Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bloom Day January 2009

Coal, the cat King


I have always blamed my cat for my indoor plant less state. It's true, he loves nothing more then to dig in the soil, bat the flowers about and nibble on the leaves. But, let's be honest, a big part of the problem is me!

A sweet faced Viola from the Citrus Series is in bloom outside.


For instance, last week I found a cute little bulb forcing set on sale. So I bought several of them! I followed the instructions, set them in the kitchen window and proceeded to forget to top the water on them!

That's how it is...they are not on my radar screen and the cat eats them!

Another Citrus Series Viola blooming in the garden.


So, no one was more surprised then me, to find a beautiful amaryllis in my grocery cart just before the Girlfriends' Party. After seeing so many lovely amaryllis on your blogs...I had to give it one more try.

Isn't she lovely~~Apple Blossom Amaryllis.
The light reflects off her petals like diamond dust.

I had read that amaryllis were a long flowering plant. She has had

a mass of blooms since the first flower opened mid-December.


But then something happened~~ she began to lean! Not just a little~~ a lot!

She was the leaning tower of Amaryllis bloom.

Just plopped over!

I thought she wasn't long for this world...but amaryllis are quite astonishing plants... Not only has she made more flower buds...she is still alive in the vase...

A happy ending~~she has more buds forming, she's not been killed or eaten! Maybe there's hope for me and houseplants, yet. No, probably not!

and in the garden~~

Witch hazels continue to bloom~~
Diane is still clinging to her leaves. Let's hope they keep her buds safe from the arctic blast that is blowing our way! I've read that witch hazels flowers roll up their spidery blooms for protection when the temperatures are too cold.

Hamamelis vernalis spps 'Bernice' You might remember, the witch hazel was planted in honor of my mom and christened Bernice.

My mom, like the witch hazel, bloomed in the winter of her life. It's a joy for me to see Bernice blooming~~I hope she curls her petals up and blooms another day.

Thank you so very much for joining me today.

Bloom Day is brought to you by Carol, May Dreams Gardens. Please join in and show us your bloom on the fifteenth of each month...to see more Bloom Day revelers...stop by Carol's today!


One last plant in the garden~~Russian Kale~~

124 comments:

  1. Nice post Gail. Coal is cute. You have the sweetest violas.

    Here's mine if you get a chance http://tinyurl.com/9sqpe2

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  2. Great job, Gail, do I sense a new camera in the midst, or is your old one being very obedient today? Coal does look like a crabby king! I love the leaning tower of amaryllis, such a wonderful and cheering color. I also loved seeing your kitchen counter with that beautiful tile, the painting in the background, the witch hazels bravely showing us a little leg, the pansy and viola and last but best, the pig with hat and scarf combo! :-)
    Frances

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  3. Gail,

    Your kitty doesn't look guilty to me! :-)

    Your Amaryllis is so lovely. I guess I'm the last gardener on earth to not have one!

    Cameron

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  4. Helen,

    Thanks...glad you stopped by!

    Gail

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  5. Dear Frances,

    You get an A+ for noticing the piggy dressed for our arctic blast! Isn't my first amarylllis lovely. Had I known they get so top heavey I might have moved her to a new pot with more oil, but she came dressed in her Christmas finery (shallow red pot). The hazels are looking good...let's hope they bloom after this really cold weather is gone! Have a wonderful day.

    Gail

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  6. I might not love purple but I love that Russian kale! I went to look at our witch hazels this morning and not only are the buds still tight little fists but it looks like there aren't nearly as many as last year. Perhaps I'll be surprised by the show later... Happy GBBD!

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  7. Cameron,

    I was sure I was the last to get one! Apple blossom followed me home...that's the only reason I have one!

    Coal is the KIng. Have a lovely day today, keep warm.

    Gail

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  8. Kris,

    Good morning! Your witch hazels are very smart...saving their bloom for a warmer time when they can unfurl and perk up the garden....The kale is my favorite, too...I love how it looks next to Gray Owl red cedar (juniperus virginiana). Have a good day! Gail

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  9. Gail,
    What a lovely Amaryllis! It just makes me ready for spring time! I get more excited with every week that passes.--Randy

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  10. That Apple Blossom is amazing! Mine always leans too but not so many blooms. You got a good one! And your witch hazels looks super! Love the zoom. One day I'll buy a camera with a good zoom to replace my 5 year old one, til then I'll enjoy your up closes and all the other bloggers who do so well with the zooms. I actually pulled my gardenia yesterday. It is now safely in the garage. Collllldddd this morning!

