Looking for some colour….

We’re in “dirty snow” mode here in Calgary, that eye-dulling time of year when EVERYTHING is grey and all the potholes and garbage buried for the past five months start materializing once again.  We are guaranteed to get a minimum of 16.275 mini-snowstorms yet before June – two before the end of this week! – so the greyness will be tempered by layers of fresh, sparkling white, but right now, my brain is absolutely crying out for some colour.

So, I turned to the blogosphere, and I am immensely comforted by the fact that there is a nice bit of colour going on elsewhere in the world.  For example:

Words and Herbs

Gardening Nirvana

Automatic Gardening and Real Gluten Free Food

Cynthia Reyes

Imagery of Light

Duver Diary

Natuurfreak

Garden in a City

A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully

Frank King Photos

….just to name a few.*

FPPSLNormandeau

And then at work, I noticed that all of the pink and red Pelargoniums that one of my co-workers has saved over the winter are blooming merrily away in the huge bay windows we have in the building. Overwintered P.‘s always surprise me with their transformations: they get so robust, it’s as if they’re working with a personal trainer, and they bloom like every sip of sunshine and speck of sugar in every single cell is bursting to get out. There are about eight of them in the library right now, part of a larger collection of both ‘Regal’ and the – ahem! – less regal (but just as delightful) P.‘s that are snowbirding in my co-worker’s home. It seems strange to me that these plants are so showstoppingly vibrant in this setting, yet the customers appear to rarely spare them a glance.  I would love to poll people and ask if they noticed the flowers.  Do you find you actually see the indoor plants in public spaces, like libraries, shopping malls, medical clinics, offices etc.?  Maybe most people don’t unless the arrangements are particularly bold.  Or maybe gardeners take notice more often because we’re keyed to look for plants?  What do you think?

*Please add your links to your “colourful” blog posts to the comments – the more, the merrier!  Share away!  

Spring stirrings (a miscellany).

Ah, spring!  Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year?  There are so many reasons to celebrate!

Glories of the snow  

Anemones 

Pea shoots on my windowsill 

African violet 

Unblanched popcorn shoots 

Another African violet 

Larch flowers 

Prairie crocuses

What plants are you enjoying most this spring?

Merry Christmas!

Feeling a bit worn out by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?  Try these easy, fast, yet oh-so-soothing plant therapies:

  • Enjoy the heavenly scent of an evergreen (if you can’t get out into the woods, go to your nearest Christmas tree lot).  I mean, really enjoy the smell – take a few deep breaths and remember Christmases past or hikes in the mountains or whatever wonderful memory the fragrance evokes.
  • Grow some paperwhites on your windowsill – they’ll flower in the gloom and snow of January and make you feel hopeful for spring.  Or, scoop up some of those amaryllis bulbs at the stores – they’re now on huge discount because they have no hope of blooming by Christmas, but you can enjoy their dazzling colour and beauty when they won’t be eclipsed by all the other decorations.   You might be able to find some narcissus and hyacinth bulbs for forcing – give them a shot as well.
  • Enjoy your houseplants: take a few extra, quiet minutes to water them, deadhead and prune them where necessary…you’ll find that caring for them without hurry will make you feel really happy (not to mention, the plants will love you for it!).
  •  Grow your own food:  sow a few microgreen seeds in a small, shallow dish in your kitchen window.  Green kale, for example, only takes about five days from seeding to harvesting, and a handful of  fresh, healthy greens that you grew yourself is a small gift to your palate (and a nutritious break from all those holiday cookies and eggnog!).

    Green kale microgreens

Have a blissful, peaceful holiday season and enjoy the time spent with your family and friends!   Merry Christmas from Flowery Prose!