A Good Home, Flowers

Three Bloomin’ Good Deals on Flowers

It’s been snowing all bloomin’ day.

Everything’s covered with the fluffy white stuff, and it shows no sign of letting up.

If you’re a Southern Ontario gardner, this is not your favourite season — unless you’ve got one of those indoor greenhouse thingamijiggies and have already planted flower seeds.

I don’t have one of those things, so I opt for the least expensive flowers that can be bought at a store and will last a long time.

Blog Photo - Begonia late summer 2017

My pot of Cyclamen, bought last winter, bloomed and bloomed indoors till May, then continued to bloom outdoors through the summer. At $5.99 at the nearby plant nursery, it was a gift!

As you may recall, the only thing I claim any expertise in is getting Amaryllis bulbs to rebloom.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis and Snow wider shot

After their indoor bloom ends (soon, if not already), I let the leaves grow. In spring, I bring them outside in their pots and water them till August. I then allow the leaves to dry, shake off the soil, and keep the bulb in a brown paper bag in the cellar for about four months before potting them again. 

A bulb that costs $7.00 may give three different sets of blooms, then will rebloom at least once a year for a long time to come.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms CU2

And then there’s This Thing Whose Name I Don’t Know.  Sold as cut flowers in grocery stores for about $6 or $7 a bunch, this lovely flower has staying power. I cut the stems short and keep adding fresh water everyday, and these flowers bloom for nearly two weeks — a real achievement among cut flowers.

Blog Photo - Flowers Orange

No doubt one of you readers will know what it is. The grocery store clerk didn’t.

My best wishes,

Cynthia.

 

 

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A Good Home, Acts of Friendship, Canadian Gardens, Flowers, Gardens, Keeping the Faith

The Glory of Late Summer

So much beauty.

Late summer, but the garden is still resplendent with colour. 

Blog Photo - September 2018 Lovely Backyard tree to woods

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Ligularia Yellow Blooms in border

The bees are plentiful and hard at work, drawn to fragrant hosta and almost everything else, it seems.

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Bee on Hosta Bloom 2

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Hosta White ECU

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Bee ECU

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Very wide shot with bee in one lily

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Bee in Lily Med Wide

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 Bee CU in Lily

The trees are still green.

Blog Photo - Garden August 2018 - Under the Dogwood tree

And there are blooms everywhere.

Blog Photo - Garden August 2018 - late blooms1

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Single Blue clem

Blog Photo - Garden August 2018 - Zucchini and Flower

I give thanks for this season and the ability to enjoy it. Last summer, I had a bad concussion and broken bones from a sudden fall.  Luckily, my husband and an old friend both took photos so I could see bits of the garden.

Blog Photo - Garden Sept 2018 benches and blue pot by pool

This summer, life has again challenged me greatly at times — as it does to many of us.  Loved ones get seriously ill or die.  Another fall.  A lengthy medical assessment kicks off horrible nightmares and indescribable pain; I’m shocked to find myself again staring into the abyss.  I shake my head and have a few frank words with God.

But weep ye not!

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Sunface

I’m determined to dwell, not on the bad, but on the good that’s around me. And there is so much good, so much beauty, to be thankful for.

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Yellowish Hosta fersn and wall

My husband and children are healthy. They are caringly present, especially in rough times. 

Most days I am, according to my husband, “strimping along”. (I insist I’m striding or strolling, not limping.) 

My relatives, neighbours and friends are never far away.

Blog Photo - Garden August 2018 - Hosta in front

We support each other.

I surprised one dear friend with a funny birthday gift and kept a promise to another.  (Tiny acts, but I know they matter.)

My sisters and daughters called; we shared words of hope, love and reassurance.

Blog Photo - Garden 2018 Bee on Blue shrub

And I’m still keeping the faith.

And the sun still shines in abundance.

Blog Photo - Phillipians 4 Whatever is True

~~

 

A Good Home, Flowers, Friendship

Amaryllis Flowers for John

My dear friend John

The gardener one

Has been unwell quite lately

~~

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Solo Bloom

And so I send

These flowers for him

The ones I think most stately

~~

I know John may

Of course prefer

That flow’r that’s caused some conflict

~~

Between us friends

And made me near

Become a horto-convict

~~

johns-wisteria31

For stealing John’s

Wisteria vine

That bloomed and bloomed all summer

~~

While ours had been

A true disgrace

A non-performing bummer

~~

Blog Photo - Green wisteria 4

But John, my dear

It’s cold out there

And vines are not in flower

~~

So will you please

Accept these blooms

Now flow’ring at this hour?

~~

Blog Photo - Amaryllis in Vase January 2018.JPG

They bring much love

And happy thoughts

Of better days before us

~~

And best of all

They’ll bloom again

With gusto and with no fuss.

~~

Dedicated to our dear friend John, in hopes that this excruciatingly bad poetry will make him laugh, and to his loving wife and son.

 

 

A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, Flowers

A Bloomin’ Miracle

 

European explorers didn’t call Canada the “land of ice and snow” for nothing!

It’s usually cold now. So why are the plants outside blooming and reblooming in late September?

Take this miniature rose. A gift from my husband in late June (after the ankle-break), it’s flourishing outside. Again.

Blog Photo - Rose late summer 2017

And this cyclamen, also a gift — from our neighbour.

Blog Photo - Begonia late summer 2017

Now, you may recall that I consider myself an expert on getting amaryllis to rebloom.

People ask: “Cynthia, how do I store my amaryllis bulbs during the fall so they’ll rebloom at Christmas?”

I immediately get puffed up with self-importance!  You see, I’m famously bad at the domestic arts, but I’m good at this. I know about reblooming amaryllis.

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Blooms 4 - July 2017

“Stop all watering in mid-August,” I say with great authority.  “Come September, pluck off the dried-up leaves, shake off the dried-up soil, and store the bulb in the cold cellar.  It’s had months outside, feeding on water, soil and sun, and now it’s time for beddy-bye, aka hibernation, until late November. It will be ready to rebloom at Christmas.”

So I took my own advice. Stopped watering this amaryllis on schedule, the leaves turned a dying yellow and….

Blog Photo - Amaryllis Wideshot late 2917

The darned thing bloomed!

It’s a delightful but humbling moment.  Seems I don’t know amaryllis. 

Blog Photo - Amaryllis CU late 2017

It’s like the goddess of amaryllis punctured my pride with her hatpin.

More worrisome things are happening in the world, I know.  But I’ve now decided to see the reblooming as a miracle. If there’s a botanical explanation, don’t tell me.

It’s a bloomin’ miracle, and that’s that.