Category Archives: Indoor plants

“Stapelia gigantea, its smell is terrible”

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And it is.

My carrion flower has bloomed again, this time with some hilarious results.


Monday. About to pop open, but no seams visible. I did warn Himself…


But as usual, he didn’t hear me, somehow. Can’t imagine why not, we’ve only been married 12 years… 

This is his version of the same bloom, with quote: “Went to shut the blinds & was greeted by this! Yes, I shrieked, it wasn’t open this morning! It’s our carrion plant. Smells like death! Yes, really! (You have to put your nose into it, else there’s no scent at all thankfully) HDR photo for scariness ;)”

I don’t really see the ‘scary’ difference, except he turned our white windowsill purple! But I do find it hilarious that it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been feeding him Stephen King and he actually did make an unmanly sound when he saw it last night. 

For size comparison, the plate that the plant sits on is a side plate; it is not a dinner plate. Maybe what, about 8-10 inches across? I’m not getting close enough to measure the bloom! I’m a super-smeller and to me it smells like bad meaty cat breath. Urgh. Pretty, and pretty strange, however! 

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Bloomin’ Wonderful

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Himself bought me a bunch of hyacinth bulbs. I love to have them inside, as I adore their fragrance. Can’t do that, with kitten-features about the place. I was rushed to get them into the ground, so I stuck them wherever I could. I’m well pleased!


First one to show her face. I found her fallen over and staked her up, to no avail. Broken off at the stalk, this one is now fragancing my living room. If you look closely, there is another flower head coming up on the right, so all is not lost!


I’m feeling a bit sorry I didn’t put them in sunshiney places. This, and the next one, never see direct sun.


So lovely, aren’t they? And the scent is incredible. Hope I get some bees having a sip.


My new peony has survived! Not being sure how old she is, I don’t expect flowers this year. I could be surprised! It’s the first one I’ve ever grown.


Indoors, my gerbera daisy plants are soooo happy. As am I, to see these beauties every day.



Scottie – these are the ones I reccomend to bring some light and colour of life into your home. They are rather expensive to buy, for a plant, but if you grow from seed like I did, they are never ending beauty. 

I was Hornswaggled

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Cheated, hoodwinked, swindled, bilked, scammed, duped, schnockered, suckered.

I knew it was too good to be true. I knew deep in the part of my brain that wasn’t grinning with joy like the Cheshire Cat that had just tripped the Queen.

But it was so pretty! Hubby said when he saw the smile on my face as I gently hugged it close, he knew we would be buying it. At full price. Well, almost full price – he gets 10% off at this particular shop.

What got me, you ask?


A blue orchid. 

Sigh.

Blue orchids don’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, this is a real, living orchid, and it is blue.


Nonetheless, it is a fake. The poor thing has cleverly been dyed blue. When it is done blooming, and blooms again, it will be a plain old white phalaenopsis or moth orchid.

Dammit.

The woman running the till also was in love with it, and hoped there was still one left the next day so she could get one, too. I definitely said, “I know, it’s so amazing, isn’t it? Almost looks like it was dyed!” 

Yeah. Because it is dyed! Oh well. 

Let my error be a warning to you. At least it is healthy and will be loved.

Orchids

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I’m sure you aren’t surprised to learn that I have orchids. Four, at the moment. All bought on super-sale. My oldest one was bought in 2009 for just fifty euro cents. It’s a tiny one (or was) and was ‘potted’ in a glass tea light! That one hasn’t bloomed in a couple of years now, but it is happy and healthy.

My next oldest one sent up a flower spike last year, and like a dammed idiot I tried to train it up straight and snapped it right off. I cried. It is trying again right now, and I am being SO GENTLE this time. But it does have to go up, not sideways! Both of these live on my kitchen window sill, over the sink, so they get lots of attention.

This year hubby got me two new ones. They have been in bloom for months, but the yellow one is starting to fade. Last night I gave all four a good soak in warm water with a bit of fertiliser in it, and while they were in the sink, I finally took some pictures.

Orchids are very, very hard to photograph up close! Especially when using an iPhone. So apologies for bad focus, and my junky kitchen (yes the walls are lavender, I love it).

Yellow one!


You can see the sad dying flowers in these. Bummer. I really should have taken pictures sooner. Moving it from the front window to the bathroom shocked it too much. But I had to, because…kitten. The bathroom is a much safer place for plants, away from the little monster.


The purple and white one. It’s been in the bathroom since it came home, so it is happy there. I need to repot both of these as they are in ugly clear plastic pots. Also, as they both were mistreated, the potting medium is full of moss and dead roots and in general, smells bad. Musty. Can’t be good for them! I made my own orchid pots before, at a ceramics shop. Got a square bit of greenware and cut round holes all over, for aeration. The roots grow out the holes and all over the place! Next time I’ll share pictures of the older two. 

Stapelia gigantea, or Carrion Flower

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I’ve had this plant a long time. I first got it in 1998 or so. I couldn’t bring it with me to Ireland, but I did take a cutting and brought it in sans soil. Lucky for me, it survived a month in the container in a jar of water and damp paper towel. Probably still illegal, but at least I didn’t bring any bugs or weird microbes in to the country. It’s a house plant, here, but is native to South Africa – as it seems a lot of my favourite plants are!

Oddly enough, after 11 years, this thing finally decided to bloom. Not that long ago, I gave it a good soaking, and a wash (the leaves are furry and collect a lot of cat hair), and I guess that finally sparked it into flowering. I won’t read anything into a corpse flower blooming the week my Spotty cat died.

First I noticed was that there was a huge balloon sticking out the side.


Stormtrooper mini-fig for size. We all know how big they are, right?

Then it opened.


Weird as hell, right? And it does, indeed, stink of death. Not that bad, really, unless you stick your face right in it. The scent and hairs are to mimic a dead animal, as this is a fly-pollinated plant. The texture of the bloom is very much like leather, too. This one started to shrivel today, so I cut it off. But there are several more coming, so I am taking better care of it than I usually do. It got another good soaking today.

If you want to learn more about this unique plant.