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  11. I may have to try an amaryllis sometime but I am much more of an outdoor gardener than indoor. I tend to neglect the houseplants even though we have a bunch of them. That reminds me I need to water the bird of paradise!

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  12. Great post, Gail. I love the witch hazels.

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  13. Your amaryllis is beautiful. I have Apple Blossom too but it isn't blooming now. They are a very forgiving plant. I've had mine for may years and haven't managed to kill it. I use a wire stake like the ones sold for orchids to keep the leaves and blooms upright.
    Marnie

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  14. I'm not a houseplant person, either, Gail, but I, too, had to purchase an amaryllis this year. Mine is nowhere ready to bloom yet, but I hope it is half as lovely as your "Appleblossom." You have convinced me to find a place in my garden for a witch hazel--I would love to have anything blooming right now! But my favorite photo today, has to be the Russian Kale--just gorgeous.

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  15. I am afraid I dont do indoor plants either - I always forget about them - but your Amaaryllis is very fine ... I am almost tempted.
    The witchhazel is another matter - they are glorious and I want one
    :)
    K

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  16. You've done well with that Amaryllis! Shall I post a picture of my old amaryllis bulbs languishing in their pots with no blooms in sight! Buy a new one so it will bloom is a good mantra! Your kale is so cheery!

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  17. Layanee,

    I suspect that the fate of this amaryllis will be to languish in a pot post pretty bloom. I am not good at houseplants....too distracted by the outside garden or any number of other shiny things! The kale is something else!

    gail

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  18. Good work, Gail! Your amaryllis is beautiful. Your post was fun to read... however, I cannot believe there's a place anywhere in this world that doesn't have snow and cold temperatures right now!

    I'd ask you to confess that you've done what Nan Ondra at Hayfield did, but I actually know better. ;-)

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  19. Karen

    You have to get a witch hazel or two or three! Once the scaffolding is gone from the garden;-) There is something about the blooms that makes me think they would inspire your art!

    gail

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  20. Randy,

    it really isn't that far off for your garden! I am excited to welcome it here, too. Take care...the amaryllis is a sweet flower. I wish we could plant them in the garden like you can. Gail

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  21. Dave,

    Houseplants aren't me, either! Thanks for the reminder...I need to top off the crocus bulbs I'm attempting to force! Keep warm. gail

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  22. Carolyn Gail,

    Witch hazels are wonderful. Thank you for the sweet compliment! Take care and stay indoors! Gail

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  23. Tina,

    Digging up the gardenia was the right thing to do! I so wanted to get a few camellias that were almost ready to bloom but knew that it was way too cold for them to survive. There is only so much room in the house for shrubs and there is this plant eating cat!

    I need to remember to stack the amaryllis if I ever try them again!
    Keep warm.

    Gail

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  24. Dear Shady,

    I wish we had snow on the ground...it would save a few of my plants from this very frigid weather! I wish you could visit here to get a taste of winter without snow. It's still cold...just not as cold or pretty without the snow. Now I am wondering what Nan did!

    Take car and be safe.

    gail

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  25. Mrnie,

    Good to know they are forgiving...I will be making apologies to it for however long I keep it alive! I will try the support. They are planted in very shallow soil and all that flower is top heavy. You take care in the cold and keep warm. Glad you stopped by. Gail

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  26. Rose,

    Iam glad you liked the kale...it was so charming I bought a dozen small plants and have planted them in drifts in the garden. It has helped bring much needed color...I will let a few go to flower. If I have luck collecting seed...there will be some for you! I do think you will be very happy with a witch hazel. They are so nice in every season. The fall color is brilliant.

    Take care, keep warm. gail

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  27. All of your blooms are lovely to these winter weary eys Gail. That kale is startlingly beautiful.

    I think the King looks like a plant eater to me. Yep, a friend of mine has his kindered spirit and she eats plants too so my friend doesn't have live indoor plants.

