San Francisco is feeling like paradise this week. Everything is in bloom! The air smells amazing! Once again I’m considering my staying options.
I bought mine back in 2001, and while the mother plant (purchased for 15 bucks) has long since perished, I have never had to buy another. This is because after flowering the parent dies off leaving baby urn plants at its base to carry on the lineage. I have nurtured a couple of offsets to maturity.
It’s a fairly forgiving plant. I grow mine in a mix of orchid bark and soil-less mix for house plants, and am sure to give it lots of showers during the dry winter months.
There was a time when I thought the bright pink bracts accompanied by purple flowers was too showy and overbearing but I have since come to adore this plant. And the silvery banded foliage looks great on its own.
Photo taken February 2007. Meanwhile here in Toronto we are waiting on yet another predicted snowstorm.
I spotted bags of Colchicums, a fall-blooming bulb plant that looks a lot like crocus, while perusing the bulb section of my local garden shop a few weeks back. I’ve long admired the delicate alien beauty of ‘Naked Ladies’, aptly named for their stark, bare petals poking up through the soil. But what caught my eye on that day was that the text on bags of individually packaged bulbs advertised setting the bulb on a bare windowsill (no water tray, no spritzing, no nothing) rather than planting in-ground as a unique, but temporary houseplant. I’m always up for an experiment so I bought one large corm to keep out of the ground, at least temporarily, to see what would happen.
Let’s all agree right now to stop pretending to hate cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) and (Cosmos sulphureus). Let’s agree to stop telling ourselves we are too good for it. Or that it’s too easy. Let’s agree to admit right here, right now that we think it’s a pretty flower. Let’s stop telling ourselves it doesn’t have delicate, ferny foliage and soft petals. Let’s put the breaks on our own inner elitist whispering in our ear that a plant that can come up from a sidewalk crack and still put on a show is too embarrassing to grow.
Can we all just agree right now that we are in fact delighted to find one of these tough, resilient flowers dancing on a thin and graceful stem in a light late summer breeze with a puffy bee set on top busily enjoying its pollen?