Well, I need to enjoy that brief whiff of Spring. We are officially back to
Winter! This evening I watched as the temperatures dropped from 42o and
rainy to 30o - 33o while we ran around in Knoxville trying to do last minute
business. Squire and I had just gotten into the van and were contemplating
going to Wallyworld when the air filled with sideways blowing sleet, then
changed to snow that thickened up so fast, visibility was obscurred and it
looked foggy. We decided Wallyworld could wait (not to mention people who
were panicking with the idea's of snow, winter storms, get that bread and
milk laid in, the lines would be horrendous).
As we threaded our way thru a detour and back street unknown to me, I began
to "fess up" to Squire about a trip I had ventured on yesterday while son
was turning in his mileage and hours for the two weeks he'd swapped at
another Lowes. I had made the mistake of going into the small area they
have designated for a tiny greenhouse at his Lowes and there she
was...............a lucious thing in full straps, green, with slightly
orange white buds held tight against the inside leaves, just barely
emerging. The one I was looking at was just starting to peek her buds up
thru the protective sheaths of leaves and on the side a bit away from the
central clump of leaves, another tiny sprout was showing itself, and as I
picked it up by the bulk of leaves carefully, I noticed nestled in the
potting soils, another tiny tongue poking up just off the side of that one.
I sat her down, and looked thru the 12 quart pots and chose another plant.
This one was much larger in girth, the just peeking bloom spike and buds
were a bit more noticable, but not opening like one of the plants on the end
of the table where they were displayed. My heart beat faster, and I decided
that I was to have one, and the one I was to have was the one birthing two
more small shoots of leaves as well as the emerging bloom spike and buds. I
saw no price anywhere, and I didn't care.
Just an ordinary Clivia minata, but these were prepped and ready to bloom at
another day or two's insistance and warmth. As I carefully held the plant
by it's thick stalk of leaves and bloom spike, I walked to the small
houseplant rack and peered thru the leaves searching for someone I was
curious to find again. And I did. A blackish leafed heart philodendrum by
the name of Majestic. Search the leaves and ahhhhhhhh a small pot of very
healthy and happy strawberry begonia, with three threads dangling tiny
leaves on their ends.
In losing the Golden Haneii sanseveria, the crocodile McCoy planter needed
something more forgiving of the lack of drainage. I had the dark leafed
philodendrum in mind, but not wanting to root cuttings, I decided I'd look
for a pot, and if not finding it, then root tip cuttings. I hit it lucky in
finding the pot tucked in amongst the rest of the plants.
The strawberry Begonia or "Mother of thousands" went into the frog pot that
another begonia had turned belly up in a while back. No disease, it was the
aridity of the house that had killed it quickly while I wasn't looking.
I left quickly, knowing that my hands were full of sticky pots that had
deliberately stuck to them, and knew I had no clue to the price to the
Clivia. I know that Pen down in Wanneroo, Australia will chastise me for
buying another Clivia, but I can say that once I got home with my bootie, I
placed the pots on the kitchen table, went down to the cold tool room and
picked up the massive pot of the ordinary pot of Clivia minata that Pen has
tried and tried to get me to successfully bloom after years attempts. I've
had it now for 10 years, plus Mary Emma had it for five years before me.
THIS year, I put her into the tool room where it gets quite cold, but not
freezing, watered it well and have let it dry out. I have checked on the
condition of her over the months, using the Scheffelera as a guage for
The Scheff got watered, she got dribbles.
In another smaller pot (which I fear is way too large for her) is a precious
gift that Pen sent me. A YELLOW Clivia she had seed grown and shipped to a
nursery up in Michigan. Once the owner got his plants, inside his order was
a baby plant with instructions to ship to me once all inspections were over.
I got it as a great surprise one day in my mailbox and promptly potted her
up and watered her in and she spent her first spring and summer on the
balcony with the mother Clivia that sits off my son's bedroom facing the
I have now moved them both into the warmer regions of Squire's Dragon Cave
(where his computer resides quietly waiting for him to return off the road
and tinker with it) and the moister laundry room just off the main area.
Hopefully the older Clivia will reward me this year with buds like the new
arrival already has. Maybe I should put them near each other so that the
older will get jealous and set her buds finally?? <gbseg>
The temperatures outside have plummeted 24o or more degrees, the winds are
pushing the flakes and pellets sideways and all the cats have come inside.
Piquito has fluffed up like the hair ball he resembles, pantaloons and all.
Even the dawgs who wanted soooo badly to go outside a moment ago, have
returned and actually begged and barked to be let back in. Smart dawgs.
With temperatures dropping into single digits, winds gusting to 60 mph and
making the wind chill temperatures resemble Minnesota and highs only in the
lower 20's tomorrow, I'd say that Old Man Winter had returned with a snicker
aimed towards me when I relished in the brief whiff of Spring yesterday (the
temperatures actually started out today at 51o!)
Keep warm and at least this chill has set the Spring bulbs back on course.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Faerie Holler, overlooking English
Mountain in Eastern Tennessee