Love This!

I Love Cymbidiums

Name: Cymbidiums

Type of Plant: Orchids for indoor blooming in the winter months.

Why I love this: My favorite orchids are Cymbidiums. I love their colors, their long lasting, showy sprays of flowers, and the fact that they bloom in the coldest, darkest months of the year. From December through January Cymbidiums are found in garden centers and grocery stores. I try and find plants that are just coming into flower, so I can tell what color the blooms are, while still having bud spikes that haven’t opened. Such plants will be in bloom for two to three months!

A Word to the Wise: Cymbidiums are cool weather bloomers that flower on the newer growth. So to bring Cymbidiums into bloom again you follow these steps:

  1. Place your plants outside after all danger has passed, putting them in a location that is bright light but not direct sun. I put the plant pictured under my grape arbor.
  2. Give your plants some time-release fertilizer when you put them outdoors in the early summer. Water them as you’d water any outdoor container in your region.
  3. Leave the Cymbidium outside as the temperatures cool in the fall, but watch the forecast and bring them inside before the nights go below freezing. It’s the cool weather that stimulates the flowers so be sure not to bring them inside too soon!
  4. Because they flower on the newer growth, repot in fresh orchid bark every couple of years so that the newer shoots have room to develop.

    This Cymbidium has just come back into flower for me. It has five bloom spikes this year!

    This Cymbidium has just come back into flower for me. It has five bloom spikes this year!

Love This!

Use What You Have

This is the perfect example of a synergetic project that is more than the sum of its parts.

Whether you are doing some last-minute decorating for Christmas or New Years, making gifts, decorating your home, or just gearing up for winter creative projects, this post is a toast to using what you have.  I saw this burlap pillow/art in a store window in San Francisco and it’s the perfect example of how we

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Food

Sage Leaves Fried in Butter or Olive Oil

Place the leaves on a plate once they are done. They will crisp up once out of the butter or oil.

This is a simple way to make just about any dish more classy. You can prepare this with fresh sage leaves throughout the summer, but it’s especially satisfying to pick fresh sage leaves in the early winter while they’re still good, and use them to dress up a variety of recipes. Fried sage leaves are perfect garnishes

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Gardens

Winter Wall Planter

Gaultheria procumbens to the rescue!

I have a great wall planter that my friend Pamela gave to me. It’s shallow, and doesn’t have a drainage hole, so during the summer it normally gets planted with succulents. This past season I tucked in some Erodium reichardii that I had from a previous project, and that sweet, spreading alpine geranium is still

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Love This!

I Love Frosty Fern

Here is the fresh, "dusted with snow" look of the foliage that made someone, somewhere, say "This could be a great new holiday plant!"

Name: Selaginella krausianna variegatus aka frosty fern

Type of Plant: Not a fern at all, but a variegated spike moss or African club moss. This plant is said to be hardy in a zone 8b, so in cold areas needs to be considered a houseplant. It’s native to Africa, the Azores and Mediterranean regions.

Why I

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Gardens

Make A Vine Support for Paperwhite Narcissus

The bulbs grow up through the vines...guide them as necessary.

I love the look of natural materials such as bark and rocks with polished silver, so I decided to plant a group of paperwhite narcissus in a silver-plated  Revere bowl. We all know, however, what happens when these fragrant-flowering bulbs get tall enough to bloom…the stems tend to flop over. Forget the advice about putting

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