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Winter Cheer

It’s winter here, and though in Melbourne we don’t get snow, it does get very grey and cold and wet and dreary. And a bit depressing.

I often used to get my mother a plant for Mother’s Day — usually a cyclamen or a flowering begonia, and last year, in May, I bought myself a red cyclamen. It lasted for months and months and I found it really cheered me up.  I’d come out into the living room and the morning sun would be shining on my plants lined up along my wide window sill — and if there was no sun, just grey gloom, the cheerful red flowers of the cyclamen really brightened the day.

Now in the new house I not only have a couple of cyclamens in bloom, I have this gorrrrgeous red zygocactus (aka Christmas cactus) that a friend  gave me when I moved in. She gave me two — both of which she’d grown from cuttings from her own plants. The first one to flower was the lovely soft pink one that I blogged about in May.

As soon as that one finished flowering, I popped it outside in the cold and brought  the red one inside, and it’s started flowering now. Isn’t it beautiful? Beside it is a little Chinese Money Plant that another friend gave me as a tiny baby plantlet, an offshoot of her own plant, and it’s thriving and is now having babies of its own. In fact about half of these pot plants were cuttings or gifts from friends.

Here are the plants ranged along the bookshelf in my bedroom, looking out onto the grey bare trees outside, and keeping me cheerful no matter what the weather. 

That little splash of red beyond the claret and white cyclamen and the maidenhair fern is an anthurium, which has glossy green leaves and red bracts. As you can see, everything is doing well. 

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1 year ago

What a lovely assortment of plants! But I don’t understand. You put your Christmas Cactus outside once it’s done blooming? Mine is hanging from a macramé hanger in front of my southern exposure doorwall (I have no window sills) and it blooms almost constantly. I tend to ignore watering it, maybe that’s why, but it blooms, stops, blooms, stops…it’s definitely not seasonal though.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 year ago
Reply to  theo

Oh, that’s interesting, Theo. I might bring the other one inside and see what happens. Mum had so many, and I confess, I didn’t take any notice of what she did to care for them.

1 year ago

Clearly your plants are happy in your new home, Anne! Christmas Cacti are the only plants I’ve ever been able to keep alive for any length of time (luckily my husband has the greenest of thumbs!), and I have 3, each having come from slips from someone else’s plant. One is red like yours; one is hot pink; and the third is white, with each bloom having a deep pink throat. The white one is the oldest – it came from my grandmother’s gigantic plant, which lived on the porch for as long as I can remember. Mine is now… Read more »

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 year ago
Reply to  Constance

How lovely to have your plants for such a long time, Constance. And thanks for the growing advice — I will now research how to care for Zygocactuses (cacti?) in my climate. And actually, now I’m thinking of it, I will ask my friend Deb who gave them to me in the first place, after growing them from cuttings from her own plants.