A garden is a love song, a duet betweena human being and Mother Nature.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Plant Review - Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus
A House Plant Worth Talking About

These are on the top of my list of favorite plants. I admit they had me muddle with the first few I got as gifts. I couldn’t get them to keep the blooms on they always fell off. The trick I found out is that you have to keep them cool. Keep them outdoors as long as you can before bringing them in. Find a nice window with bright light, but far away from any heat source or those flowers will drop like flies.
Also To make sure it blooms this December, give it two tablespoons of castor oil around the roots at Halloween  and put them in a dark room.  
These beauties can be expensive...very expensive. So I wait until after the holidays, after all the blooms are gone. Yes, I know you want all the pretty blooms, but do you really want that pretty price. I have purchased Christmas Cactus in January for less than a dollar each. Then I baby them all year long, re-pot them, nurture them and give them as amazingly beautiful Christmas gifts.
One more note on these. They are very easy to propagate. I figured this out by accident, literally an accident. The cat knocked over one of my biggest ones and a lot of the limbs got broken off. I replanted my cactus and shoved some of the limbs down in the pot. And then planted others in other pots. The cats accident turned into allot of plants and gifts.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas For The Birds

Today I though of some very dear friends of mine that have never spoken to me. At least not like my Friends, my kids or my husband has. If they have anything at all to say they sing it...in the spring and summer they Wake me every morning with a song. I watch them play and eat outside my window. The leave me gifts of nest, eggs and feathers.
Today I gave them their Christmas gift and I wanted to share it with you all. It didn't take much...I think I spent $6.00 on bird food at Kroger. I pulled out Peanut butter and lard, I already had.  And collected a basket of pine cones and red yarn from my stash. It took me maybe 30 minutes to cover five cones in the gooey mixture, roll them in the seed and tie a red thread. Then I hung them on the tree, as I was putting the second one one the first already had chickadees nibbling at it.
While I was outside I noticed how red the berries were on the Hollie and thought what a shame it was on the back of my property where I couldn't enjoy it. So I started cutting at the holly bush, pulled up some Ivy and cut off some boxwood, got some craft wire and pliers and started wrapping up my pole. It looked really nice, I remembered I had an old red bow inside so I grabbed it after I washed out and refilled the humming bird feeder. I usually don't use the red food color but I just couldn't help myself, being the red season and all, it just looked so nice.
I make sure my bird feeder is where I can see it from inside, so my friends and I can visit often. Once a wren moved in on the back porch, where we have our class room. It took over a basket of ropes and had three babies. We were lucky enough to witness their first flight.

How fortunate I am to have such nice friends.

(I wish the pictures were larger but it wouldn't let me change them...sorry)