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  28. I'm so jealous that your Witchhazels are blooming! It's absolutely true, those flowers curl right up in the cold, or, in my case, refuse to unfurl. You got one great Amaryllis there! I tried 1 once, but it was starting to lean & then a dog knocked it over. I subsequently learned that there are Amaryllis supports that you can buy, or you can make one. Idaho Gardener had one she made of bamboo that looked really nice. (I think the post was in November or December.)

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  29. I must be the only blogger without a witch hazel! Love the color of your Amaryllis and yes, they are hardy plants. We were given an amaryllis as a gift a few years ago and we enjoyed it in the sunroom away from cats paws and teeth! I put it in the yard during the spring and it has survived for two seasons now. Am not so sure she will survive this year with so many freezing nights for us. Not normal and I may have many regrets and empty holes to fill come spring. Ole King Coal is a beauty! i bet my Cheetah baby would like to snuggle up with him on a cold winters night. tee hee...

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  30. Hi Gail....I love the colour of the Amarylis....I used to grow them each year....don't know why I stopped!!

    You are teasing me with the Witch Hazel.....they are so beautiful....mine is still not in bloom. I shall have to talk to said plant.....

    Don't you just love Russian Kale....colours are gorgeous.....

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  31. Those colorful little violas are such a treat at this time of the year Gail! I don't keep houseplants for the same reasons you mentioned. But I am the main culprit when it comes to neglect (not on purpose of course). ;) Happy GBBD!

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  32. That Amaryllis is so pretty. I too blame the cat!!

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  33. Gail, I find it amazing that a tree will bloom in this weather! But how beautiful and glorious to look out on a day like today and see color.

    I can't believe Coal would eat house plants-he looks so innocent. :}

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  34. Hi Gail, As usual, this is a wonderful post:) You are SO like me as far as the indoor plants and the kitty cat story...same thing goin' on here:) I've done the amaryliss thingy, done the bulb forcing, and kitty didn't touch either of those for a change. That was nice:)
    Love all your indoor and outdoor blooms...and especially, your prose that goes with it!! Stay warm and cozy:)

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  35. Violas are one of my all time faves! They are so very sweet and old fashioned. Yours made me smile! Kim

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  36. Well, here I am at the end of the pack yet again ! haha
    Cameron and I are the only gardeners yet not to have this beauty ?
    After Randy's post and now yours I am thinking of possible places to secure a SECURE place for these beauties.
    Coal is king .. no doubt there .. he is very handsome and I think my girls would be quite taken with him .. don't tell him that or he will be too vain to live with ?LOL
    I love the violas and the witch hazel : )

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  37. Wow, you sound like my kind of indoor gardener. At least we have a fairly good excuse? Maybe all of the kids' loud voices scare my plants to death too????

    It's too cold to venture outside for our bloom day so I've decided to hibernate on the couch with my plant catalogs instead.

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  38. Gorgeous amaryllis and the witch hazel blooms are beautiful as well. I sure hope my 'Diane' blooms this year!

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  39. Super photos, Gail. I'm swooning over that Amaryllis!

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  40. Coal is King! (Wait, I thought it was hybrids batteries that are king...) Your cat is so sweet. I grew up with a black cat, so I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Oddly, neither James nor Fiona (nor any of the four other cats I've lived with) as dug in my indoor plants! Love the Diane witch hazel (even though the name has less than positive connotations for me!) Also love the amaryllis (guessing mine will bloom for St. Patrick's Day!) and kale.
    ~Monica

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  41. Hi Gail,

    You had great success w/your Amaryllis. All those blooms and buds. You should be proud. Love your kitty. He can't help being bad. Neither can mine. My Witch hazel is waiting to bloom. It is 20F here today for the high. Ten F for the low tonight. Yuck.~~Dee

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  42. That's a spectacular amaryllis, Gail! You must have chosen a really well-grown bulb to have so many flowers. The plants seem to lean less when given lots of light, but it might be easier to find a stake than sunshine in winter.

    Happy GBBD!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  43. That's a lovely Amaryllis Gail. Mine's bright red, but has the same leaning over skills!

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  44. Annie,

    Mea culpa! Apple Blossom is now sitting in a southwest facing window and as happy as can be! It was a nicely potted grouping of 3 bulbs and they have bloomed their little bulb heads off. I love the winter sun and could sit in a cozy chair in a sunny spot all day; so why wouldn't a bulb that likes the sun want the same thing.

