Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Bloom Day

It's another relatively mild winter so far in Chicagoland.  The snow thrower hasn't moved from its storage spot yet this winter.  We've had a few snow flurries, and a little rain.  Drought in our area continues.

Again this month we have no outdoor blooms. A single Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) bud continues growing in the garden, showing no sign of opening anytime soon.  Maybe next month.

We do have this kalachoe blooming in our dining room.   Kalanchoes kept indoors here tend to get somewhat leggy,  and not so pretty when left to their own devices.  So after they bloom I'll cut them back, strip the bottom three or four sets of leaves from the cuttings, and let the cut end dry out for a day, maybe two.  Next the cuttings go in a pot filled with moist soil, deep enough to cover the stripped leaf nodes. The pot will be watered sparingly, but enough to prevent the soil from drying out until the cuttings have rooted.  Then  we'll have more of these sweet, colorful blooms next winter on new plants. The old plants don't seem to recover very well from being hacked, so they'll probably be composted.

Cactus potting soil works well for kalanchoes.  I don't bother with special soil for them though.  All-purpose potting soil works fine here as long as the pots have drain holes.  These get watered once every week or two at most.

Kalanchoes thrive on neglect. They like this sunny south window, and they like to dry out between watering once they're well-rooted.  In December they get a little fertilizer, and by sometime in January they bloom.

The African violet has been blooming for over a month - cheap thrills and winter color. 

The Thanksgiving cactus bloomed on time, and again at Christmas. This month it has a few fat buds and one about to open, with many more small buds still growing. This plant will often rebloom through spring if I remember to fertilize it now and then.

I hope you're enjoying a few blooms this month, either in your garden or indoors.   To see more Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Enjoy - breathtaking, inspiring, and sublime, complements of  Mother Nature, and the indomitable human spirit.

 Happy New Year - one beautiful moment at a time.