Friday, December 19, 2014

Bromeliad in December

This bromeliad has bloomed twice with 2 bloom stalks each time in the month of December. If you frequent plant stores (or big box plant shops) in winter you will see lots of different bromeliads blooming. This is one of the species of Bilbergia, and was given to me several years ago by a friend.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bad News About My Vocation

I snagged this from the Writer's Almanac. It made me laugh.

Bad News About My Vocation 
by Ron Koertge

Listen Online

I remember how the upper crust in my hometown
pronounced it-care-a-mel. Which is correct, I guess,
but to everybody else it was carmel.
Which led to the misconception about the order
of Carmelites.
I imagined they served God by heating sugar
to about 170 C, then adding milk and butter
and vanilla essence while they listened
to the radio.
I thought I could do that. I could wear the white
shirt and pants. I knew I couldn’t be good
but I might be a good candy maker.
So imagine my chagrin when I learned about
the vows of poverty and toil enjoined
by these particular friars.
I also crossed off my list the Marshmellowites
and the Applepieites, two other orders I
was thinking of joining.

Pot Lady Has New Christmas Attire

                                                She sends you all Merry Christmas Greetings!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Red Maples look like Christmas decorations

These were so beautiful, and lasted a long time,too. They are the ones surrounding the lake behind EAMC Health Plus gym in Auburn.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Outdoor Arrangements for the Holidays

 I tried some of the wide webbed ribbon on a wire basket. I used natural greenery I picked out of the yard and environs. The pine and cedar held up pretty well, in spite of the heat and drought that we had when I first made it, but in the first picture the ugly agnus (eleagnus) began to go down after a couple days, so I removed it and added some pine cones, some silver spray painted bread poppy seed pods, and elephant's foot or  Elephantopus tomentosus, and a couple sprays of artificial berries. (If they were real berries, they might be poison sumac. Almost all white berries are poison, either to eat or to touch, according to Green Deane of Eat the Weeds blog)
These two outdoor planters have been livened up with pine branches and red bows.

This natural wreath is made from cedar as a base and brown fern fronds . There are a few pine cones added for more texture.

Another outdoor planted  "spruced" up with pine and cedar branches and a gold bow. The other accent is gold spray painted Golden Lace plant (Patrinia scabiosifolia). It did not dry bright enough to suit me for this purpose, hense the paint.

This is a dried wreath I was given several years ago. I store it in a plastic bag in the attic (carefully, as it is quite brittle now). A touch of white spray paint last year, and a new red bow this year round it out. It blends in nicely with the natural surroundings, except for the bow (of course). Interestingly, it still has a nice fur fragrance up close.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tecomaria Tree in November

I bought this Tecomaria capensis (Cape Honeysuckle) in the fall of 2013 and carried it through the winter in the greenhouse. In spring I planted it outside. It produced a few halting blooms a time or two in the summer, but really put on a show this fall. When that unexpectedly hard frost came in November, it was burned all the way back. I still hold out hope that it may put out from the ground next year.
Tecomarias can be trained as a standard like this one but left to their own devices will become vine-like and root easily where they touch the ground. They are native to South Africa and bloom in Florida in winter  where they have escaped cultivation. They are of the Bignoniaceae family, related to our trumpet creeper. The flowers are very similar. They need full sun, good drainage, and regular water to do their best.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Injured Doe With Her Fawn

This doe and her fawn grazed my yard all fall. She had an injured front foot that made walking extremely difficult. Both she and the fawn were eagerly searching out acorns. Strangely, the fawn seemed more alert than the mother and frequently stopped eating to gaze around for danger. The mother was more intent on eating. Perhaps she knew that these acorns were going to separate her from an early death. That is, if she could avoid the hunters and the coyotes. She has stayed in my yard and kept safe from the hunters so far, about the coyotes, I am not sure. The two of them ate every leaf of my pitiful little bed of greens, and a few days later came back and pulled the roots and ate them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ginkgo Gold

                                            A fist full of gold, in many ways superior to money.
                                            Money sure could not buy the feeling this gave me.

I snapped this one unseasonably gold Alabama day in November. The wind had gathered them in a pile along the curb. It always amazes me how one day all the leaves will be on the ginkgo tree and the next they have made an equally beautiful ground cover.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ugliest Poinsettias I Ever Saw

These were for purchase at Kroger during October and November. Many people appeared to agree with my assessment of how ugly they were as most of them went on sale briefly after Thanksgiving. I suspect they were unceremoniously dumped, as well they should have been. I mean, who came up with this anyway? And if the color is not bad enough, they had been glitterized. Glitter was not going to save these poinsettias, even as a new sign and name change is not going to save the Village (Auburn) Mall.
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