Flowers Indoors and Out - Happy Bloom Day!

Who doesn't love orchids? When you consider there are so many different flowering types, colors and forms, you could say there is an orchid for everyone.

On October 30, I lined up the players in my wintertime garden, including potted plants, dried flowers and the last bouquets.
Take Miltonia for example. Where besides on pansies could you find such in-your-face flowers? It's often called the pansy orchid, according to the American Orchid Society, and it's been blooming pretty much ever since I brought it home three weeks ago.

Since I've had a modicum of success with a couple of orchids and some amaryllis, I've been coaxed back into growing houseplants.
I have no idea when the four orchids out of the six I'm growing will bloom.

I chose the lady slipper orchid for its foliage, a silver spotted with lush yellow-green,  but it's been charming me with its blossoms for the past ten days. This is Paphiopedilum 'Delightfully Wood', a type the American Orchid Society states should be given temperatures around 60 to 65 degrees F at night and up to 85 degrees F during the day.

Paphiopedilum 'Delightfully Wood'
There is no way this little orchid will be grown at 85 degrees in my house. It seems quite happy so far at around 65 F day and night.

When I have a spare day (and an extra $100 or so) I'll visit Hilltop Orchids in Cloverdale, IN, which is where this lady slipper came from.

Four more orchid plants will be highlighted here in my blog whenever they decide to bloom. Unlike this particular lady's slipper, and others with pretty leaves, orchids aren't very exciting without blossoms. 

'Endless Summer' bloom the day after it was picked Nov. 2.

'Endless Summer' bloom Nov. 13, after 11 days in the vase.
The same holds true for Hydrangeas. I've always been a proponent for cutting flowers to put in vases to enjoy indoors. Hydrangea flowers of the macrophylla species have typically lasted no more than three or four days in water.

I recently discovered an exception when I picked the last of the 'Endless Summer' flowers on November 2.

Fresh but not completely - after two weeks in a vase.
I put one of the blooms in a short vase, its flower head propped up by the small opening, its stem dangling into the water.

Today, it's still in the same vase, its center getting slightly mushy, but from a distance still looking like a living thing.

Each year the inside players have expanded, and this year they include orchids, a new amaryllis, two little plants in the Gesneriad family, and some bulbs.

I've planted bulbs of Ornithogalum, Lachenalia and Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) which hopefully will bloom around Christmas.

November can be a tricky month for gardeners, especially for those who garden outdoors. Now that I've got some indoor plants, I can participate during the off season in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, started by Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens, is a day when gardeners from all over the world contribute a blog devoted to whatever is blooming (indoors and outdoors) in their gardens.

Happy Gardening!

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