Spring Easter Cactus

,This little bloomer is from the forests of Mexico and South America.

It needs porous soil and indirect light.

The simple, pink, tubular flowers open during the day and close at dusk.

IMG_9578

The buds just began to open this week, though they have been fully formed for weeks.

Its name is Rhipsalidopsis.  Its leaf sections look similar to Schlumbergera except there are no points.

IMG_9647

Happy Easter

FLOWER

Two Tiny Treasures

I love tiny plants.  They are perfect for planting in troughs and my fairy garden.

Here are two of my favorites.

Ledebouria cooperi  ‘Jessop’ has tiny bulbs.

IMG_9630
Ledebouria cooperi ‘Jessop’

The leaves have copper stripes.  Its blooms are a lovely lavender. Its buds look like grape clusters.

IMG_9631

The other little lovely is a Delosperma/Ice Plant named ‘Fire Spinner.’

IMG_9632
Delosperma/Ice plant ‘Fire Spinner’

It is just starting to bloom. Soon this patch will be glowing in the sun.

It really does look like it is on fire.

IMG_9634

Both of these plants are easy to grow.  I have planted them in numerous places in my gardens. They like sun and well-drained soil.   All are growing happily.

FLOWER

 

Bonus Blooms

A good Amaryllis/Hippeastrum bulb will bloom twice.

IMG_9575

If you peek in the boxes from most “big box” stores the contents look like half a bulb because they split them.

My replacement Exotica bulb sent up a stalk of the usual four blooms last month.

It has bloomed another time with six blooms on the second stalk.

IMG_9573

Really lovely colors, markings and shapes.

IMG_9544

This one’s a keeper.

FLOWER

There’s a New Queen in Town

The results of the Spring Queen Weed contest were quite a surprise.

I never thought I’d see a nettle dethroned of the title.

IMG_9568

This is not an event to be celebrated, however.

The dominant weed this year is a totally new species.

I kept asking myself, “Did you plant these seeds by accident?”

After discovering their presence EVERYWHERE, I concluded that was impossible.

How could thousands of Sweet Pea seeds suddenly appear?

IMG_9572

Well they did.   So without a doubt the 2017 Weed Queen is the Sweet Pea.

IMG_9566

Not so sweet.

WEEDER

My First Love was Leaves

I have not always been the FLOWER.

My first love was leaves.   I collected leaves.  Pressed leaves into pictures.  Made stationery with embedded leaves…

In my home there are leaves on the rugs and floor clothes and walls and sofas…

So today I want to share an unusual leaf.

I have been watching this plant grow for months.

It was a gift from ” My Friend the Fairy.”  (See post. She is adorable)

The plant is a “Queen of the Night” , “Night Blooming Cereus” or Epiphyllum oxypetallum.

Its nickname is also Gooseneck cactus.   Now I know why.  One leaf decided it needed to be longer.  So it added another lobe on the tip.

This stem and leaf first looked like a rising cobra’s head several months ago.

It elongated and has now sprouted side leaflets.

The leaves are very thick and the venation is visually absent,

IMG_9538

except for the midrib seen underneath.

The midrib sends vein offshoots to each leaflet.

The underside of the main leaf has rootlets which is typical of an epiphyte.

Lastly, I would like to include a photo that those who know me will appreciate.

Photo shoot carnage.  Positioning leaves lead to a spill.  Another mess.  I wonder what punishment will be bestowed upon me by my facedown fairy godmother. She’s mean.

IMG_5809

The Queen only blooms once every couple of years, so I will enjoy its leaves in the meantime.

FLOWER

 

 

Hare Hormones

Poor Charlotte has gone through another false pregnancy.

IMG_9515

This second round lacked the crazy fervor of last spring’s nesting.

There has been less fur pulling and growling.

Barley has been allowed inside the nest for napping.

IMG_9511

I have sent them both out on this windy day to clean up the nest.

It was built behind the carriers under a table.

IMG_9505

I will be putting a cleaner version back in that spot with timothy hay and rags.

I hope I did not clean up the nest too soon. There was quite a bit of spying going on through the window during the cleaning.

IMG_9516

Another little critter is nesting. This Chickadee was very pleased to pluck hair from the rabbit rugs that were hanging out for airing.

IMG_9526

FLOWER/Bunny Mama

 

 

 

Fragrant Viburnum

This lovely Viburnum X juddii it too far from the house to get babied, so it is not much to look at.

IMG_9494

But I make myself walk all the way down the hill when I see the blooms, because the aroma is fabulous.

IMG_9476

One sniff is never enough. I stand around the shrub sniffing multiple blooms.

The buds are bright pink and open as blushing pink.

IMG_9474

I am always glad to see and smell the blooms.

FLOWER

You Go Ahead On

You go on to that meeting,

I’ll stay here with the baby.

You go ahead on to work,

I’ll stay here with the children.

You go ahead on to the Y,

I’ll stay here with the laundry.

You go ahead on to that race,

I’ll stay here with the sick one.

You go ahead on to church,

I’ll stay here with these dishes.

You go ahead on with what you’re doing,

I’ll stay here with the weeds.

You go ahead on on that trip,

I’ll stay here with the dogs.

You go ahead on and on and on,

I may be here, but I’m all ready gone.

Columbine Time

If you have a good variety of flowers in your gardens,

you know when the various types are stepping it up in the bloom parade.

Here in North Carolina the daffodils have had their days.  The tulips have gotten enough attention  now.

The new feature flower group is the Columbine.

IMG_9431

I have had the usual purple and pink for decades.

It seems the pinks are more numerous this spring.

I have two relatively new types, besides that darling tiny red ‘Little Lanterns’ from a previous post.

These two have a different form of flower, both are double and the blooms seem to look up rather than nod.

‘Winky Double Red’ reminds me of a granny’s bonnet even more than the old cultivars.

IMG_9440

I love the deep mauve color surrounding the butter yellow.

IMG_9427

The buds are very dark and tight.

IMG_9402

‘Nora Barlow’ is has spiky pink blooms with a hint of yellow.

IMG_9434

This hybrid is a bit taller than the old types. Here is one beside an old pink for comparison.

IMG_9436

I have not saved seed from these, so I don’t know if they will be true next generation.

Nora Barlow does have one progeny beside the original.

IMG_9433

They are a nice addition to my collection.

Next come the iris.

FLOWER