Another Shape Change

The Voodoo Lily has finished its duty.

The top set of warts on the spadix are the male parts.

Deeper down in the funnel-like spathe are the female bumps.

Female buds larger and lighter.

I doubt there will be berries produced despite the appearance of flies.

I do hope for a leaf which will be like a spectacular umbrella.

Stay tuned for Voodoo updates.


Reshaping Reality

It seems ridiculous to continue to focus on flowers when one is surrounded by many serious concerns.

Maybe you are a bit irritated by all the flowers and animal cuteness.

If this is so, consider this thought.

We all reshape our reality.

We heat and cool our homes to avoid experiencing the actual temperature. We dress accordingly to avoid extremes.

We ship in tropical food year-round to avoid the bland, local fare. Very few of us grow what we eat. That’s why we are fat.

Women wear make-up and spanks and color hair to hide our actual appearance.

Maybe the more flamboyant and extravagant one seems, the more mundane that person really is.

Maybe planting ten thousand flowers is a way of trying to grow roots in the wrong place.

We must bloom where we are planted. No one loves an unhappy, fussy, needy plant.

So as I share photos of gorgeous, well tended flowers, rest in knowing

that there are weeds much bigger than yours just outside the frame of the picture.

There is always dirt under my nails and my house is never clean.

I share my JOY and hide my pain. That is what all good women do.

We reshape our reality.


My Stinky Gift

My garden has exploded with color.

The peonies have popped. The iris have erupted. The phlox are flowering.

But only one plant has my full attention.

Some friends dropped it off in a big pot at my gate. They seemed anxious to be rid of it.

This plant has many names. I will share only the clean ones…Voodoo Lily or Devil’s Tongue.

Its Latin name is Amorphophallus konjac. I will save you the trouble of looking up the translation.

Malformed penis

This is what scientist do to poor, innocent plants. My husband has joined in on the bullying by calling it the ‘Tallywhacker.’

I usually try to avoid everything phallic, but I am fascinated by ‘Mr. Voodoo.’

I will post when the spathe opens to expose the spadix.

Too bad it is not possible to post a scratch and sniff picture on the internet. It is supposed to smell of carrion to attract flies.

This giant has been a welcome diversion from the usual, puny, needy little flowers.

Stay tuned.


Flowers on Fire

This plant is named ‘Fire Spinner’ for good reason.

It is my favorite Delosperma.

When the afternoon sun hits it, it seems to burst into flame.

It sometimes startles me with its reflection of sun.

Its main requirements are full sun and perfect drainage.

It loves a slope and warm rocks.

This plant has never disappointed.


Good Hope

Clivia ‘Good Hope’ is a show stopper. It is too big to be ignored.

I look forward to its giant inflorescence each spring.

It is the yellow of dreams. Just the right mix of butter and cream.

Clivia blooms come in orange, pastel, yellows and even greens.

The strap-like leaves may be striped or tranversely highlighted.

Folks with space collect these, but I have room for only one…


‘Good Hope.’


Biltmore Conservatory Scenes

I am a plant enthusiast, so I tend to focus on each individual plant.

I do notice when plant groupings and arrangements are done well.

Here are some scenes from the Biltmore Conservatory that I appreciated.

This mixture of cacti and succulents in pots across the brick floor gave a lovely view of the various
plant shapes and textures.
This is a bamboo bed with pillows accentuated with tiny bromeliads.
This vintage mantle seemed to be in an abandoned manor in a jungle.
Corners were softened with trees and tall orchids had a bright window background.
There was a theme with a twist everywhere. Here the bright orchid blooms were separated with interesting foliage plants.
Putting many tiny orchids together kept them from getting lost in a crowd.
Adding other plants to this huge hanging Staghorn fern gives it a chandelier flavor.

I always delight in seeing new plants and ideas when I visit Biltmore Estate in Asheville.



Spring Under Glass

If spring has not sprung where you are, you may want to visit a conservatory.

I had the great pleasure of visiting one of my favorite places over this chilly weekend.

We swung by the conservatory of the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.

We drove straight past the mansion to the gardens.

I will share only my favorite photos of plants in a collage. The orchids will be in a separate post.

CLICK on an image to enlarge it if you wish.

I did encounter one fairy on the grounds. She agreed to have her picture taken.

It was a marvelous afternoon under glass. I enjoyed my sample of spring at Biltmore.


My Chime Chorus

When the wind blows, I hear their voices.

Calling me back to the me before.

The strong me, the young me, the whole me.

The chime from my friend Mary Lynne sings of smiles and giggles.

Mrs. Robbie’s chime sings high notes of spring.

Each spring we gave each other a gift to celebrate Easter. (This chime was one.)

My cousin Mark’s chime sings of our precious grandparents and our sibling mothers.

All three sing together. Reminding me of love I had and hope I have.

Even in rain they sing. Even in darkness they harmonize.

In the worst storm they sing the loudest. Calling me through my past.

Singing me home to myself.


Amaryllis All-Call

Here are this year’s amaryllis plants blooming together.

It is the first blooming for the two pinks in the middle.

The second blooming for the two red and whites on the ends.

From left to right are Santiago, Pink Surprise, Pink Pizzazz and Spotlight.

Amaryllis plants Santiago, Pink Surprise, Pink Pizzazz and Spotlight

My next post will feature Spotlight again. My first post did not do it justice.

This is how I survive winters. These beauties will go out in the garden.

They need a flat spot in full sun and a lava rock nest to thrive.

Flower surviving February