It was bought impulsively; one of those corner market jobs that catches your fancy from out of the corner of your eye. And it did, and I did, while walking home slightly inebriated from a decadent restaurant meal. (Worse things have happened under the influence of alcohol, I am sure.)
It shouldn’t have been outside in such cold weather, but that’s how they get you. And let’s face it, I can’t walk past a plant display without looking, no matter where it is and no matter the condition of the plants. And sometimes because of their condition.
“I will save you poor, mistreated plant!”
I always look. Always. And if I don’t stop to look, I at least scan. I am an expert scanner and can spot a diamond in the rough from across the street. I was reared on Midnight Madness Blue Light Special and have decades of thrift store shopping under the belt.
Like all corner market plants, the variety name is unknown. No tag or ID. Not meant to last. Enjoy it while it is in bloom and then toss it once the embarrassment of its ragged condition is enough to outweigh the guilt. Which is too bad really, since they are not terribly difficult to keep and can last decades, generations if you’re determined.
Here’s how to keep a Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) and even get it to rebloom:
We shuffled all of the remaining houseplants inside last Friday just before the hard frost returned. And so began the arduous process of stuffing potted plants into windows and underneath lights in preparation for a long winter indoors.
This year I decided to go for an all succulent mix in my office window, which wasn’t difficult given how many I have. I haven’t counted, but my best guess is TOO MANY. I usually put most of the agave into this prime spot where I can see them at a glance from my desk chair all winter long. However, this year I decided to mix things up a bit and have instead situated my new collection of unusual opuntia within reach.
A few of my tender paddle cactus (opuntia).
Chances are good that a few of the smaller plants will end up in the basement should the windowsill get too cold and draughty come mid-winter. I also plan to move this year’s Offfice Tomato Experiment 2012/13 once it gets too cold in the unheated front porch “greenhouse.”
I’m bringing back the Daily Botanical feature. Since I stopped doing them regularly I have sorely neglected to write about the new and interesting plants that I am growing or run into in my travels. It feels like the right time to bring them back.
The Sinningia you see in bloom here was the topic of a Daily Botanical dating back to September 16, 2010. It is only because I have this record that I now know that it blooms annually literally to the date.
Taking a cue from Barry, a friend from whom I have stolen several good gardening ideas, I bought this $20 metal side table from Ikea over the summer with the purpose of using it to display some of my 16 agave plants (or is it 17? Someone make me stop.). For months I scoured the thrift stores for something used, hoping to find a table that would match Barry’s, a quality, heavy metal base with what may be a granite top. Luck was not on my side so I gave up and opted for Ikea.
I chose metal because it is lightweight and can hold up to the weather outdoors. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the product on the Ikea website — they may have discontinued it. However, if you are interested in something similar, I also purchased this metal, white side table with the intention of painting it a bright (yet undetermined) colour.
To review: here’s what they looked like a week and two weeks after I sowed the seeds back in January.
It’s hard to believe, but three short months ago the lithops seedlings were only just beginning to show their distinct colouration and patterns. Now look at them!