Wednesday, December 17, 2014



As we get close to the end of 2014, it seems the time passed in the blink of an eye.  Here we stand on the brink of a whole new, fresh, clean year filled with possibilities; the old year is a bit ragged but there is value in revisiting it.

I, for one, am grateful to 2014.  It brought me to this blog and you.  Thank you. 

This post is mostly about the color red - some white and some green are mixed in.  For those of you who celebrate Christmas, red is a prominent color of the season.  For those who celebrate other holidays or even no holiday at all, red is cheery and fun.  

 To all of you, I hope this time of year brings happiness.

  Poinsettias are one of the most popular holiday plants.  As the years went by, the red poinsettia gave way to almost every color imaginable (or combinations thereof) except the blue range.  Many of the plants are grown in Canada where they are shown, judged, and and chosen for market.  I have an artist friend in Ontario who goes to these exhibitions and does judging.  Gardeners look for traits to make the plants more salable, like stems that grow more upward and resist being broken when placed in cellophane sleeves.  Colors are favored or rejected; size and fullness are scrutinized.  All this so you and I can go to the greenhouse or supermarket and buy some of the most beautiful holiday plants offered.

 I went to Ott's Exotic Greenhouse and photographed 20 different varieties - all lovely, all lush and healthy.  Here are just a tiny few of those poinsettias.

 The Christmas, or Holiday Cactus is another favorite plant that is used for gifting or decorating during this holiday season.  Again, the colors available expanded from the red, pink, and white to many others in between.  This particular one caught my eye because the flower looks like a swan - at least to me:>)

 Another splendid plant, one not necessarily paired with the holidays but festive nonetheless, is the hibiscus.  

Rose Of Sharon Hibiscus Family Member

Up Close and Personal with a Red Hibiscus

Orchids can join the many fancy plants considered tough to grow that now enjoy enhanced popularity as ordinary houseplants.  They, too, can be found in an ever-increasing array of colors.  Here is red and white specimen followed by a soft yellow-white flowered orchid.

RED!  Glorious, riotous red.  Here are a couple kinds of Clematis that will warm any heart.

Tiny, white star clematis grown with red poinsettia

The heart of a red clematis

Meet the exquisite cyclamen - this one in white.  They are now found from teacup size to HUGE.  The flowers are all over the place with different colors, except the blue tones.  Can the blues be far behind???

I believe this is a Mimosa flower - some call it a "Sensitive" Tree because touching the leaves makes them close up.

 Love of roses is almost universal, and the red rose is an all-time favorite.

This white beauty is commonly called Queen Of The Night or Night Blooming Cereus.  It's a desert cactus that blooms only for one night but what a sight!  This flower is the size of a dinner plate and, once opened, the fragrance is awesome.

I'll leave you with three winter scenes from the Green Lane, Pennsylvania, USA area.  Our southern hemisphere friends  are experiencing springtime and summer is not far away.  We have bare trees and, often, snow:>)

The day before Thanksgiving (late November 2014)

A snowstorm at the creek

Happy holidays to everyone and a very health, productive, and happy New Year!

Carol & Family (including Spot)