Here’s another adorable succulent from my tour of Erika’s apartment, Conophytum blandum. Don’t they look like lots of little hearts?
On first glance the Latin blandum (blandus) seems wrong — these plants aren’t bland! To be sure I looked the word up in Gardener’s Latin and it turns out that blandus translates to pleasing or charming. This I think we can agree on.
Last Friday, a friend with a car (THANK YOU JOHN, I hearby bequeath my first born to you. The cat is also an option.) drove Davin, myself, and another friend on a field trip to Richters Herbs about an hour outside Toronto, in Goodwood, Ontario. The goal was to enjoy some greenery, buy some herbs to use as table decor for my forthcoming book launch party (more on that soon), and of course, get a few plants for myself while we were at it.
The goal was not to get loud and obnoxious on caffeine, plant oxygen, and a half glass of wine… but I did that too. You can’t take me anywhere.
Here’s the outside. Look they got the fancy log reindeer out just for us! No, not really. We are not special.
The entire operation is made of of several greenhouses but only one was set up for retail. It consists of three aisles with four long tables of plants. Since it’s winter, the place wasn’t as stocked as I imagine it will be come spring, which is just as well since it was difficult enough to make a selection and avoid overspending. Here I am pondering what to buy for the launch party. I think you’ll like my choices. And if you hang around long enough, you’ll get to take one home. It pays to be a party hanger-on.
There was much agonizing over plants and purchases. We look absolutely tortured, but I’d imagine that what Davin has actually captured here is a blissful moment of total plant geekery. This is what my face looks like when I am having fun and in my element. For the record, I did buy the plant Barry and I are so painfully considering: curly chives (Allium spirale).
Winners of my new book Grow Great Grub have been selected using a random # generator and they are:
Paula, who spent her, “…childhood years on a working farm, and didn’t appreciate it until I went away to college. Now I’m becoming passionate (obsessed) with where my food comes from, so I’m planning on starting my garden this year.“
And even though I said only two winners, I threw in a third because there were so may entries and I couldn’t help myself.
Beth, who says she is inspired by her first harvest from her first vegetable garden, grown last year. “Meager as it is, it was really exciting to have food we had grown ourselves, and seeing it now just gets me excited for how much more we can try to do this coming season.“
Thanks everyone for inspiring us by telling us what inspires you.
I showed a photo of this plant when the leaves are fully emerged in the post about Erika’s unusual house plants.
This is what it looks like when the tuber is just beginning to come out of dormancy. At this stage the plant brings to mind a flattened potato crossed with an African violet that has exceptionally soft and velvety leaves.
Here’s a photo of a flower that had just fallen from the larger plant:
If you’d like to learn more, I’ve found this page to be very helpful. It includes photos of other Sinningias in their native habitat in Brazil, which goes a long way to explaining the kind of growing conditions it prefers.