Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meanwhile back in the Greenhouse

Every year I tell myself that I need to toughen up and start admiring plants from a distance. Then spring comes and the first one or two greenhouses I visit I'm good, but by the third or fourth I walk out with my hands full with some orchid or other blooming plant that is new to my collection.  Last spring it was the Epiphyllum virus that hit.  It just so happened that it was the second year that my own greenhouse had been up and running and all the plants were blooming their best year ever, including my Night Blooming Cereus, Epiphylum oxypetallum.  I was in Southern Oregon with my father on our "annual father and son fishing trip" and we happened by this nursery and decided to stop in.  I put on my tough face, the one that says looking not buying and went in.  Ten minutes later I returned to the car with this absolutely gorgeous Epyphyllum "Padre" which of course translated means "Father".  How apropos... "Padre .....father and son fishing trip".  It sounded like a good reason to me, but when I brought it home MeMa just shook her head.
Epicactus 'Padre' Epiphylum
It is the most brilliant pink and unlike the night bloomer which blooms and wilts in one evening, this one stays in bloom for about four or five days.  The flower is about six or seven inches in circumference and the plant itself is quite large.  Later that summer we were attending the annual Laurelhurst Neighborhood Garage Sale which is a fund raiser to maintain one of Portland's oldest and historic landmarks.  While MeMa browsed for things we probably didn't need I found a comfortable place to sit and rest.  Anyway as I sat and looked around the landscape I noticed a miniature Epiphyllum that someone planted as an annual, and a couple of pieces just happened to break off and jumped into my shirt pocket.  At the time I will just call it the mystery Epiphylum until it is mature enough to bloom and I can identify it.  I think this is a great genus of plant and I am enjoying the four that I have.
Epicactus 'Deutsche Kaiserin'

My Night Bloomer
 Epiphylum oxypetalum

The mystery epiphylum, growing well and waiting to be identified.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

As I mentioned in an earlier post the lovely MeMa and I have decided to spend the upcoming Holidays on the island of Maui. We have always made a big to-do of Christmas and New Years at the Manor but they were such an ordeal last year because the daughter's -in -laws were not speaking to each other which resulted in even more hard feelings. So right then and there we looked at each other and said "next year a warm tropical island", and Maui it is. All is well between the two now but our trip is entirely paid in advance and the house sitter is gnashing at the bit to move in so why spoil plans? We will have a family celebration on our return giving the "Little Terrorists two Christmas's, what fun!
I can't but feel a bit like an old scrooge though as I normally decorate the outside with masses of lights and ornaments. This year I put a string of lights in the front gardens Monkey Puzzle tree and MeMa purchased some over sized ornaments.

And in place of the large tree we normally have in the dinning room we placed this ceramic tree that was a family memento of MeMa's, and we splashed a few other decorations around to give a little Christmas cheer.

The nativity

Christmas photo's of our son's above the mantle, a good friend framed and mated it for us.
Last night Mema and I picked up Little Terrorist # 2, Brooklyn and drove downtown to the Macy's store to have pictures taken with Santa. The plan was that we would meet Little Terrorist # 1 Taeya and her parents and auntie and two cousins at Macy's and all have pictures together. We of course arrived at the scheduled time only to get a call that the rest would be another half hour away. Even with the best efforts at distracting Brooklyn he spotted Santa and took off running, climbed into Santa's lap and told him that he wanted a Helicopter. The photographer being well versed in the art of capturing Kodak moments when Kodak moments are made available started snapping shots immediately.

"I want a helicopter"
We didn't even get a chance to remove his jacket.
 Forty five minutes later the rest of the family showed up, and all was going well until Taeya was plopped next to Santa. Even with her cousin Olivia's best effort to hang onto her this was the only picture we could get.

Mia....Brooklyn.....Santa.....Olivia....and "I want my mum" Taeya
Hope you all have a fun Holiday season however you celebrate it and an even better New Year....Aloha!