December 15, 2017

A Flower, Future Flowers, and Fun Foliage

cyclamen 5

Don't laugh you guys: I have one flower in my "garden" on this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I didn't purposely force any bulbs this holiday season and the outdoor garden is sleeping, but my indoor/outdoor Cyclamen (C. persicum) plant is starting to bloom.

cyclamen 3

Actually, this single, solitary flower has been blooming since early November, in a state of suspended animation in the cool, partially heated sunroom.

cyclamen 2

Because I only have one flower to celebrate, I snapped several photos of it from various angles. LOL.

cyclamen 4

I do enjoy the dance of a pretty Cyclamen bloom.

cyclamen buds

And look! Many buds on this Cyclamen plant bring hope for a floriferous future.

hyacinth bud

Also, under the roots and foliage of a potted English Ivy (Hedera helix) a pink Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) is budding, too.

spike tree

Speaking of English Ivy, this happy accident continues to flourish: Several years ago, I planted a small Spike (Dracaena indivisa) in the middle of a pot, surrounded by annuals and ivy. The Hedera and the Dracaena took over, and I now have a potted tree with pretty understory foliage. (I had trouble photographing this big buddy without moving everything around, so I'm sorry for the washout but you get the idea.)

spike and ivy

I need to trim the Draecona, and it scares me to think what the Hedera would do if planted in the soil outside. But I do like this thriving, potted, green, foliage thing that I can roll out in the summer and bring in for the winter. This pot full of life gives me hope.

fun foliage

I also love this foliage combo: Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunia with Lemon Coral Sedum. I smile every time I see it. (These plants were gifts from Proven Winners at the Garden Writers Conference this past summer.) I couldn't let the Petunias perish in the cold; they're simply too pretty, and the foliage combination is too cheery. So, if they survive the winter indoors, they'll bloom again next season.

shamrock and ivy

Finally, the Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)--also surrounded by the never-ending English Ivy--is another great potted foliage plant. I don't see any Oxalis blooms yet, but it won't be long now, as the days grow longer.

cyclamen 1

During these dark days of December, the holiday prep and cheery greetings soothe the soul. One flower, future flowers, and fun foliage also brighten my mood.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up!

42 comments:

  1. It's a splendid flower and the promise of many more to come brings hope during this darkest time of year. Love all of your pots full of foliage; what a great way to bring a little of your garden inside for the winter.

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    1. Thanks, Peter. I'd love to have a substantial greenhouse/winter plant haven like you do! But the sunroom is pretty nice, too. I simply have to keep the cats out of there, but it's nice to peek in and see so many green, growing things. :)

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  2. I love to see Cyclamen blooms! They remind me of butterflies
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. They do, Lea! I'm a big fan, too. I think I need to get more of them. I seem to have figured out how to keep them alive through several seasons. Yay. Happy GBBD!

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  3. I agree with Lea--the lovely pink bloom does look like a butterfly, so all sorts of 'spring/summer' happenings inside your house, while winter holds court outdoors.

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    1. Hi Tina: Thanks for that vote of spring/summer hope. The Cyclamen always begins blooming in winter, but this year it was especially early for some reason. All of winter yet to go. Argh.

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  4. I'll take any bloom in a storm. Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee

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    1. Thanks, Dee. Since I didn't plan for blooms this year, I was tickled to have one flower to share. ;-) Happy GBBD to you!

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  5. It's a very pretty flower! I love Cyclamen and grew it semi-successfully in my former shady, well-irrigated garden a mere 15 miles from my current one but I haven't been able to get the plants to establish themselves in my current garden - it's just too dry here I guess.

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    1. Interesting, Kris. I love the hardy Cyclamen and the potted florists' varieties, too. This one would not survive my climate outside, but it's fun to have the foliage and blooms indoors here during the winter. So, watering it lightly a couple of times a week and keeping it in a cool, sunny room away from the window seems to work.

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  6. Cyclamen is one of my favorites. I am happy to see it at any angle. You have some pretty foliage. Isn't it fun to have serendipity strike in a pot that lives on...

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    1. Yes, serendipity is rewarding every time. :) I agree: I really enjoy Cyclamen plants--I need more!

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  7. Cyclamen is so pretty! I love the purple shamrock, too. The only things blooming here are indoors as well, as it is quite snowy and cold outside.

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    1. So you know the frustration of winter waiting and garden dreaming, too. Some plants never let me down. All these guys go outside during the growing season, and come inside before the first frost. They don't skip a beat, and they help me cope with the dormant landscape outside.

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  8. Cyclamen are so sweet - and photogenic! Merry Christmas, Beth!

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    1. Yes, I'm a big fan. Also, this plant never lets me down. I need more Cyclamen plants! Merry Christmas, Anna!

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  9. Oh, I love cyclamens. Haven't had one in a long time but my luck with indoor plants is slowly on the rise, so I may give it another go in 2018 (if I can find a spot among all the succulents by the window!)

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    1. You had me chuckling, Margaret. I've had similar ups and downs with indoor plants. Once I separated them from the cats and put them in a cool room with lots of lights, they started thriving more. So, I think a lot of it has to do with the available conditions. I still have failures and almost failures, as we all do. ;-)

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  10. Hi Beth, You may not have a lot of flowers (or any) in the garden but the one you have showed us is quality not quantity. The cyclamen buds photo is like a creature from another planet. I wish you warmth and cosiness this winter.

