Monday, November 26, 2012

Poinsettias for the Holidays

I bought two poinsettias this weekend. These richly coloured flowers have become a tradition at Christmas, their lush foliage perfect for the season as they bring texture and richness to festive decor. This link from  TLC Poinsettia history explains how his Mexican plant came to be such a part of our holiday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Christmas Cactus

Several years ago my younger daughter brought a plant home, which she told me was mine until she left home for good. It was a cactus, one which at that time was unfamiliar to me. Of course, that's not the case now, as the Christmas (or Thanksgiving or Holiday) Cactus brings shades of summer to many homes during the festive season. 

Except mine that is. True to her word,  my daughter reclaimed the one I enjoyed for so many years.  This pretty image, however, has inspired me to get a replacement.

Monday, November 12, 2012

African Violet Brings Colour Indoors

Several years ago, my mother-in-law presented me with a potted flower for a special occasion.  While I accepted the gift with all of the appropriate courtesies and appeared fittingly pleased,  my inner reaction was less enthusiastic.  This is such a "senior" plant, I thought, in reference to the fact that they have lined the window sill of every elderly person I've known. 

Funny, however, how time can alter a mindset.  I have, particularly at this time of the year,  developed an appreciation for the African violet, for the way it brightens my indoor environment as my outdoor one has become rather stark. 

So this week's image is bringing a little colour your way, too.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Flower of Remembrance

With the advent of Remembrance Day, the choice of featured flower for this week is obvious.  A symbol of peace,  the blood-red poppy is worn as a remembrance of war and conflict. It honours the veterans who fought, and gave their lives for, our freedom. 

Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae's poem,  In Flanders Fields, pays tribute to the flower, a common weed in Europe, which grows prolifically there, a memorial to the fallen:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields."