )
I had all ready been given a Minerva, which has sprouted several inches since Christmas. When I saw this one crammed onto a clearance shelf, I knew its days were numbered.
I brought it home, wet it down and peeled back some of the many dried, brown layers. It stayed white for almost a week, but finally a little hint of green is showing at the top.
I just couldn’t bring myself to rescue any of the spray-painted cacti.
Who are these people?
Follow the push-over Flower.
(Don’t anybody dare drop a puppy off at my driveway!)
There has been a new development with the bunnies.
As I exited my workshop this morning, I heard chewing noises coming from under my work table outside the door.
I bent down to to see which bunny was under there. To my surprise, I saw neither. I paused and heard the sounds again.
This time I looked into the shelves. Guess who…
Miss Busy Bee was up in the shelves snooping through my gardening supplies.
If this is rabbit adolescence, I’m going to need some back-up.
Just this morning I had to provide separate “toilets” because one of them insisted on doing their business BESIDE the litter box. Now, there are separate but equal facilities.
Don’t follow this Flower.
Things are finally returning to normal in the bunny room. I sent them both outside while I cleaned out the “nest” today.
I watched them as they came in to see Charlotte’s reaction. She seemed to have forgotten the frenzy. After checking the room to inspect my cleaning, she lay down in her usual spot in front of the door.
Barley got reacquainted with the litter box.
But… All is not well.
While moving the treadmill to its new location, a discovery was made.
Bunnies must chew, you see. I apparently did not provide enough fruit-wood sticks at some point. Teething continues, sticks or no sticks.
I had removed the plug-in cord from the treadmill, but had failed to notice a loop projecting ever so slightly out the bottom. This loop was not missed by the keen eyes of the bunnies.
I went out yesterday and got myself new gloves and a quick-dry scarf. I guess I’ll be doing my walking outside until the cord is ordered and replaced.
Walk with the cold Flower.