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    1. Yes: I agree about the buds looking like something from another planet! The waiting time during the winter in a cold climate is tough--you're lucky you don't have to deal with that. Blessings of the season to you and yours, too!

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  11. Better to savor a single flower than curse the winter!

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    1. Good point, Jason! I'm just happy to have living plants, to be honest. ;-)

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  12. Thank you for your kind comments Beth. You are very sweet. I used to have many indoor plants until I got the two cats that I have now. All the others showed no interest, but these two would eat and dig up everything. I gradually gave them all away.... Happy Holidays to you and your family... Michelle

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    1. Thanks to you, as well, Michelle. :) I hear you about the cats! I had no luck with indoor plants for a while, because one cat ate the plants and the other one used the pots as a litter box. Argh. So, now that the plants are off-limits to the cats, the plants are performing much better! :) Happy Holidays!

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  13. Merry Christmas!!
    Beautiful ;-) I give you three cheers just to keep your cyclamen alive, no luck for me. What is the secret?

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    1. Hi Carla! Merry Christmas and Holiday Blessings to you! Regarding the Cyclamen, it's been a matter of luck and trial and error. This particular plant is in a pot that drains well. I water it very lightly twice a week during the winter. It's south-facing, but far from the window. I don't fertilize it. After the blooms fade and the plant starts to go dormant in the late spring, it goes outside in a corner and I ignore it.

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  14. It is a blessing that winter brings us closer to individual blooms. I have always admired cyclamen. I would love to have it in my woodland garden, but I haven't decided if I could grow it. I never see it for sale here. What I do have is English ivy, and my yard is a testament to what happens when it is allowed to grow unchecked. The lady who built my house planted a few sprigs here and there over 60 years ago, and now it is a monster that attempts to swallow huge chunks of the woods. It is even a greater problem that the notorious kudzu, which I also inherited. I will never be able to eradicate either, unless I spray everything with agent orange!

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    1. Oh, I can only imagine the English Ivy taking over! I'll never plant it in the ground, because even here in this northern climate it can be invasive. I love it in pots, although even in pots it multiplies like crazy! Regarding the Cyclamen, I would need to have the hardy species for it to survive outside here. But the potted plant performs well indoors during the winter and outside during the growing season. :)

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  15. I put off ordering bulbs to force for the winter so it is pretty sparse indoors here. I love everything about cyclamen and yours certainly looks happy.

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    1. The only bulbs I have in pots are the Hyacinths, which should be blooming by February. The room is cool, otherwise they'd bloom earlier. But I never dig them out of those pots, so the cycle continues and the bloom timing depends on where I place the pots. The Cyclamen has been a reliable winter bloomer for several years now. I love it.

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  16. Beautiful post - not only the flowers. I love the way you handled indoor potted plants. Inspiring. I did put my amaryllis outside for the summer. I brought them in and one of the three took right off and has 6" foliage, but the other two slowpokes are alive and beginning to send of their shoots.

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    1. Hi Pat! Thanks! Congrats on the Amaryllis re-blooming. I've never tried saving those--I hear they can be tricky for repeat blooms in a cold climate. I'll look forward to a post from you about Amaryllis blooms!

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  17. Beautiful! I used to have a houseplant that brightened my day when I lived in the concrete jungle of NYC. I'm thinking of getting another one soon ... maybe cast iron plant! :)

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    1. Thanks, Aaron. I've had mixed luck with indoor plants over the years. For a while my two cats were destroying them, so I separated the plants from the cats and placed the plants in the closed-off, cooler sunroom. Plenty of light in there, and now the cats can't reach them. Win-win.

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  18. A glorious bloom, one I would celebrate too! I have the geraniums tucked in for the winter at my mom's house, but they're looking a bit tired. However, one of the variegated orange ones (name escapes me) has sent up a large, bright umbel of flowers despite my lack of consistent care. I've never overwintered any of my petunias and now I wonder why not. Thank you for the breath of spring in your post. :-)

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    1. I've never tried to overwinter Geraniums, so you're ahead of me on that one! I've heard people recommend hanging them upside down for a period of time? I don't think I have a good place for that. The Petunia experiment is new for me. They seem to be lush and healthy, and maybe as the days grow longer they might even bloom before it's time to take them back outside!

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  19. I am a cyclamen fan, unfortunately they do not like me because they do not want to bloom and die. Maybe something is wrong. Thank you for my time and I wish you a happy Christmas.

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    1. Happy Christmas, Giga! I think the conditions in our sunroom are very good for the Cyclamen, so I am fortunate. I want to get a couple more, since they are very beautiful. I've never had any luck with African Violets, however, which my dear grandmother grew in great numbers. They are lovely houseplants, too.

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  20. The indoors isn't so bad when there are green friends to share it with.

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    1. That is true! It helps to have green, growing things through the winter. :)

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  21. I don't have anything approaching your green thumb, but a bunch of house plants sure enliven my life and I am sure contribute to my mental health in ways unknown.

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    1. Oh gosh, it sounds like you have a green thumb, for sure! The sunroom makes it easier for me. I didn't have as much luck with houseplants at our other house--partly because of our cat and partly because of the smaller windows. Enjoy your houseplants!

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