January is a tough month for most of us: Christmas is over, bills are coming in, it seems dark all day long and although we are beyond the shortest day, Spring still seems a long way a way. Added to this I am feeling rather stir crazy as it is pouring with hailstones outside and inside I am without heating or hot water thanks to a broken boiler and broken promises from British Gas. Kate the dog keeps trying to sit on my lap as she is too cold to sit on the floor but no sooner does she get on my lap, she realises she is not comfy and jumps off to sit on the floor. I have a plug in fan heater to warm the room and although it is by far the warmest place to be, the blowing of air scares her so she cannot get close enough to it, and then she gets cold and then she tries my lap again. As I said, stir crazy.
Was 1975 really as bad as that, did men really have hair like that? I digress.
So to distract myself I have been reading some other blog posts and one or two have got me thinking about those Winter flowering bulbs available for indoors at this time of year. Wellywoman has written an interesting article about Winter blooms which is worth a read.
This year I did not bother to do any bulbs as I cannot make up my mind whether I really like them. I did some Narcissus ‘Paper White’ last year and actually they were rather pretty and very scented and I was pleased with them at the time. However it is that in-between stage, where they are just growing or after, when they are dying, when they look exceptionally dull; where to put them? You see the thing is, I do not really like houseplants at all, it seems just wrong to have plants that should be grown in considerably more exotic places than here in the UK. collecting dust on a window sill.
Then I had a look at my own window sill and thought I would share my collection of plants with you. Two orchids, both kind gifts from dear friends which keep flowering and flowering. These are available from all over these days and really are great value when you compare them to a bunch of cut flowers. The blue Phalaenopsis is very eye catching but is unlikely to come true again as I have read that they are dyed. Rather like a pair of favourite jeans, they seem to fade as they age.
Then there is a selection of Succulents from the garden which will not tolerate any frost or wet. These are especially special to me as we brought them as cuttings back from holidays in Mallorca. They will sit out the worst of the Winter, and hopefully they will survive the brutal treatment of low light and no water. Survive? yes, thrive? sadly no.
This is most evident in the Aeonium ‘zwartkop’ which in high Summer are as black as any plant can be, but in Winter they resemble a green plant which is going dark brown, poor things. I still love them for their shape and form.
So what do you think? Do you like indoor Winter bulbs, house plants, blue Orchids?I would be interested to know. As for British Gas feel free to share your horror stories here. D