six on Saturday, 30 January 2021

Today’s six, except for the camellia in the featured image, are more items of promise than of–well of fully realized interest. But it has been a while since I posted on Six on Saturday and except for a couple edging projects that are not ready for public display, what you see below is what I have. There are other garden updates that might well be more engaging linked in the comments to the always interesting items at the Propagator’s site. Visit, scroll, and click to your pleasure there.

1. Now back to the featured image of Camellia japonica Grace Albritton. The first buds that came out a few weeks ago were quickly frost burned or frozen. What you see below has developed just within the past week. The lovely thing about this shrub is the way the bud opens from a tightly furled deep pink globe to a very light pink flower edged with the darker shade.

2. Some Hellebores are starting to bloom as well, but not nearly as many as I typically see the end of January. Those that are beginning to open are rather lazy about, as well.

3. Daffodils have grown significantly in the wooded area of the garden over the past five days, and they have multiplied nicely over the past year. Below is just one of several groupings. I look forward to the understory being dotted with yellow and creamy white flowers later in the spring.

4. While considering which would be my fourth entry, I realized that I have been ignoring the most prolific performer in the garden this winter: a Chinese Holly (Ilex cornuta). I likely ignored it because the thought of all of these berries turning into holly bushes is terrifying. These photos were taken in November, December, and late January in the oder below. In spite of the freezing temperatures, hard rains, and storm winds, not many berries have fallen in over three months.

5. I’m going inside for my final two images. The first, a Christmas cactus or Schlumbergera, is blooming for the second time this winter. I purchased it just barely budding from a big box store, only to see all of the tiny buds drop off when I got it home. But, I must have found a good spot for it by a southern facing window. It has grown nicely, and promises good color.

6. The final entry is one that makes me very happy. This plant had a prominent place in my Six on Saturday post for August 15th last year, celebrating the first time the orchid (Phalaenopsis) had bloomed in four years. There were three flowers then. Now, it is preparing to bloom again with several more buds. Again, I think that I have found its happy place.

I’ll end this post with the hope that in time I’ll have several of these beautiful orchid flowers to look at for weeks. Stay safe and healthy gardening friends.

10 Replies to “six on Saturday, 30 January 2021”

  1. Susan, I’ve been trying to coax my Christmas cactus to bloom again, which is also near a south-facing window, but the buds seem to dry and fall off almost as soon as they start to form. I’ve been waiting until the soil feels completely dry before watering (with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer every 2 weeks or so)–but am wondering if I should be watering at least once a week or misting the leaves with water. Thoughts?

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    1. I use Miracle-Gro, which is a 20-20-20, but I make a very diluted solution. Even so, I think the nitrogen favored the leaves of my paper whites to the expense of blooms. Try a 10-30-20 to see whether it will encourage blooming. And water more frequently, not letting it dry out below the surface, just make sure the pot drains well. Misting the leaves when it is blooming might help, too. Good luck, Gail. Let me know.

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      1. Thanks, Susan. I ordered some Miracle Grow Bloom Booster from amazon just yesterday, which is something like 10-52-10, and was considering using a very weak watering solution of that. Jack’s All Purpose is what up until now I’ve been using, which I have usually found pretty good for house plants .I’ll let you know what happens, though I admit I’ve always been better with outside gardening than with house plants. Inside, I depend mostly on things that thrive on benign neglect. Succulents, for example. Do you know about the Mountain Crest Gardens site? My goodness, the stunning array of colors and textures available there!

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  2. Forgot to say that my Christmas cactus is next to some planters of forced paperwhites in pebbles and water, so I think there’s probably enough humidity in the air…And it gets light from the southern window, but is about five feet away so it’s not getting too much sun, I don’t think.

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  3. My hellebores look like yours this winter too, tired! I hope they perk up with more blooms! Your Ilex is looking wonderful! I like to walk our neighborhood because some of the cottages here, have huge species! Great post!

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