Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Merry Christmas Everyone!


Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on, our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more.

Through the years we all will be together
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Here is this song performed by Frank Sinatra:

St. Isaak Cathedral, Christmas, Saint petersburg

'Griffon bridge' Saint Petersburg

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Blooming Day in Mid-December

There is nothing in bloom in the snowy garden, it's December and weather is cold and frosty. The indoor plants are in bloom now, despite on dark and short wintry days. The first one is Dendrobium nobile, the nice fragrant orchid that grows three years in my home and blooms every December. 

I always wait for its beautiful flowers when the small buds appear. 

Dendrobium nobile

Pelargonium have started to flourish well. The last months they had a rest after transportation from the garden.  Here are 'Royal' and 'Zonal' varieties:

I've written in my post in May 2018 that I propagated Saintpaulia (African violet) and planted one leaf in a small pot. Look at this, now it's an adult plant that has a first flower. It's known that the variety always persists due this method of plant breeding.

Little Christmas cacti continue blooming, their fuchsia color flowers open every day. That's all for December. Hopefully next month my indoor plants are in bloom:-) 

Happy Garden Blog Blooming Day!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Schlumbergera or Christmas Cactus

Anew snow flakes are pouring from the sky outside. This time the pink flowers of the Christmas cactus are shining on curved branches. It becomes warm and cozy at home and it seems that spring is about to come. 
Christmas cactus is a popular name due to the fact that the plant starts  blooming in December on the Christmas and continues in January on the Orthodox Christmas. Due to such unusual flowering periods for our latitudes, people in Russia call it a common name “Decembrist”. There is a scientific name  Schlumbergera or Zygocactus (Zygocactus).

What is Schlumbergera in a wild? Wiki answers: Plants grow on trees or rocks. Most species of them have stems which resemble leaf-like pads joined one to the other and flowers which appear at the joints and tips of the stems.

Two years ago I'd planted small cuttings of Schlumbergera leaves in pots and after 2 months they rooted. I think that the most inexperienced gardener can grow this plant and enjoy looking at it. Now my Christmas cacti are in bloom.

This December Christmas cacti have begun to bloom early.  Because I had placed pots on a cool windowsill and watered a little, flower buds appeared and started to enlarge.  

Do you love this plant? What do you suppose if it is easy in growth or not?

Friday, November 23, 2018

When Cacti Bloom

It is said that cacti bloom very rarely. Suddenly, I discovered small yellow flowers on my Mammillaria cacti. 
The Mammillaria cacti varieties that thrive as houseplants are the easiest to grow. They need a cooling period to promote blooming. 
Here are funnel shaped Mammillaria flowers in yellow, but they may be in pink, red, green and white. The different Mammillaria varieties have spines, that look like hairy or woolly ones and are either stiff or soft and in a range of colors. 

I can not actually say what the cause was to push cacti in bloom. There were no special conditions for their growth and flowering. Perhaps, I think this hot summer weather has so affected the cacti.

They suddenly started to bloom after I had planted little cuttings in small plastic cups. I disliked that Mammillarias were growing as woolly balls with a lot of cuttings which have fallen time to time on a windowsill.

Have you had the similar experience in cacti growing? When have they started to bloom?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Farewell, Autumn!

Autumn was too short season here, but it was bright, golden-yellow as a 'firebird' from the Russian fairy tale (read Lacquer miniature ). Bye, autumn!

My video: Birds in my garden

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Recollection of Warm Days

There are a lot of things to recollect the summer -18. It was hot, sunny, with rare rains, plentiful in flowers, greenness, fruit. There were days of travel on the Baltic sea and even weeks of Admiral butterfly invasion in my garden.

Lots of impressions of the visits to parks, museums, cities, discovering a something new.

Crab-apple trees, canna, roses, the garden after the rain, rainbow, bee houses, my new greenhouse, a joy of the fine weather in our Northern area. This summer was really nice after the wet, cold, rainy summers of previous years.

The summer's gone, the autumn comes to its end, it's a busy season. What was interesting for you this summer?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn crocus)

Colchicum autumnale, commonly known as autumn crocus, meadow saffron or naked ladies, is an autumn-blooming flowering plant that resembles the true crocuses, but is a member of the Colchicaceae plant family, unlike the true crocuses. In Russia it is called 'Timeless crocus'.

The bulb-like corms of Colchicum autumnale contain colchicine, a useful drug with a narrow therapeutic index. Colchicine is approved by the US FDA for the treatment of gout and familial Mediterranean fever.  

Autumn crocus is an interesting plant. Its seed, bulb, and flower are used to make medicine. Autumn crocus is used for arthritis, gout, and an inherited disease.
All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb, are poisonous. They cause vomiting, serious inflammation of the stomach and bowels, and even death. Handling the corms can cause skin allergies in some people.
A Colchicum autumnale bulb is hardy to zone 5. The plant is in leaf from February to July, in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from April to June. It is pollinated by bees, flies. 


Though known since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, autumn crocus was considered too poisonous to use medicinally and it was not until research in the 18th century that the plant was discovered to be of value in the treatment of gout. Both the corm and the seeds are analgesic, anti-rheumatic.
Colchicum prefers a rich well-drained loam in a sunny position. Tolerates to partial shadow but dislikes dry soils, is hardy to about -20°c. The autumn crocus is easily grown in grass, among shrubs and by woodland edges. I grow it among tuyas.
Do you have Colchicum in your garden? Are you careful doing with it?

source: 'Plants For A Future'