    Thanks, Annie~~

    Gail

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  45. VP,

    They lean quit nicely...after looking at the photo again...it looks like she is getting ready to peak around the corner;)

    Gail

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  46. Dee,

    I don't mind the teens but the single digits for days on end is not good! I wonder what we will lose to this cold spell! Isn't the amaryllis nice! I like buying them ready to bloom...it's expensive but a month of bloom or longer makes them a nice bargain;-) Keep warm dear!

    Gail

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  47. Monica,

    I was listening to Temple Grandin and she claims that Black cats are laid back cats and orange tabbies are very affectionate but jumpy! I've a laid back jumpy not really affectionate black cat! The witch hazels are a delight right now, or they will be when it warms up! Keep warm up there!

    Gail

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  48. JGH,

    It is a lovely amaryllis...I am glad you like it! Hoping you're warm and cozy today!

    Gail

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  49. Phillip,

    I imagine that Diane is waiting until the weather warms up a bit! Not sure what triggers the bloom in my garden, some spots are a bit warmer then others! he gets the afternoon sun now that the leaves are gone. Keep warm Phillip...maybe spring will be here after we make it through this arctic deep freeze.

    Gail

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  50. Cinj,

    Oh Cindy that is a great plan...I was just having a lie down on mine finishing a good mystery story! I was totally disappointed with the ending! Brr...it's cold here it must be REALLY cold in Rhinelander!


    Gail

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  51. Joy,

    Coal acknowledges your compliment with a knowing cat smile!

    I was completely surprised but Coal has displayed little interest in this plant; oc course, he can't get to it. He prefers the weeds that are growing in the bay laurel I brought in or the rosemary. Do you think they do know when a plant is poisonous?

    My dear friend please take care in the wicked weather! I am going to light a fire and read on the couch. Oh I wish I had a lap top!

    Keep warm.

    Gail

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  52. Great blooms and cat! I love that wet pansy pic the best. Awesome!

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  53. Lisa,

    Winter weary eyes...eyes tired of brown! Body wanting warm weather!

    Coal is a plant eater...I found his present to me after he ate one of the plants I brought in for safekeeping. Safe from the weather but not the cat!

    I hope this bone chilling weather leaves us soon and we can all be out gardening or at least walking in the garden!

    Keep warm!
    Gail

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  54. MMD,

    I will check out her post and see what I can do to prop this baby upright!

    Pretty soon the witch hazel will be unfurling in your yard! I will be envious of your cool weather, while I am swatting at bugs!

    Take care, keep warm and safe.

    Gail

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  55. Jan,

    I just don't do well with houseplants...they require attention and there are so many other things that get my attention;-) Seriously! The cat is not good with plants and I already have drop cloths on all my furniture! It looks like I am closing the house up for the winter! Jan, you are very sweet! I appreciate your kind heart and lovely compliments! Have a wonderful day!

    Gail

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  56. Lovely blooms, Gail! RE your camera question on my blog - I chose the cannon rebel XS (with a kit lens) because it was one of the least expensive dSLR's, but will allow me to upgrade lenses eventually. So far I haven't gotten too fancy with the settings. There are settings for landscape, portrait, close-up, etc. All you do is turn the dial on top. The camera isn't automatically giving me much more fabulous pictures, though. I need to learn more. Other bloggers seem to do very well with point-and-shoots. But if the extra cost isn't prohibitive, this camera is as easy to use with basic settings as a point and shoot, and will allow more complex settings when you want them. Oh - and I really appreciate the image-stabilizer on the kit lens - it reduces the blurriness when I move the camera a bit while pressing the button - especially helpful in low light. Hope this helps you in your decision. Regards, VW

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  57. Skeeter,

    We must make sure you get a witch hazel! You will love them...see I think you need more then one! This weather is HORRIBLE. There is no nice talking about it, it is killer cold and I think we will lose plants! I feel better now...that was cathartic!

    Coal is not a snuggler but then he has never had to share the throne with any other critters....

    Take care and be warm!

    Gail

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  58. VW,

    Very helpful. I will be getting a dslr this year but in the meantime will have a decent point and shoot. My little fuji...has done me well but with 3 megapixels it can't do the detail work I want! Image stabilizer is important for me, too. Thank you for taking the time to let me know about your camera. Have a good weekend.

