These are my clivia. They have been blooming for about a month now. Each individual blossom is about 1 1/2" across and at peak, there were 23 blossoms on it. Unfortunately they are starting to go now, and falling off every day. I'll be really sorry to see it finish blooming. This is only one of the clivia around the house, there are 5 in this pot and at least 3 other pots of clivia, but this is the only one with blossoms. I have had some of these plants since 1998 and I've had about 4 sets of blossoms. They are spectacular when they bloom, and I'm hoping as the plants get older and more crowded in the pot, they will bloom oftener.
One of the real luxuries of this house is that there is enough room to start seeds indoors a few weeks before the soil is warm enough to plant them outdoors. These are the 2 2x4' tubs that are filled with flats and big pots sitting on the floor of the florida room. Last weekend, I started a flat with 2 types of heirloom tomatoes, Sudduths Brandywine and German Pink, a flat of Straight Eight cucumbers, a flat of Cempoalxochitl marigold, and a flat of Burpeeana Giant Mix zinnias and Spider Flower Mix for the annual garden. 3 of the pots have dahlias, and 3 have cannas started, also for the annual bed. On the other side of the room are the 4 pink dahlias from the MSU extension that I started 2 weeks ago and they have sprouted. I can't seem to find a tall snapdragon to start so I guess I will have to buy those, and I will buy the dark rose colored petunias for the border too. I love the spider flowers (cleome) because gram and gramps always had them in the back of their big border flower beds when I was young. I know they get spindly later in the summer but I'm hoping to fill in their feet with big marigolds, snaps, and zinnias. This bed should be very colorful and make a big statement, since the bed is also pretty big, about 8' wide and 50' feet long. Thanks to D and C. Right now, I have 7 roses planted in the back of it and a few daffodils, hyacinths, and grape hyacinths in the front. It will look better in a few weeks.
I took this picture because I love the wildness and color of the curly willow starting to leaf out. D cut the willow for me last spring from a small tree in a drainage ditch in the field behind the local big box stores. I brought it home and stuck it in the pond on the deck where it happily leafed out and grew huge roots last summer. I wasn't sure that it would overwinter, but it clearly has. There is some dead stuff in it that I will prune, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The dark lime green foliage and bright lime green stems look great from the family room on the other side of the windows. There is a wet boggy part of the pond in the corner behind the willow. I'm going to put a couple 6' tall green leaved, red flowered cannas in there for the summer and leave the willow. I'll put the otter fountain in the area to the right side of the willow and call it good. Running water, lots of willow, and a bit of color. Not the most formal small space, but I think it is perfect. I went to a quilt gathering last Tuesday evening. I haven't been before, but evidently someone demonstrates a specific technique and they all do their rendition of it that evening. The group was doing a type of quilting called Accidental Landscapes, where you put fabric together and then decide what kind of landscape you want to make. In honor of the upcoming beach vacation, I decided to do a seascape, or maybe really just a beach. And of course, I found my box of natural stuff and embellished it because I don't seem able to not embellish. I used shells, stones, a little sand dollar and fabric rocks on the bottom and in the center of the piece. There are also beaded starfish and glass beads on the green fabric. The fence is raw edge applique with a small piece of driftwood that I had in my box. I used raw edge applique for the birds (hard to see in the photo, but there are 3 "gulls" in the sky on the left hand side) and fish, except for the bottom fish which is a shell that looked like a fish so there it went. I used the sewing machine to write "To the Sea, To the Sea, To the Beautiful Sea"and signed and dated it in the bottom right corner. I am going to hang it in my bathroom, where it will remind me of the salty water, sand and bits of shells, and the family that make it all worthwhile.