But one has mixed feelings about all those macro shots of beautiful blooms. What about the context, what about the rest of the plant? Is it hideous, ratty, bug ridden? It has been decided to show some reality in this month’s post, not just extreme close ups, cropping out anything less than perfect. The first photo of a pansy living in a pot outside looks good admittedly. But the little volunteer seedling blooming so sweetly in the rocks looks just as lovely to these eyes.
As will the winter daphne, D. Odora. This is the third year in the garden for this shrub, it is a slow grower. Last year there were two bloom clusters, it looks like a good flush of bloom will delight us this year.
But a close up of the same plant looks so very different. This is what the plant catalogs like to do. Show only the portion of the plant in flower, not giving the prospective buyer the whole story of the plant’s habit.
That was a good sample of what is happening outside. Now let’s go into the house.
In time for Valentine’s Day, the grocery has a good stock of primroses. A pot was put together to take up less room in the sunroom/greenhouse until the individual plants can go to their permanent home under the deck stairs.
This is where the indoor plants are grown. There are windows on three sides with shelving, and two skylights in the ceiling with two poles across the top for hanging plants. Designed to be the orchids’ winter home, most all plants are happy here during the cold season.
Now we get to my special orchids, the paphiopedilums. This one is P. ‘Oriental Mystique’. The flowers will last for several months as long as the temps are cool.
This guy has been in bud for three months. He was brought into the main house, even with the danger posed by Hazel, the plant eating cat. It is by a heat register to try and coax the bloom open for this month’s post. His name is P.’Onyx Fancy Cherry x P. sukhakuiii.
There are several reasons why these are the favorites of the orchids here. For one thing, they live happily in four inch pots, and space is an issue in the winter retreat for them. They are also fairly easy to rebloom, although it has taken some time to figure out just what it is they want and need in the way of feeding, light, watering and temperature. Oh come on, now, open up, will you?
That’s the stuff, can you do it a little bit more? Feel that nice warm air blowing on you, NO, Hazel, get away from him!