Cyclamen

Apparently reflected (using the layout, symmetry app on my phone). These Cyclamen are flowering really well. As they fade the stems curl over and the flower heads start growing seeds that are then deposited in the soil to grow into new plants. This is a large indoor version but we have small groups of cyclamen growing in the garden. The colours go well with the Christmas cactii next to them. OK I think that’s enough about my kitchen window ledge!

Christmas cactii

Pink and red flowers popping open like fireworks, following the curve of the leaves as they sprout. Some of them have flowered, some are open now and some are in bud… How do they know to flower? Day length. Apparently if you move a Christmas cactus about too much it may drop its flowers. I’m not sure if that’s true or a gardening myth. I do know you can break a few leaves off and put it in water and it will send out water roots, you can plant them up. Some of these (cactuses cactii?) were propogated from my grandmother’s plants forty years ago. X Nrxt- Easter Cactuses.

Winter flower?

Geranium plant today and a week ago. The poor thing has flopped because the cells have been frozen with ice in them. Only woody stemmed plants and evergreens have survived the coldest areas around the house. Some of the ones snuggled together have just about survived but snow and mist is forecast.

I am sad to lose the lovely flowers, but it’s only natural for this to happen. I’m glad I had time to enjoy them into December. X

Gone!

Minus 7.7°C in Shropshire last night, and below freezing locally. My Nasturtiums which were still in flower yesterday have collapsed in little siddy heaps. Their plant cells have all burst as the fluid inside them expanded into ice crystals. I knew it would happen, I was hoping to still have some in flower at Christmas.

The Jet Stream up in the sky has settled below England to our south and low pressure systems are pulling down cold air from the North of Britain. We are expecting freezing conditions for at least up to the weekend. By then the damage to my plants will be done. I haven’t got any garden fleece to protect the plants, I can only hope having plants close together will help some of them survive. X

Outside

Yesterday, 1st December, a pelargonium (sometimes known as geranium) outside our front door. It’s still in flower since we planted it this summer. In flower for almost six months. We have other plants in the garden like nasturtiums. But today is probably going to be the coldest day and night this winter. I will be sad to see everything wilt and die. We can only look forward to next year. We will be planting more of these and some manage to survive the winter too.

Where are they now?

Butterflies, summer creatures

Hide in crevices

Overwintering

Blood like antifreeze

Or lay their eggs

Somewhere safe

To form a chrysalis

That will emerge next spring

Or flutter south

To warmer places

Migrating to survive

And moths?

Do they do the same

Flitting to darkened spaces

To wait out the cold?

Mild winters fetch them out early

Cold and hungry

Where can they feed

If plants are dormant

Not in flower

No leaves to eat?

A delicate natural balance

Disrupted

Seed heads

I’ve collected some seeds from seed heads, including poppies and nasturtiums and marigolds. I need to store them in a cool dry place and I think they will be OK in a kitchen drawer. I need to remember that are there, if not they will be wasted, also when to plant them, I guess I will Google that, or look on the back of seed packets when we go to a garden center.

Summer has gone

The back yard in summer, there are still a few flowers out there now at the end of November, but nowhere near how these looked. Summer is a wonderful season if you live in the northern or southern latitudes you have that wait when the sun gets lower in autumn and only returns in the spring. I’m sure equatorial countries have some variations, but I don’t think there is such a change in temperature and light. I think plants bloom all year round. I wonder how climate change might effect plants. Will we have continuous blooms even through the winter? What have we done to the world?

November tomatoes

On a tomato plant at the back of the yard. Eight tomatoes in November. We have eaten four but we are waiting for the rest to ripen. But it’s NOVEMBER! How on earth have they lasted this long.

Tomorrow the weather forecast is for temperatures of 19°C. That’s about 8°C above normal. The COP 27 Climate change conference just discussed trying to keep temperatures from going above 1.5°C higher than before the industrial revolution. Only a small rise, but enough to cause damage and disaster. So what? Flooding in costal cities across the world, dangerous increases in the ferocity of hurricanes, tornados and typhoons. Melting icecaps and glaciers. We must all try and do something about it.