    Gail

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  59. Cheryl,

    I love the kale. It is lovely in the winter. Have you ever let it go to seed? It has a fun little yellow flower and gets taller and taller! The witch hazel gives me a lot of joy. I can look at it and know my mom would laugh at my choice for naming a tree! Let me know when your WH blooms!

    have a good weekend,
    Gail

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  60. Racquel,

    I am okay without indoor plants...it's the gardening that I love...outside gardening. Although, I could love a greenhouse;-) How about you?

    Gail

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  61. Had to laugh, we quit indoor plants when we had a cat too. Now he is no longer (sniff) but we never went back to having greenery indoors. Your post reminded me that I have an amaryllis in a box in the basement! I had totally forgotten. Time to bring it up and see if it can still bloom. Oh well, guess we are meant to be outdoor gardeners, huh? Lovely witch hazel, that was my post today too!

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  62. Ok, that's it !
    You've convinced me to go to lowes.
    I have one window sill which should be perfect for some sort of bulb to start indoors.
    Thanks,
    Patsi

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  63. I have never seen the two colors together in that second viola photo! Mesmerizing contrast!
    Brenda

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  64. I'm glad you tried an indoor plant again! Amaryllis will do that leaning over thing, just when you think they don't need to be staked.

    Thanks for a wonderful bloom day post.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  65. I love violas...and I don't have any this year, yet. But it's your amaryllis that blows me away. Leaning or not, it's absolutely gorgeous. I've started growing more of them but I'm only up to four so far and only one has bloomed this year.

    Lovely, lovely photos.

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  66. Nice closing pic of the Russian kale. Your witch hazels and 'Apple Blossom' are beautiful too.

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  67. Gail, you're pictures are beautiful! Aren't Amaryllis amazing the way they sparkle like that? I've never seen witch hazel before-interesting plant! I mean that in a good way, not like when people say, "Oh, that's...interesting." LOL. And that kale! How pretty!

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  68. Great story about Apple Blossom, Gail; that's the second post I've written today about amaryllis, and highlights the fact that I don't have any this year for the first time in years. Must. Rectify. This. Soon!

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  69. What a wonderful display of plants & blooms! Glad your amaryllis is still hanging in there.

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  70. Hey Gail, your amaryllis is beautiful!

    I'm in love with those witch hazels. I'd love to try one here, but I'm afraid they probably wouldn't bloom in our arctic climate. ;)

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  71. Awesome photos, Gail. Great GBBD and my most favorite and cutest Pansies! It's normal sometimes for Amaryllis to flop over due to the weight of the blooms and they need staking.

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  72. Your Coal and my Inky. Inky lives outside, in a cardboard penthouse atop the dog hut which is heated; the penthouse isn't, but it is under shelter. Inky's choice.

    Love the violas; love Appleblossom.

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  73. Happy bloom day Gail! Once again, I forgot!! It was lovely to see yours tho. I'm so impressed with your King Coal photo ~ you do an excellent job photographing the black! He certainly looks regal even napping. I haven't ever had an amaryllis plop over like that?? I wonder if you could have staked it? I'm glad it's still blooming tho ~ it's been a nice long run of color. Love the sweet violas. Mine long ago gave it up. The witch hazel blooms are exquisite but the piece de resistance is that kale! Wow, the color is eye popping! (or I've been starved of color way too long!)

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  74. Kathleen,

    The Kale is pretty stunning...I have to agree! It is my favorite annual for dramatic winter color..so much so that I bought a flat! They have greatly lit up the brown yard! Kat King Coal cooperated for once, usually he runs when he sees the camera! Kathleen...have you a post up? I will pop over to see it! It's going down to 4 degrees tonight? Is this what your winters are like?
    Yikes!

    Gail

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  75. Jean,

    Black cats are great. Coal has a few white hairs on his chest...very cool. Inky's floor is probably warm from the doghouse! Cats have to be in charge!
    I am glad you like the violas...I think they are a great series..so many colors. I hope they seed all over the garden! Do you grow them?

