Sheltering indoors. GBBD.

First of all a little bug got to me, not the computer this time, then I had to catch up with writing all my cards and Christmas preparations, at last I’m free to get back to you all!

It’s a couple of weeks since I was in the garden, so I thought for this months GBBD I would stay inside and show the few flowering plants that are in the conservatory at the moment. We also use the conservatory for overwintering pots of plants that are out in the garden for the summer, but get brought in as they wouldn’t survive a frost, so there isn’t much room in there in the winter among the Echeverias and the big Aloe.

Winter flowers

On the table are three Cyclamen, two Christmas Cactus, one African Violet and a rusty pheasant in the background. The pheasant was part of a birthday present earlier in the year, he will go into the woodland in March to try and protect the Snakeshead Fritillaries from the real pheasant!

Red Christmas Cactus

This Christmas Cactus has been flowering for such a long time now, I think those of you in America would call it a Thanksgiving Cactus. Whatever it’s name, it makes a lovely splash of red which brightens up a dull day.

Cyclamen and cactus

White cyclamen

The white Cyclamen is rather pretty, I like its pink nose! All these plants are a few years old now, hidden away for the summer but then brought back to life in August / September with dilute liquid feed so that they can keep me happy through the winter and give me a much needed fix of colour.

Small Cyclamen

I like the pink flowers on this tiny cyclamen, but look at the leaves, aren’t they wonderful, it almost doesn’t need any flowers. We keep the conservatory frost free over the winter and that seems to suit all these plants. Even when the sun shines, at this time of year it still doesn’t get too hot for the plants, they seem very happy.

African violet

The lovely blue of the African Violet contrasts nicely with the other flowers. I think this is maybe one plant that would maybe like it a bit warmer, once Christmas is over it can come back into the house.

Magenta cyclamen

There are so many buds on this little magenta cyclamen, it will be flowering for a long time, probably carrying on when my pots of bulbs should take over.

White christmas cactus

Last but not least is the white flowered Christmas Cactus, still all in bud.  This always flowers later than the red one, I’m not sure why, but I have so many flowers to look forward to over the next few weeks.

Thanks must go to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme each month, do please pay her a visit to see what is blooming in the rest of the world.

P.S.  When we got up this morning, we saw 6 male pheasants walking up the front drive, they then walked into the front border and stayed a long time feeding. I wonder what they were eating, I hope it wasn’t snowdrop shoots! My one rusty pheasant is outnumbered, he won’t stand a chance against six real ones!  I hope they all stay on the surrounding fields for the next few months.

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48 Responses to Sheltering indoors. GBBD.

  1. Sigrun says:

    How many plants you have indoor – I have only one – the others are in the garden!;)
    Such pretty cyclamen! Arican violett is named Usambaraveilchen in Germany – my husband has one in his office.


    • Pauline says:

      Most of my plants are in the garden too Sigrun! Not much is flowering in the garden at the moment, a few roses and the Chaenomeles by the back door. I can see plenty of flowers on the little Campanula that is spreading everywhere, but that’s about it for outside.

  2. Helen says:

    So many pretty indoor flowers. I have a Christmas cactus that is just coming into flower, it lives in my bathroom and I noticed the other day how dusty it is and now you have shamed me because it didnt occur to me to fed it 🙁

    • Pauline says:

      Helen, I used to have an old Christmas cactus in the kitchen, it was thoroughly neglected. After about 30 years it had had enough and died! When it was replaced I promised to look after it, what a difference a bit of liquid feed makes!

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Your conservatory beauties are putting on a spectacular show! Thank goodness for winter-flowering plants that keep us happy through the darkest time of the year! Happy GBBD!

  4. Alain says:

    That little pink cyclamen is marvelous. The leaves are so interesting!

    • Pauline says:

      They are interesting aren’t they Alain, that one doesn’t get hidden away in the summer, I keep it going because I like the leaves so much.

