Back in November, I wrote about receiving a green amaryllis from a friend (it’s just starting to bloom) and mentioned another variety that I was coveting called ‘Green Dragon.’ Well, I went and bought that one, too. Or rather, I bought three.
It must have been the influence of that month in the Caribbean where they are as big as trees, because I haven’t craved a holiday poinsettia in ages. The last time I remember growing one was the year I published a piece on restoring a dormant poinsettia to its original glory. That must have been ten years ago now.
What surprised me more than my own rekindled interest was that Davin was into it, too. We chose and bought this one together, an impulse buy at the Loblaw when we went in to get some money from the machine for subway tokens. The path to the ATM takes you right through the garden section. They know how to get me.
We loved that this one seemed to be a mutt of every variety jammed into one plant. It’s got a bit of the deep mahogany type, a few white and pink blush leaves, and lots of speckles. Later, I found myself eyeing a dwarf variety for sale in a corner shop a little too closely.
Perhaps I will keep this one and bring it out of dormancy for next year. Perhaps not. When it comes to plants, I don’t know who I am or what I will do anymore. The Year of the Id is sliding into a second.
Yesterday, my friend David gifted me ‘Evergreen’, a new variety with soft, green petals that are thinner and more star-like than ‘Green Dragon’. I’m going to pot it up this afternoon and will post a photo in a month or so when it is blooming.
Now to decide whether or not to get anymore before they stop selling for the year…
I promised a follow-up photo of Clematis x cartmanii ‘Joe’ in full bloom and here it is.
This small clematis from New Zealand makes a gorgeous potted plant, but keep in mind that it is not hardy in a colder climate like Toronto’s (around zone 5b-ish) and must be overwintered in a cool greenhouse. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for climate context, cold hardy clematis that are grown outdoors are only just beginning to put out buds here in Toronto.
Two other varieties, ‘Cassis’ and ‘Vienetta’ also do well in big containers. They are a bit hardier than ‘Joe’, but here in Toronto still seem to require a protected place to spend the winter. My friend Barry (clematis enthusiast) says that if you don’t mind losing a plant to experimentation, it might be possible to overwinter either outside. He hasn’t tried it yet.
Check out Barry’s blog where he talks about how he has achieved the compact, spiral growth shown here (it’s his plant).
A visit to Erika’s apartment a month back has inspired a new sense of excitement about my own windowsills. The morning after the tour, we experienced a rare winter treat here in Toronto: sunshine! While my windowsill has been transformed several times since, here’s what it looked like on that first morning of sun.
In the photo above you can see [left to right]: ‘French Lace’ scented geranium, Chilean oxalis bulbs that I recently planted, another oxalis that has gone dormant, variegated Cuban oregano (that thing does not stop growing. I have cut it back hard, several times), and the edge of a ‘Centennial’ kumquat tree.
This is the other windowsill in my office [left to right]: Microgreens freshly sown in a recycled salad container (behind), spineless blue agave (front), lithops, another dormant oxalis, donkey’s tail sedum (Sedum morganianum) (hanging).
And here’s what it looked like yesterday afternoon when the sun was shining once again [left to right]: Pelargonium ‘Fair Ellen’, yet unidentified echeveria I bought a few days ago, pelargonium ‘Mabel Grey’, another unidentified echeveria from the same purchase, sea onion (Ornithogalum caudatum).
What are you growing on your windowsill?
Please post a link to a photo or post on your blog about what’s on your windowsill. We can inspire one another and beat the winter is almost over blahs.
Next Friday, March 19 at 5pm EST I’ll randomly select two people from the comments below to win one of the following price packs:
- One of our “I Heart Dirt” tees, six packs of organic vegetable and herb seeds from Cubit’s Organics, a package of assorted garden buttons and magnets (also designed and produced by us), and one of the few remaining Grow Great Grub book launch party door prizes that includes a specially made “Grow Great Grub” button and a pack of organic vegetable seeds by Urban Harvest.
- Six packs of organic vegetable and herb seeds from Cubit’s Organics, a package of assorted garden buttons and magnets (also designed and produced by us), and one of the few remaining Grow Great Grub book launch party door prizes that includes a specially made “Grow Great Grub” button and a pack of organic vegetable seeds by Urban Harvest.