February 15, 2008

GBBD - February'08

Welcome to Ewa in the Garden and Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day in February 2008. It is my second post after getting introduced to this great tradition initiated by Carol at May Dreams Garden in May 2007

I am recovering now from the nasty cold I got lately - actually one week passed and I am still not fine, but it is getting better. It seems like it was just 2-3 days - time got lost together with the feeling of spring I was enjoying in this unusual February. So, it got cold, snow arrived and temperature droped at night to -10C in my region located in the center of Poland, to -17C in the eastern regions. No blooms in the garden, but some blooms indoor.

Dependable Abutilon pictum is not tired of blooming. See the picture above? See two different shades of flowers? That's right - it is not camera mistake - right one has more orange/salmon color and this is how young flower looks like, after it gets older (it taked few days for each flower) it turns pink like that one on the left.
It flowers indoor most of the year. My plant is now 2 years old/80cm tall in full blooms has abt. 30 flowers and next 30 buds to open. Now it blooms since December.

Abutilon pictum grows up to 3m. It can be grown also in the gardens min. USDA Zone 7a (to -17.7 °C/0 °F) - I understand may our fellow gardeners have it in the garden.

It likes moist soil as they write and shouldn't be dried up between waterings - my abutilon is drying up and still is fine. It can not last too long - cos leaves start turn yellow.

Talking about leaves, they are somewhat hairy like on the picture below.

My major focal point of the living room ;) is big window. Under wide windowsill there is big 3 layers radiator - it means that conditions on the sill are desert conditions - abutilon is fine there, but look what is next to it on the right.... something small, flowering red...

Lately I have problems with watering properly plants - especially those requiring moist conditions - I even bought automatic watering device, but for some reasons didn't istall it. It takes space also that could be filled with plants - that's main reason I guess. I think I should change my approach and first group plants that like moist and then install that cute device I bought.

Before I do it, I will show another plant, that is fitting perfectly the desert conditions ot my hot window :) I like it also because it blooms most of the year. None of them are scented... well... not good... I should remember that I can not have everything - and especially - at the same time...

Crown of Thorns, scientific name: Euphorbia milii var. splendens. I am not sure which kind it is, but it might be 'Dwarf Apache'.
Many garden bloggers fellows will know it as garden plant (USDA: 9b-10), but here in Poland we can grow it only as houseplant. It comes from Madagascar and is very drought tolerant. Place should be sunny, so it is perfect for my very warm and dry window. In nature it grows to 1,2 m. Indoor reported to grow up to 50 cm. Blooms most of the year.

Summer is the time when this plant becomes dormant - so it may loose all leaves - many of them landed in compost in that time. Like other Euphorbias, when you cut it you will see sap - be careful with it. You may get skin irritation and under no condition let it get to your eyes - it may cause temporary blindness.

I have red somewhere that it can be dangerous to cats - but together with this plant they named many others. Do you have any experience about it?

Aslan doesn't want to say anything...

but when he smells something he doesn't like this is the face he is doing...

Now let's move to the white secion :) I like white flowers - they are so elegant and sophisticated. I tried to make white garden - but it is not possible to resist other colors.
Below you see very youg bloom of spatiphyllum - great indoor plant, if you remember to keep its soil moist. It is great because it blooms long, does not need too much light, so it grows well inside and more away from windows.

What is most important it is known as cleaning and purifying the air.

White Phalaenopsis - for some reasons this one is very healthy and growing very well since I bought it. Even my hot window didn't damage it too much. The other two are still recovering, while one of them is rather deeply hesitating whether prefers compost. When heating season started it was too big difference. Till I realised, they dropped flowers. This white one opened new blooms again.
Take closer look at the picture below - can you see glitters on the petals? No? Have a closer look especially right side of the picture...
I realised that inside of the flower is much more interesting and cooling... somehow it gives me a feeling of the shadow at the hot summer day....
They are really easy to grow, after you learn it how to do it. I killed 2 of them before I understood that - despite of info in the magazines - they do LIKE a lof sun (now I keep them in the south window) and not too much water. They have to dry well before next watering - and also before you do it, check the pot - if you see any damp inside the pot - even tiny drops - DO NOT WATER. Wait till they are completely dry.
They will really love you for that :)
I have a lemon tree rescued from the trash or compost - again - in the shop. It us under recovery treatment and just lost its flower buds - can you see how similar they are to lemons?
Texture of flowers before opening look like lemon skin
That is all for February blooming in my indoor garden.
Thank you again for all the positive energy I am receiving from your comments :)


Carol said...

Ewa, your indoor plants are putting on a nice display for you this winter. I've decided after seeing your abutilon that I should get one, too. I'll have to figure out a good place to put it.

Thanks for joining us for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I hope you feel better soon. My children had a nasty virus that has taken weeks to get rid of. Sometimes they linger for a while.

You have lovely indoor blooms. I never could get a good picture of my peace lily. You got some great shots of yours.

jodi said...

Wow, your plants do look terrific. As for the Euphorbia, they're all a bit on the toxic side, some more than others. The thing about euphorbias is that milky sap they exude when a leaf or bract breaks is very caustic. I got some splashed in my eyes a few years ago-from an outdoor species, E. griffithii, I think it was--and ended up at the emergency dept of the hospital having my eyes irrigated. So that's a thing to watch for. The catchildren don't seem to bother those plants, they seem to know!

Katarina i Kullavik said...

I'm glad you're recovering from your cold. I like the spatiphyllum very much - as you said, it purifies the air in addition to being beautiful.
The picture of the remains of the lemon buds was very interesting - they look exactly like tiny lemons.
Have a nice day! /Katarina

Meems said...

Hi Ewa: Glad you are feeling better. All your blooms are very pretty. The Abutilon is extremely interesting with the color changes and not something I grow.

In my Florida garden I grow the spathiphilum outdoors in the ground and the blooms get to
6" wide and 8-9" long... very different from the indoor potted look... which I also like.

Thanks for the lovely tour of your blooms.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That Aslan is as handsome as your blooms. I am glad you are feeling better and able to post your blooms. How lucky to get a lemon tree. I have never seen the buds up close like that. I have seen the sparkle on the orchid blooms before. All are pretty.

Yoli said...

Ewa, such beautiful flowers, such beautiful pictures. Hope you feel better soon.

Victoria Cummings said...

Ewa - Gorgeous photos! I hope your cold is better. I've got one too and it's miserable. Please stop by my blog because I've given you an award.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Good looking plants!

I also have a crown of thorns that I adore. It blooms constantly now, giving me cheery red blooms all year long.

Robin at Bumblebee

Ashley Ladd said...

Beautiful flowers and such cute cats. I need to work more on my garden.

Hope you feel better soon. My hubby and younger daughter both have the cold going around.

Kylee said...

I see we have some of the same plants in bloom! I hope you're feeling much better soon, Ewa. There are so many people sick over here, mostly with the flu. I've been fortunate with that so far.
That Aslan is a handsome boy!

Clayton said...

Wonderful display of blooms. Imagine our surprise while traveling in Zambia in August of 2006 to find Crown of Thorns growing in trimmed hedges along walks and other places.
We have blooming today a few African Violets and the Clematis viticella seedling in my plant room.

Glad to hear you are feeling better!

Sammakko said...

Lovely photos! I often forget to water my plants, and for some reason the spatiphyllum seems to like that - sometimes it gets lots of water, then the soil dries, and again it get its water - and it blooms with beautiful flowers.
I wish you a nice Sunday!