  5. Rachael says:

    Is that a not so subtle request for more rusty pheasants??!!!
    The Christmas cactus that you gave us is flowering beautiful shocking pink flowers – it brightens up a dreary winter’s day, thank you xx

    • Pauline says:

      No, it’s ok Rachael, I would need at least 5 more for mine to stand a chance! So glad your Christmas cactus is in full flower, thought you needed a bit of pink with all the men in your household !

  6. Everybody needs to explore what they can grow indoors to bring winter cheer. Yours is a great selection. Happy Bloom Day.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Jean, the flowers certainly brighten up a dull day at this time of year. Maybe a trip to our local garden centre is needed to see what else I can add!

  7. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely! I’ve a red cyclamen I keep in the house all year. At some point I allow it to die back by stopping watering and then begin watering again and sure enough it blooms. It’s lasted years this way!

    Those pesky Pheasants… Perhaps a cat/dog/fox statue too might work?

    • Pauline says:

      It’s amazing Liz, the way the cyclamen can die back and then be brought back to life for another flowering, I know my mother kept some going for such a long time.
      Yes, I think a fox statue would put the pheasants off attacking my fritillaries, what a good idea!

  8. alison r says:

    What delightful plants you have! You’ve really inspired me to grow some Cyclamen etc at some point and now I have lots of names to look out for.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Alison. I’m so glad you are going to give a few indoor plants a try, it is so rewarding to have lovely flowers at this time of year.

  9. Lea says:

    I especially like cyclamen
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

  10. Bernieh says:

    Love all the colour you have indoors at the moment. My particular favourite though is definitely that beautiful white Christmas Cactus. It will be stunning when in full bloom.

    • Pauline says:

      Good to hear from you Bernieh. I love a splash of colour in the winter and if I can’t have it in the garden, then it has to be indoors. The white Christmas cactus is taking it’s time opening up but it should be wonderful by Christmas.

  11. AnnetteM says:

    I have Cyclamen envy! I try to grow them outside here, but they rarely make it for a second flowering, though the leaves sometimes come through. Yours are beautiful. I just love the way the flower heads hang and there is such variety in them and in their leaves. I did get to plant a few lovely bright red ones in planters for my sister in the New Forest when I was down. Maybe I will treat myself to an indoor one for a Christmas display.

    • Pauline says:

      The only Cyclamen that I grow in the garden Annette are C.coum and C hederifolium and these spread nicely by seed distributed by ants! Garden centres sell small Cyclamen for winter pot displays but I’m not sure they are fully hardy. Hopefully your sister’s will be ok if they are in a sheltered spot.
      Do buy one for yourself and enjoy it indoors!

  12. I love your table filled with colorful flowers. That would brighten any day.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Patsy for stopping by and leaving a message. I’m so glad you like the plants flowering away on their table, they are enjoying sunshine at the moment, but when it’s dull they really shine.

  13. catmint says:

    hi Pauline, I have a rather cheeky suggestion for the real pheasant problem – which is that you incorporate one into your Christmas dinner! It makes me think of how pheasant were owned by the aristocracy, and poor people would get imprisoned for hunting them.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Catmint, I’m quite fond of roast pheasant, cancel the turkey order! We quite often see one male followed by 10 or 12 females, but to see 6 males all together was unusual, maybe they’re not old enough to be fighting for their own territories?

  14. For a moment I thought perhaps I should box and send you an American coyote, but then I remembered they are not doing a thing to help with my beaver. Yes, roast pheasant is probably the trick!

    • Pauline says:

      We have a couple of foxes that regularly patrol the garden Marian, just not at the right time! Last year we had a white female pheasant and the fox got that one while she was sitting on her eggs in a neighbours garden. Living next to farmland, we will never be without the pheasants but I just wish that they wouldn’t eat my bulbs!

  15. rusty duck says:

    I’m very tempted to get another indoor cyclamen, I haven’t had one for years. Never managed to keep them very long, probably because they didn’t get a sufficient dormant period. I shall be keeping a watch on your rusty pheasant experiment too!

