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The Kindness of Friends

Thursday, December 19, 2013


More blessings, showering down. My dear friend Donna from Virginia ordered some fragrant, colorful, sexy plants to be sent to me from Logee's Greenhouse.  One is a South American vine called Angel of the Night, Randia ruziana, described by Logee's as

One of the sweetest, most intoxicatingly fragrant flowers we have ever found, the white 8” long, tubular flowers have a 5-pointed petal that naturally bends but when unfolded reaches 5-6” across. The fragrance is very long-lasting. We picked a flower and dried it on a piece of paper. The next morning, after the flower had been discarded, the fragrance lasted for days on the paper. Another bonus: this winter bloomer will flower for two months or more. To bring Randia into bloom you must allow the flower buds to form in late summer and early fall on the old wood; therefore, only prune once flowering is complete. This South American native has an open branching habit and can be grown under moderate light. 

Hey. That works for me!! Fragrance that lasts for days from the imprint of a single flower? Ho-KAY!! Good plant pickin' Donna!!
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Here is Angel of the Night, newly arrived, with a little brindle Angel of the Morning for scale and cuteness.

The plants came in subfreezing temperatures, packed in Styrofoam with a chemical heat pack inside. 

In the same box was a hibiscus called The Path. It's a stunning yellow and red monster of a hibiscus, perfect in name and form. It's going to be a huge plant. I cannot wait.


Clearly, Chet Baker can wait. He's waiting anyway.


Randia (who lost some leaves to the too-hot heat pack, ironically) and The Path installed in the greenhouse, bringing it back to life...the freeze alert en garde.

Donna, you fill my heart. You're there every day for me and you send these fantastic plants on top of that. Weep. Thank you seems wholly inadequate, but it's what I've got.


But wait, there's more. A dear blog reader named Laura from California up and ordered me a gardenia. She told Jackson and Perkins she wanted one loaded with buds that would stink up the whole greenhouse. They obliged.


"Hi Julie. May this baby perfume the greenhouse hugely. Thanks for all that you give to the world."
Bawwwww!! 
I couldn't wait to open that box.


Got buds? Mmm hmmmm! Oh my gosh!

I assigned Chet to comfort the chilly gardenia, bring it back up to temperature before it went out to the steamy greenhouse. He obliged.



The plant was fairly shouting. HERE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY!!
IS IT WORKING??

 


Yes!!


YES!!




You betcha!! I promise to love, honor and obey every directive of these three plants as long as we both shall live. For they do speak to me and tell me what they need. And it is my great pleasure to try to satisfy them.


Thank you thank you thank you. 

My sweet neighbor Beth grew four dwarf pomegranates from seed, and she saved the prettiest one for me. I'd never heard of such a thing, never seen a pomegranate, much less a dwarf one. And it's in bloom!


I did a little reading and found out that dwarf pomegranates can get 8' tall, but that they also make excellent subjects for bonsai, having tiny leaves and a tendency to make a woody trunk. Not to mention the cool goldfish-shaped waxy flowers



one of which is now exploding with a crinkly tissue-paper fanfare of orange!

Making a tropical bonsai of this plant is a no-brainer for me.
Amazing how losing most of my plants has introduced me to even more kinds to love. And awakened me to the kindness of friends and neighbors, and people I don't even know who care anyway.


Now to finally decide what I want from Logee's with my gift certificate from Charles from Texas. Got a hibiscus! Got an Angel of the Night! Got a gardenia! That leaves...everything else. Weezy from Texas and Tim from Columbus widen the choices.

Delicious choices.
My friends, you make my life rich in so many ways. I'm humbled by your expressions of love.  Crystal wrote from New York to say that these greenhouse posts have made her decide to make her sunroom into a greenhouse. The thought that someone would decide to bring plants into her life and home because it sounds so nice here makes me warm all over.

And Donna. This photo taken the evening of December 18.  Hibiscus "The Path" has two tiny buds that get bigger every day. 


That little green light is the frost alert, on duty.



8 comments:

Those are some sexy plants!
You have nice friends.

really nice. They won't get better care anywhere!

Wow, such diverse varieties. Exciting to watch it all unfold and what a lovely tribute to your friends who are helping you grace your greenhouse with beauty again.

Posted by Lucy from MN December 19, 2013 at 8:25 AM

One leaf at at time, Julie!

The kindness of friends and strangers. I'm so happy for you, Julie. And that Chet makes a nice addition to the plant photos!

You're making my Christmas cookies seem so transient. Here today, maybe, gone in a trice. I love how your followers have showered you with love. It's just a tiny example of how much we love you, that's for sure.

I also am having huge rosemary envy. I've kept my in-and-out of doors bush alive for about 8 years, but it ain't anywhere near as lush as yours. Apparently benign neglect and the chilly climes of our back stairway aren't conducive to throwing off sweet little blooms. Sigh...

xoxHodge

Posted by KH Macomber December 20, 2013 at 4:58 AM

"For they do speak to me and tell me what they need. And it is my great pleasure to try to satisfy them."

Yes! I feel this way about my cats and the birds who visit my feeders and to a lesser extent, my houseplants...I resolve to listen to them more closely to deepen our relationship. :) Solstice blessings.

Oh yeah a gardenia! Love love them but due to lack of humidity in my climate (or a greenhouse) the buds turn brown and fall off. I make sure I buy ones with plenty of open blooms and then sniff all the goodness out of them before the plant languishes and dies.. Happy sniffing ahead!

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