Saturday, February 25, 2017

Stripes and stripes

Today I have amaryllis numbers eleven and twelve, both with stripes.

This is Ruby Star, a sumptuous rich cranberry red with a green throat.  I took this picture a couple days ago when the first flower opened, but now it has two scapes completely open at once, each with five flowers!  A little crowded, but very pretty.

Amaryllis Ruby Star

And this one just opened today, Moon Scene.  I had completely forgotten what this one was supposed to look like since I ordered it last fall, so it was a nice surprise.  Not the showiest, and I don't think this is one of my all-time favorite amaryllis.  It's still pretty, but kind of...meh.  We'll see how I feel as it continues to open.

Amaryllis Moon Scene

What I would like you to notice about that second picture, please, is that it is taken OUTSIDE!  And there is NO SNOW in my front yard!  This is huge!  I actually had the front door and all the windows open for almost two hours this afternoon, to let a fresh breeze blow through the house.

Never mind that it wasn't much above 45 degrees, it felt like spring.  And never mind that it's now back below freezing, and we're back under a winter storm warning and supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow over the next two days.  For two hours this afternoon my house was open, and it was delightful, and I have violas starting to bloom.

It's entirely possible that spring is actually coming.

viola bloom!

Monday, February 20, 2017


Today's Flower of the Day is amaryllis number ten for the year, named Glee.

Amaryllis Glee

This is another new one this year, and I'm very pleased.  It's so pretty, with all its stripey-ness!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

More cacti, sorry.

Every time I go look at my cacti and succulents, there's something new happening.

This is Parodia haselbergii, formerly classified as Notocactus haselbergii.  It's native to the pampas of southern Brazil, where it grows on rocky outcrops.

[Side note:  Collecting plants is like taking a world tour, without actually traveling. I love learning about new places.]

This flower is amazing.  It has such saturated, vibrant yellows and oranges that it looks like it's glowing.  A little ember, sitting on top of the plant.

Notocactus haselbergii

Just beautiful.  And at least two more to come!

Notocactus haselbergii

Notocactus haselbergii

The second one for today is Mammillaria crinita, formerly known as Mammillaria zielmanniana (which is how my plant is labeled).  I do wish they would stop changing the names around.  This species is native to a very small area of central Mexico, only about one square kilometer, and is critically endangered in the wild (though widely commercially propagated).

This is another Mammillaria with small pink flowers.  No, Emma, it's not just the same as the one I posted last time.

Mammillaria zielmanniana

This one has completely different spines (hooked, ouch!), few wooly hairs, and the flowers are larger and less purple.

Mammillaria zielmanniana

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cacti are amazing

I have two cacti blooming right now, and a bunch more about to pop.  This is so exciting, because I've only been playing with cacti for about a year, and I'm so THRILLED that they are doing well enough to bloom!

This first one was sold as Mammillaria denudata, though the accepted name is now Mammillaria lasiacantha var. denudata.  This is native to southern Texas/New Mexico/Arizona and northern Mexico, and is a beautiful little plant.

Mammillaria denudata

I love how flat the spines are to the body. The flowers have to push their way through that thick lattice of spines to bloom, and while they aren't very showy, they have a certain charm.  If my basement were warmer, they would open wider. 

Mammillaria denudata

When I first saw these flowers starting to poke out a couple weeks ago, I couldn't believe it. When I got this plant last July it was completely unrooted, without even a hint of a live root to be seen.  It looked like a perfect little ping pong ball.  I set it on the surface of some dry soil and ignored it for several months, without watering it at all.  When I gently peeked underneath in October, I was thrilled to see three little roots, so I gave it a tiny spray of water, then another in November, December, and January.  And now it's firmly rooted and blooming! Yay plant!

This next cactus is Mammillaria hahniana, native to central Mexico.  Mine is from Home Depot, an impulse buy in August that Emma tried to talk me out of ("You already have cactuses that look like that, Mom."  "But I don't have this species!  Be quiet, child.")

Isn't it pretty?

Mammillaria hahniana

Like many Mammillaria species, the flowers are small and pink.  As with the one above, they would open wider if my basement were warmer.

Mammillaria hahniana

It's so fancy, with its brown spines and white spines and woolly hairs.  The flowers are really just a bonus.

Mammillaria hahniana

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Double Record, not double

Amaryllis number nine for the year is called Double Record, but it's not living up to its name.  As you can see, there is only one layer of petals (though technically it's one layer of petals and one layer of sepals).

Amaryllis Double Record

Double Record is a semi-double variety, which means it doesn't have as many layers of petals as a fully double variety.  I knew it was a semi-double when I bought it, but I didn't know that apparently this particular variety is known for losing its "double-ness" and only showing one layer with sometimes a few wimpy extra petals in the center.  This can be seen on the second flower to open on this scape.

Amaryllis Double Record

While it's somewhat disappointing that my bulb doesn't show the big floofy flower I thought I was getting, it's still really pretty and I love the raspberry stippling along the edges.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day to me

I couldn't resist a Valentine's present to myself. I don't need three plants all the same, and I don't like the red planter, but when I saw the flowers I just said shut up and take my money!

This is Doritaenopsis Honglin Lucky.  I normally don't like the splotchy Phalaenopsis-type orchids, but this one is regular enough and symmetrical enough to be extremely pleasing to my eye.

Dtps. Honglin Lucky

Isn't it gorgeous? Look at it!

Dtps. Honglin Lucky


Dtps. Honglin Lucky

Friday, February 10, 2017

Diamonds everywhere

More good progress on the hardanger- I've finished the kloster blocks for the upper part of the design.


Now I need to do the eyelets for those, and then on to the edging around the sides and top, plus the holes for the curtain rod.  Getting there!