Chandelier Plant

Back in the spring, when I guiltily purchased this kalanchoe tubiflora (aka Widow’s Thrill) on impulse, it was all about the tall, spotted tubular leaves and the way it looks like a bottle cleaning brush.

I didn’t look for photos online or in books to see how it would turn out down the road. I repotted it, watered it, and let it tell me what it needed. I let it be and enjoyed it as it evolved through several stages into this wonderful surprise.

I didn’t realize it would bloom through the first cold and dreary days of winter. I didn’t think about the flowers or imagine that they would be such a beautiful shade of orange, nor did I consider how much delight they would bring me as I trudge through the emotionally turbulent final days before I hand over my next book manuscript for scrutiny.

After all of these years, I think I’ve finally come to understand what a necessity it is to keep a few plants that will make pretty, colorful flowers when we need them most. They’re not decadent or self-indulgent; they’re essential.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “Chandelier Plant

  1. Gorgeous Gayla! And I absolutely agree with you. We need and deserve beautiful things around us that bring us joy.

  2. I am kind of reslising this truth myself these days. I love flowers..
    3 years ago I got an orchid from a friend who fancied the plant because it “looked like” bamboo (as she said). I watered it, transplanted it several times, moved it between countires and flats.. I liked it for its bamboolike structure. But one day 2 buds appeared on it which kept growing and growing for a month! My husband and I checked the every day, even bet what the colour(s) would be.
    The surpise this flower gave us… well, it had two frilly flowers of yellow and voilet. It was gorgeous!
    The plant flowered for a month.
    This was las year in the summer.
    Half a year to wait for them again… :)

  3. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the busyness & expectations of the Holiday Season first thing this morning so I decided to check in here. What a lovely image to greet my eyes! So true, “pretty, colorful flowers…they’re essential.”

    I love everything you said in this post and the way you wrote it. Isn’t it amazing what one plant can do for our mind and spirit! Your new book…can’t wait. (Lucky editor who gets to scrutinize your manuscript. A very pleasant work assignment.)

  4. I could not agree more! :) I love to plant flowers in my Aerogarden for the long winter just so I always have something blooming. I’ve never heard of this plant before, but wow is it gorgeous!

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