Wednesday, April 27

Some Plants Just Don't Need People...

Yesterday, I was doing a little cleanup in the front yard when I noticed a few sprouts of 'Sunfire' hosta were peeking out below the purple ninebark.  My thoughts immediately went to the 3 pots of 'So Sweet' hosta that I had purchased at the same time but never got into the ground.  As a little pang of guilt went through me, I looked to the front porch stairs where (seriously!) they had spent the winter, unplanted and exposed.  "I should really get rid of those pots..." I muttered to myself.

Just before the sun set, I headed to the stairs to retrieve them.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

They sprouted! Right there in the container! All three of them! Absolutely amazing...

So I headed off to the back yard with my bundle of compostables, sans hostas.  As I passed by the back door, I thought, "Well, surely the baptisia won't provide a similar miracle.  I mean, those poor babies were sitting outside the door in a grocery bag all winter long!  At least I didn't pay for them..."

I'm not even sure what to say about this.  Obviously, some plants just don't need a comfy bed during the winter, or a gardener, even--they seem to do much better without my intervention!  Hmpf!

Sunday, April 17

Passalong Surprise: Double-Flowered Bloodroot

It wasn't until they started blooming today that I remembered having planted double-flowered bloodroot last year.  This seems like something I should have remembered planting, but the bloodroot wasn't something I actually purchased.  Instead, they were a passalong from "the new guy" at the garden center where I work each spring, and they were generously offered--and hastily planted--in the midst of a hectic busy season.

When they started emerging from the ground, the ghostly outer foliage (shown above) glowed pale against the ground, making me think they were some sort of fungus as I viewed them from the nearby window.

But this morning, I finally saw the pure white blooms begin to open, and it spurred me out to take a closer look.  I can't wait until they fully unfold... and hope that they feel free to make a little colony here, just like they did for my coworker Steve!

Wednesday, April 13

Both Pretty and Deadly

Pretty to me, deadly to insects, that is! I'm taking care of my boyfriend's mail while he's out of town for work, and I just had to snap a photo or two of his blooming pitcher plant during today's visit. (Of course it would bloom for the first time ever this week--isn't that Murphy's 5th Law of Tending Plants or something?)

At this point of the year, the pitchers are just starting to come back from their semi-dormant winter state, and the nearby venus fly trap has dozens of tiny baby traps that are beginning to emerge. Steve cut back the flower stems on the fly trap, but it seems as though letting sarracenia bloom is not nearly as harmful to the plant. He didn't want to mess with it too much, though, so he did save the task of trimming back dried pitchers until after the plant is finished flowering.

We've been dating now for more than two years, so I think that this will be the second successful overwintering for both of these carnivorous plants. (Yes, I started buying him plants for his apartment the first summer that we were together. The man needed some life in there to wake up the white walls!)  It amazes me that they do so well for him, but they live in a south-facing window and he has a warm, 6th-floor apartment. Both are key for these guys, it seems.

I'm more of a succulent girl than a fussy-plant kind of girl, but they're very fun plants and I'm glad that he grows them. This way, I get to enjoy them when I visit... and he can do all the work that they require!  :)

Thursday, April 7

A Voice in the Crowd

Maybe I'm crazy, but sometimes a certain plant looks as though it's trying to talk to me. It stands up tall in the midst of the crowd, stares me down, and then finally calls out, "Hey! Can I get some attention over here?"

A few of its neighbors shake their heads and look away at its boldness...

...but the plant remains insistent.  "Seriously, lady. What kind of a garden are you running here? Don't you see all of those poor tulips? They're reaching upwards, but those dead fall leaves are pulling them down and strangling them like so many drowning men."

"And those grasses," it continues disdainfully,"Those grasses are a complete disgrace. How can they even see with all of those dry blades falling down in their eyes? How long does it take to give them each a quick haircut so they look like something?"

"And look at all of my buds who are waiting her with me. We would all like to show off a little bit now that spring is finally here, but nobody notices us because you let all of last year's leaves loiter and junk up the place!"

It rolls its eye and puts one leaf to its stem in exasperation.  "Next thing you know, you're going to just stop watering us altogether..."

Hmm... now THERE'S an interesting thought!

Wednesday, April 6

Wordless Wednesday: Red-Flushed Spring Leaves

Monday, April 4

Another Spring Surprise...

I discovered a wonderful surprise tonight in the kitchen! Check it out:

It's my unnamed, variegated hoya in bud! This is the same spot from which it bloomed the last time, and (luckily) I was warned not to clip it back or mess with it too much after the spent flowers dropped. The only reason that I really noticed it today was that I've been painting the kitchen white, so the dark cluster of buds seemed to pop off of the flower stem:

I'm not sure why all of these indoor plants have decided to show off lately.  Maybe they feel like it's been the longest. winter. ever. too?  In any case, I probably should actually look around at my plants a little bit more often, and see if any more pleasant surprises await.  They are certainly taking the edge off of a spring that seems loathe to be sprung here in Northeast Ohio!