Thursday, February 25, 2010

February: Migration

Nope, not bird migration, but blog migration. Blogger is soon taking away the ftp option for the six of us who still do that, so I will be forced to migrate this whole beast to a Blogger server in the next few days. Comments may get lost, links will surely break, and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth at the McHouse while we get things fixed. I need to have the blog up and running before I attend and report on the Chicago Flower and Garden Show so the pressure is on!

I shall return. In the meantime, here are some red things to look at.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February: Snow!

I wanted to post about all the repotting of houseplants I did over the weekend, or the googol of cuttings I took for no good reason, but that undertaking is not yet finished because weekends are just too darned short.

Instead, you get pictures of snow! It snowed from Monday night until sometime early Wednesday morning, and the storm was capped off by an earthquake centered between Chicago and Rockford at 4 am (which we did not feel, though others in Chicago did).

This was the sight that greeted me this morning:

IMG_4710 IMG_4711

IMG_4713 IMG_4724

The block I live on is beautiful, whether dressed in its winter or summer finery

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

February: Houseplant Census

February 2. It's Groundhog Day! This is an important day at the McC house. Groundhog Day is our movie, "I Got You Babe" is our song. Every year TMCH and I set the evening aside to watch the movie and say the lines along with the actors. Such as:

"Morons, your bus is leaving!"
"What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't today."
"He might be okay." (truck explodes) "Well, no, probably not now."

If you haven't seen it a hundred times, you are missing out.

o o o

But I digress! According to Mr. McGregor's Daughter, today is Houseplant Census Day! At the McC house, censusing the plants is no small task. Luckily I maintain a list so it just needed to be updated. I had no idea how many plants I own, so I looked forward to learning the total.
This picture of the plant room/breakfast nook was taken a year ago. The room is nowhere near this orderly anymore.

How many houseplants do I have?

  • Only 86?! Well, that's kind of disappointing. Guess it's time to go shopping! All but a handful are in two rooms, so at least the local density is high. The total does not include various cuttings in water, or the ginger and avocado experiments, or the hibiscus overwintering in the basement. If I include those, I'm right near 100.
  • Most common families: Araceae (10) and Gesneriaceae (9); also Ruscaceae (7) and Cactaceae (6).
  • Oldest plant: No idea! but probably one of the pothoses or spider plants or the larger of the two Ficus benjaminas. We went through a bottleneck in 2000 during the home remodel and I know the ficus is one of the few plants to survive that tumultuous time.
  • Newest plant: Dracaena deremensis 'Lemon-Lime', purchased a couple weeks ago on clearance at Home Depot.
  • Favorite plant: Aww, I love all my babies equally! But I love Bowiea volubilis, the climbing onion, especially equally.
  • Least favorite plant: The orchids. The flowers are too fussy and overengineered, if they bloom at all. Also not crazy about the Scheffleras, although I do love the new leaves when they emerge, like tiny grasping hands.
  • IMG_4460Plant I used to hate but have learned to love: African violets. They were too frilly for my taste, like peonies and roses, but after discovering I'm good at them I decided they are worthwhile after all and now I have five. Runner-up: I have learned that I don't hate all Sansevierias, just the ones with the yellow margins. Those are so ugly. The Hahnii above, now that's a cutiepie.
So there you have it! Thanks to Mr. McGregor's Daughter for suggesting the idea, and for giving me the motivation to update that list!

ETA: It's less than a week later and the count is already up by 8, plus I spent part of the weekend taking cuttings and dividing clumps. I would worry that I'm plant-OCD but there are whole parts of the year (usually late summer) where I don't much care about plants, indoor or outdoor. It's seasonal OCD, and I can live with that.