    Gail

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  76. Chandramouli,

    Now I know to stake them...they are very top heavy.
    But not so bad for my first blooms...they kind of look interesting leaning over!

    gail

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  77. Linda,

    Zone 5...you have to get one! My guess is that they won't bloom until february for your zone! By then you will be so ready for them! I hope you get one! I am thrilled that i got to see Bernice bloom...the arctic blast may have taken out the rest of her blooms. Maybe the buds that hadn't opened will still be flowering!

    Linda, I hope you are keeping warm up there! Gail

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  78. Alan,

    For a while it was hanging in...barely...I could see it drop inch by inch until I cut off the bloom! It's a fun plant to have. Glad you stopped by to visit!

    Gail

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  79. Jodi,

    Getting an amaryllis was a surprise to me! Really...I do worry about Coal eating plants that will make him sick. I worry for his health and my furniture! I like the color and hope to find her again...if these bulbs don't last my benign neglect! So will you get a few soon?

    Gail

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  80. DReamy bee,

    I am so glad you mentioned the sparkling quality that this amaryllis has...do the red ones or just the ones touched with white? Yes the witch hazel are interesting...in a good way! I know what you mean!

    I am so glad you stopped by...we could admire the diamond dusted amaryllis together...and I could meet you, I will stop by and visit your blog tomorrow...it time to go to sleep!

    gail

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  81. Pam,

    The Kale is great...it really compliments the junipers in the garden...not bad with the limestone either~~ It might like your baby garden.

    Gail

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  82. Humm I wonder if Witch Hazel would grow in region 9?

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  83. MSS,

    I am so glad you stopped by and like Apple Blossom. Isn't that a perfect name? She has a hint of apple green but the pink and white flower is lovely. I can recommend AP without hesitation! Now I need to learn how to keep the bulbs alive so she will bloom again! Take care...it sounds like even Austin is going to get a bit of this cold arctic blast.

    Gail

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  84. Brenda,

    The sorbet series has a nice mix~~ I love this one, too! I hope it makes seeds and I get little cutie pie baby plants all over the garden...take care and keep warm, Gail

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  85. Hi Gail,
    A hearty brrrrr from the frozen midwest here! I'm envious you have violas blooming there ... and that kale is the one I've searched for in vain the past few years ... glad to see yours is still doing well. It takes a pretty hard freeze to finally do them in, so it may escape your winter despite it all.

    Your Amaryllis reminded me that we need to bring ours up from the basement and wake them up. They've been asleep for about 5 months, so they should be ready to get going again. If yours flops (as it did) you could try a twist tie around a chopstick as a prop up device ... but, when the stem starts to shrivel, cut it off to give the other buds the energy to bloom. Also, if the foliage stays green till spring, just put it outside for the summer to build up more energy for more blooms. Then late summer, quit watering, let it die back and store in a dark place for at least 4 months before waking it up again. That's what we do and they really respond well the longer you have them!

    Cheers from -16F Des Moines, where I'm sitting here with an old electric blanket over my lap. Makes me feel so old and decrepit! LOL

    IVG

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  86. Hi again Gail :-)

    Great post – quite suited to me too! Yep… I don’t do house plants either but loved your Amaryllis story. This plant seems dead keen to flower/keep flowering what ever happens to it.

    Many years ago I was given a gift of a bulb pack at Christmas time. I wasn’t that keen on it and initially put it a cupboard and forgot about. The cupboard was warm and when a remembered about the box discovered that its stem (albeit a white/yellow colour) was growing out of it!! I’m sure I then potted it up seeing it was that keen to grow ;-) They do have striking flowers as you have shown :-D

    Ah… the witch hazel is on my shopping list for this year although I don't know where I would put it! I’ve seen Diane a few times and she may well be the one ;-) Lovely you think of your Mum when you see them.

    Now, I can’t leave without commenting on the striking colour of that kale – quite amazing!!

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  87. Appleblossom is gorgeous Gail, glad you gave it a try. Over here we can buy bouquets of Amaryllis so it wasn't a surprise that your leaning tower did well in the vase too.

    May sweet Bernice continue to bloom!

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  88. What a flamboyant plant that Kale is! I love that very flirty colour and am trying to imagine how it would look in a garden filled with green and brown. Like an explosion on the senses, I should think!
    Is it grown by seed, by cuttings.... what? I've never seen one except in pictures and I think I'm in lust!

