Thursday, February 17

Foliage Follow-Up: February 2011

I featured the jewel orchid in my February Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post... so why not stick with that lovely plant for this month's Foliage Follow-up, too? After all, I often pause in the morning at the top of the stairs to admire how the lace curtain makes fun light patterns on its back lit leaves:

And I can hardly feature the jewel orchid without mentioning the cute little succulent plant that shares its pot:

Jewel orchids tend to get a little on the leggy side, so I scattered some broken pieces of a tiny succulent in between its knobby knees a year or more ago, in an effort to make the pot look a little less sparse:

I love that it has grown up taller than the jewel orchid now. Somehow its spindly height seems to balance the orchid's draping growth:

A lovely starburst of murano glass (brought back from Italy for me by my friend Jessica) brightens up this little side table, along with the bold stripes of "Lemon Lime" dracaena:

The dracaena adds a little height, too, without taking up too much table space.  Perfect for the little nook at the top of the stairs--and for making sure that the subtle jewel orchid isn't too overwhelmed by something else!

That's all I have for today... but if you're a fellow fan of all things leafy, make sure that you check out all of the other lovely foliage posts left in the comments at Pam's Foliage Follow-up!

Tuesday, February 15

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - February 2011

Usually, winter in Ohio means that the view out our windows is a study in brown-grey ombre. Not very inspiring, but a much better backdrop for my jewel orchid flowers than this combination of white lace curtain and white snow outside:

Luckily, when I view these flowers as I crest the stairs, the Tang-gold walls, green plants, and blue ceramic pot make a much more exciting backdrop.  The colors even liven up the still-closed buds:

The tiny orchid flowers, reminiscent of snapdragons, look sweet against the striped draceana when you look down onto them, as shown here.  I like how they pull out the thin white stripe between the inner and outer shades of green:

Viewed from the upstairs hallway, though, they get totally lost against all that winter white--especially on a sunny day:

The jewel orchid flowers ARE rather nondescript, so they benefit from being one of the few things that flower for me at this time of the year.  (In fact, they are my ONLY flowering plant on this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!)  Any other month, they might be overlooked in favor of showier blooms... but in February, they're a welcome distraction.

To cut YOUR winter gloom, and see more lovely blooms from around the world, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens!

Tuesday, February 1

A Reward for My Laziness

This fall, I had all kinds of good intentions in regards to my new 'Brown Turkey' fig.  I would pot it up in one of those huge cobalt-blue pots that I bought for a song on clearance.  I would haul it all inside the garage and make sure that it overwintered happily there, to be pulled out again the following spring. I would (finally) do right by something that I planned to overwinter as successfully (and easily) as Martha, and Elliot, and so many other "real" gardeners I admire seem to be able to do.  I would!

But... as you can probably tell by the close-ups of currently unfurling fig leaves that accompany this post... those good intentions wound up being more paving material for the proverbial road.  I ended up carting the poor fig--still in its nursery pot!--inside on a cold December night, and unceremoniously shifted it around from kitchen corner to kitchen corner for the  next two months. 

I believe that it even guarded the stove for a while, until my dishwasher overflowed onto the kitchen floor... dripped down through the basement ceiling... and knocked out my furnace for a while... but that's a whole other saga.  No matter who it got there, it is now happily residing in the dining room near the "plant window," and I'm getting the chance to appreciate these adorable, fuzzy leaves as they open  up, one by one.  So I suppose that my screwup wasn't all that bad, just for one year.

But next year... next year I WILL treat my fig tree right!  I promise.  Especially if it continues to delight me with yummy figs.  :)

p.s.  This must be the winter for "fuzzy" leaves at my house. I'm still enjoying the heck out of this fuzzy echeveria, too... and it continues to put out even more blooms: