Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12th Month

11 months out of the year, my Christmas Cactus is the ugliest houseplant imaginable. But that 12th month? Oh, that 12th month makes up for everything.

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. That's the whole point of this holiday, right? The biggest stresser is conjuring up a new, flimsy excuse as to why, oh why, you need an extra slice of pie.

And, now? Let the madness begin...

Paper Yellows

Depending upon the holiday task at hand, I am either light years ahead of the game or so far behind it’s doubtful I’ll ever catch up.

Paper Yellows (be still my heart) opened this morning, gracing a dreary indoor landscape with some much needed color.

Their original career path ~ cheery Christmas gifts ~ is certainly not gonna happen. They'll run out of steam long before then but I can’t really blame them for the extra-early flowering.

‘Twas I who jumped the gun on the planting of the indoor bulbs.
Amaryllis bulbs
Yeah, yeah.. ugly now but just you wait a month or two! 

If only I had stuck with that program. After a burst of energy with the Narcissus (Paper Yellows,) I slipped right back into my procrastinating ways.

A month blew by. Now I find myself staring at a basket of Amaryllis bulbs, wishing I had a magic wand. They take their sweet lazy time at giving forth a flower, so I may have to give up on the idea of gifting these blossoms and keep them all to myself. Hmmm… are you spotting a pattern here…. ?

Elsewhere in the sunny window, holiday lovers are coming to life...

Edna, my ancient Christmas Cactus (since college!) is raining bright fuchsia blossoms. {top pic}

Not sure if that’s because she’s highly delighted for the holidays or if she’s feeling intense competition from this new little brat we purchased last winter:

New baby Christmas Cactus

Darling Sybil is demonstrating her schizophrenic holiday behavior, too. Somewhere, deep down, this 3 year old Poinsettia knows she's supposed to turn red for Christmas:

Terribly Confused Poinsettia

I just don't have the heart to lock up my poinsettias in a dark closet for 10 cruel weeks so they'll drop their leaves, go berserk and come back thoroughly red. Around these parts, we settle for red/green halfsies, instead.

32 comments:

joey said...

Though not as old as yours, my 3 yr old cactus, after vacationing outside all summer, is loaded with blooms too, Kate. Can you believe the holidays are here! What happened to summer?

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Wow..these are all such beauties...gorgeous!!

Melospiza said...

Oh, you crack me up.

I same the same jumping the gun/ procrastination problem when it comes to all things gardening. I just this past weekend put my paper white bulbs into a pot and chucked them into the garage for some cold training.

Titanium said...

Confused flowers and a bounty of excellent color and humor all around... now THAT'S the way to get in the proper holiday spirit. Love it!

Kate said...

Oh, I hear ya, Joey ~
It doesn't seem right that tomorrow is 12/1!

Thx, Kiki ~
The colors of Christmas... it's so fun to see the old gals burst into bloom.

Hi, Melospiza ~
Sounds like you'll have paper whites for springtime. Which is probably when my slow as molasses Amaryllis bulbs will start blooming...

lifeshighway said...

My Christmas cactus is getting ready for the season also. Just budding at his point no lovely blooms as of yet.

A Garden of Threads said...

You have some beautiful flowering bulbs. I forgot to put some up this fall:( and will have to wait until early spring.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kate girl you have made me giggle with the plant gang here .. I can't murder another amaryllis .. as you can't lock up your poor poinsettia .. I guess we are just too soft on our plants ? haha
I would love to force some blooms here but the boys sneeze their ever luvin' heads off .. so it is a big NIX on that subject ! haha)
Joy : ) ..
PS I still have my countdown till Halloween ;-) hehehehe

Rose said...

What a gorgeous Christmas cactus, Kate! I'm hoping my little youngun' will produce some blooms this year. You are definitely way ahead of the game compared to me--I haven't potted up any indoor bulbs yet. Usually by the time I get around to it, mine bloom about two weeks before the outdoor bulbs do:)

Kate said...

Lifeshighway ~
I thoroughly enjoyed your pink flamingo contest!

Kate said...

Oh, Jenn;
Who needs bulbs with your fab collection of holiday houses? I hope we see more pics of these as the month rolls on....

Kate said...