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  89. Hey, Gail,
    Are you keeping warm over there today? I love the Russian Kale.
    Donna

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  90. I've enjoyed the beautiful blooms of Appleblossom too (but not this year). Your plant is just too full of blooms for her own good! Wonderful, isn't she?
    How lovely to have Bernice planted in honor of your mom. May she bloom for a good long time :)
    I love how the witch hazel blooms during the cold. What a tough plant! Wish I had one.
    The pansies are so sweet faced, and the Kale is a wonderful color!
    Happy Bloom Day, Gail, on this frigid morning...-6ºF here!

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  91. Hi Gail,
    All of your flowers look wonderful but I must comment most on Coal. He's a spitting image of my very first cat Morgause, the one who turned me into a cat person. :-)

    I've had amaryllis do the same thing. I think its head just gets too heavy for its body! Still looks lovely though.
    Jean

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  92. very late to the party but i had to let you know a couple of things;
    first, love your sweet mr. coal.
    abbey saw him and said he would make a great match for our little jade kitty. they could be twins.
    also your photos are stunning on this post, especially love the kale and the sweet violas faces.

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  93. Exquisite images, Gail! What I wouldn't give for a sniff of your witch hazel flowers. It was a joy to see them, at least. And that last kale shot: wow! What a great Bloom Day post.

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  94. Nice blooms! I really had to laugh at your phrase "the leaning tower of Amaryllis bloom"! :)

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  95. Rurality,

    It was leaning and slowly falling. But in spite of its lean, it is a fine amaryllis!

    Gail

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  96. Nan,

    Thanks...the WH does have an nice spicy scent and then at the end, it's earthy! This is the second or third year I've had the Kale...I ill surely miss it if I can't find it next year...maybe I can collect the seed? Take care out there!

    gail

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  97. marmee,

    I am so tickled you like the photos! We were at Petco (?) the other day and there were 2 black cats that were identical. Tell Abbey Coal's mom lives someplace out by you! Her name is Louise!

    keep warm Marmee! I do want to get together sometime!

    Gail

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  98. Jean,

    There are some pets we never forget! It sounds like your Morgause was one.
    Coal is 9 years old and so far not showing his age!

    The amaryllis was just bloom heavy! So glad you stopped by to say hello!

    Gail

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  99. Kerri,

    We had a few blooms before the deep freezer door was opened and all that cold rushed out...but I am glad you got to enjoy the violas, witch hazel and kale before they froze.

    Friends asked me what shrub I wanted and I knew immediately that Hamemlis vernalis was perfect. It's the unnamed species that I call Bernice!Take care and keep warm.

    Gail

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  100. Donna,

    I just went to the mailbox and even bundled in hat, coat and gloves was shivering by the time I walked back! How about you? Gail

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  101. Sunita,

    It is an explosion of color in the garden! I found it at Lowes and they were selling flats so I got about a dozen plants. I want to try to save seeds so I will let them bolt and see what I can save.

    Take care and I am glad you popped over to chat!

    Gail

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  102. Yolanda E,

    Could you hear that very loud sigh all the way over to your blog? I was remembering the French markets with gorgeous flowers and having a big old envy party that European countries have wonderful flower markets! In case you missed it the first time..SIGH...

    Gail

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  103. Shirl,

    I think everyone is taken with the kale! It is as you say striking! Maybe we are all starved for color! But I like it, too!

    Diane is a great witch hazel...Have you seen Arnolds' promise or Jelena both have nice color and I have read that Jelena has the best fall color. But I can't complain about Diane's foliage.

    Take care of yourself! Glad you popped over for a visit.

    gail

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  104. IVG,

    Thank you for the tutorial...I will want to save this one! It has been a great flowering beauty. I am wandering how big the bulbs eventually get!

    You guys keep warm...is this the weekend you have out of town company?
    If it is ...have a wonderful visit!

    gail

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  105. Wow, Gail! The Russian Kale is a sight for sore eyes! All of your photos are eye candy tonight - in the middle of the dullest season of the year, you light us up!

    Thank you!

    Mary

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  106. gail,

    i would like that too
    just let me know if you are coming my way.

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  107. Wow! I'm on my second cup of coffee (not decaf) catching up, Gail! So many wonderful comments agreeing with all above ... but will add ~ Coal, the cat King, has a fitting name ... one eye in the photo shoot looks like a glowing ember :)

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  108. Joey,

    It has been fun reading the comments; sometimes the comments are better then any post I have written! Coal, is now curled up on a leather chair...it's covered with a nice quilt. There are eatable plants in the house right now, so I have to protect the furniture from his gifts!
    Have a good weekend. Here's wishing for warm weather in your neck of the world. Gail

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  109. Marmee,

    As soon as it warms up I plan to make a trip to Franklin...There's this cute little shop off the square...(It's near a chocolate shop and has a floralshop in the back yard!) Then there is the farmer's market on Saturdays...is it still happening in January? I'll let you know! Gail

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  110. Mary,

    Hi...I love the kale, too...and recommend it for stunning color in the garden during the long brown days of January! So glad you popped over for a visit...good luck with your resolution. It is doable! gail

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  111. Wowser! That Russian kale is almost fluorescent! What a gorgeous color. I love the little citrus viola, too -- one of my favorite color combos. :)

    (PS No new blog for the poetry, just a new page, a place to keep it all together. And I'll still be posting it to Soliloquy, as I'm inspired. :-) Just FYI.)

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  112. Awww...Coal looks like my Grandma's cat, Elvis, that she lost a couple of years ago. Handsome young man!

    Last January, I too had a viola in bloom (one of only two amazing blooming plants outside), but this year, I have no idea if it is blooming or not, because it's under several inches of snow! Yours are so pretty and colorful.

    I'm so glad you have dipped into the amaryllis world! Yours looks like 'Apple Blossom' and is just gorgeous. They are amazing flowers and quite addictive!

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  113. Your amaryllis is lovely, even if it couldn't in the end quite support the burden of its own loveliness. :) I like the description of diamond dust -- it's perfect!

    Your photos of the witch hazels and kale are just beautiful.

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  114. Nancy,

    Being a bear of Little Detail Ability...I missed that you were starting a page not a new blog! Must. Read. More>> Carefully. The Kale would be happy on your balcony/porch. Gail

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  115. Kylee,

    As long a Kat KIng Coal leaves them alone...I might! I was instantly attracted to Apple Blossom's label/tag...she was not in bloom. Boy am I glad it wasn't a mislabel! Red is lovely but this was just the touch of color needed.

    Now, is all the snow you're having unusual for your climate? I wouldn't mind one snowfall...just one!

    gail

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  116. Hi Gail. I just wanted to answer your question (you probably think I'm a stalker checking back on your answers to comments!) I promise I'm not. Our winters are usually pretty cold but we are getting lucky this year. The jet stream is being kind to Colorado after two years of unseasonably cold. It's a welcome reprieve. I'm sorry you all are getting the opposite (or our norm). Hang in there. Spring really will come...

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  117. Kathleen,

    Hey! I wonder if you will get our rain! We are getting a bit hotter and dryer each summer. It's going somewhere so why not to Colorado! Spring arrives very early in Nashville, so while I complain...I think we have an easy winter over all. Not like you folks. Thanks for coming back to answer my question!

    Gail

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  118. What a lovely post.
    I love all the images, but the leaning tower of amaryllis with the painting of a cat like majestic King Coal is wonderful.
    Always a delight to visit your blog.
    :)
    Philip

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  119. I love all the images, but the one with the leaning tower of amaryllis with the painting of a cat like the majestic King Coal is wonderful.
    Always a treat to visit.
    :)
    Philip

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  120. Plants have a way of reminding us not to take things too seriously. That leaning amaryllis for example. If you're new to gardening it would get you upset, you'd be sure you did something wrong.

    But when you've seen the tricks plants can pull, it makes you smile. Or smirk. I hope when I'm leaning that far over I'm still blooming!

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  121. I usually have something close enough for my amarylisses to fall on; those blooms just make them too heavy. I've rarely seen one that didn't lean. Lovely post.

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  122. I will second what EAL said. I ruined a perfectly good Pentax Optio camera when one fell on it, pot and all, simply because it got top-heavy.

    I'm much more careful now. I also use the plant supports with the tiny ring that goes around the stem. That helps a lot!

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  123. Loverly blooms. I don't have house plants either and no cat. I just don't like house plants. They take up too much room. Now I could go for the witch hazel. They are very whimsical looking blooms.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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