Hi, Joy!
Fellow Morden Sunrise fanatic. You picked a goodie. I just love the gorgeous color of that Canadian rose... :)

Kate said...

Hi, Rose!
Fingers crossed the youngun puts on a pretty show in the next week or two. I had some fab luck with my oldest Christmas Cactus. Last year ~ no kidding! ~ she flowered from November until June.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

How old is that Christmas cactus? LOL! I have one that is old too. It has bloomed already. I think I need another variety that blooms later. We are hungry for blooms already what will we all be like by January? LOL!If winter just goes as fast as summer did we can make it. Wishful thinking I fear. Have a wonderful week.

Ramona said...

I think I might just be buying myself a Christmas cactus! Any plant in bloom will be a nice change from what's going on outside-SNOW! Also I am going to purchase an Amaryllis this year-such a beautiful flower! Check out my blog if you have a few minutes. I just live in Utah county.

Gloria, Dakota Garden said...

Hi Kate - your indoor garden is looking wonderful. I can picture your great sunny windows! This fall has been so busy and with snow and cold coming so early, I have not been inspired to write about gardening. But, I did today. Ted and I really enjoyed our visit with you this summer and how fun, I can just scroll down and find the post - hugs, Gloria

Kate said...

Hi, Lona!
Well, if I stick with my procrastinating planting ways I'll end up with a whole house full of spring flowers (and loads of disappointed gardening friends.)

Kate said...

I will definitely check out your blog, Ramona. Always great to meet another UT blogger. I think you'll be very happy to have an Amaryllis flowering in February. Right when all of that snow starts giving us fits. ;D

Kate said...

Thx, Gloria;
That was such a fun blogger meet up. I'm hoping we can do that again next flower season! I, too, have been a little disappointed with the unseasonably cold weather. Hard to get motivated. But, I'll bet your cottage is all tricked out for Christmas and I imagine you'll be baking up a storm. (Good way to keep warm!) :))

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Awww... I adore my Christmas cactus even when it's not in bloom! (Maybe if you think of it like a pretty, delicate, arching cactus rather than a non-flowering houseplant, you would be won over?)

Gorgeous flower, though. :)

Snowcatcher said...

Oh, how I love your new background! And hitting me up first thing in the morning with a lovely Christmas cactus... then more gorgeousness to follow... Kate, you're spoiling me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kate said...

Hey, Kim!
I guess I was being a little harsh on Edna, wasn't I? :)) I love my dear old Christmas Cactus. She scores the best spot in the house -- even when she's not in bloom.

Kate said...

Yay, Snowcatcher! I'm always happy to spoil fellow flower lovers. I thoroughly enjoyed your post today... dear, sweet Lizard...

Amy said...

Hi Kate, It's been fun catching up; your posts are always so entertaining. My Christmas Cactus looks just like yours - and, because it's so old, it blooms like crazy! You're right though; in the summer, it's hidden on the front porch behind some other more attractive plantings!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving - it's hard to believe that Christmas is indeed right around the corner.

Kate said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving, Amy!

Oh, I just loved your comment because I 'hide' Edna all summer long as well. I say she's in creative development. I only bring her out when it's time to shine. :)

Grace Peterson said...

Beautiful plants. A friend of mine who runs a nursery and grows poinsettias told me that the newer varieties have been bred to bloom without the allotted darkness that the older varieties require.

Melanie said...

Kate what gorgeous blooms. I can't wait to see all those amaryllis flowers when they bloom.

Kate said...

What a breakthrough, Grace. I had no idea.

I love Poinsettias -- they do so well in my dry desert air. I'll have to search around for one of the new hybrids. :)

Kate said...

Thx, Melanie!
It should be quite a show. I've planted lots of the Apple Blossom variety this year. :)

Wendy said...

oooh, Edna - she's so special! I also have a Christmas cactus from college.

Wendy said...

oh, and I just noticed your pointsettia is growing happing in your kitchen scraps/compost crock!! I have the same one.

Kate said...

Busted! :)

I've decided not to compost this winter, Wendy, so Ms. Poinsettia gets the pretty container.

And now that proverbial cat is out of the bag. I know it's not terribly eco-friendly of me but winter composting is such hard work...