    • Pauline says:

      I stopped growing Cyclamen for a while Jessica, but a few years ago decided to try again. Looking after them more while they are growing seems to have made a difference, previously I just expected them to look after themselves!
      We’ll have to wait and see if the rusty pheasant can cope against all the real ones!

  16. Annette says:

    Isn’t it great to have a conservatory! I’m so delighted with ours but have to be careful filling it with plants as hubby is worried he may soon not have enough room (he knows me too well!). I used to grow Clematis florida and Rhodochiton in my conservatory in Ireland which was a little bigger. Hope your husband is well again. Speedy recovery to you too!

    • Pauline says:

      It is great Annette, it’s only small but we spend so much time in there. From February onwards it is warm enough without any heating, as long as the sun is shining!
      Thank you for asking about my husband, he is now having hormone treatment, so far without any of the side effects, thank goodness, this will go on till the end of February when he will start his daily doses of radio therapy for 7 weeks. I’m feeling a lot better thank you, the problem is each virus I get, it starts off all my muscle problems again, hopefully by the end of this week I’ll be back to normal.

  17. Chloris says:

    How lovely to have so much colour in your conservatory. It is the indoor plants that keep us going in December. We need something to cheer us up. I love your rusty pheasant.

    • Pauline says:

      The colour in there certainly cheers me up Chloris, it looks almost like summer when I pass by. The pheasant will have a job to do in March when the fritillaries are flowering, he will have to stand guard in the woodland and keep all the other pheasants away!

  18. Angie says:

    Why oh Why do I kill houseplants! You’ve a wonderful selection there Pauline and I admire your dedication. They all look wonderfully healthy and what a riot of colour they provide.
    My thoughts turned to Pheasants and Fritillarias the other day – I looked out of the window and 2 male pheasants were about to walk through the front gate, I then promptly remembered all those bloggers that complained about them destroying their Frits. I started banging on the window to shoo them away – I hope they got a real fright and don’t venture back.

    • Pauline says:

      I used to too Angie, until a couple of years ago, then I had a good talk with myself! A little drop of liquid feed once a week works wonders and all the plants look so much better for it, even ones which don’t flower.
      Male pheasants seem to be causing problems far and wide, we will all have to be on our guard in March when the fritillaries flower.

  19. Christina says:

    I don’t think you’ve shown us your indoor plants before. Cyclamen are such good value plants; the smaller ones will survive outside for me in a normal year. I hope you’re right and the pheasants weren’t eating you snowdrops, that would be terrible. I have to admit to being pretty bad at looking after indoor plants, that’s why I love doing the vases.

    • Pauline says:

      I don’t think I have shown indoor plants before Christina, usually I have plenty of flowers in the garden, but not this month, there is just the odd one or two, nothing really to show you.
      For years I was very neglectful of my poor indoor plants, I don’t know why, I just expected them to grow all by themselves. I have now turned over a new leaf and have promised I will pay them more attention.

  20. Cathy says:

    What a wonderful display, Pauline – all beautifully healthy! In my early adult life I had dozens and dozens (yes!) of indoor plants but then I suppose I became busy with children and then came a transition to outdoor gardening. Apart from annual hyacinths and amaryllis/hippeastrum it is now a very long time since I had any house plants – I just wouldn’t remember to care for them 🙁 Thanks you for sharing yours instead and hope you are fully recovered from your bug soon.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Cathy. I was quite good at looking after houseplants before moving here 24 yrs ago. Since then all my attention has been on making and looking after the garden here. Thinking about it, my change of heart probably came when I started my muscle problem four yrs ago and couldn’t do anywhere near the amount of gardening that I had done previously.
      I have a couple of orchids which wouldn’t like the cool conservatory and a Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) which is new this year but not flowering yet, all the others are foliage plants. I can see me buying one new plant one each year to satisfy the gardening urge in me!

  21. wellywoman says:

    A lovely collection of flowers to brighten up indoors. I’m not great with houseplants. Well anything in a pot tends to be a bit neglected. I do love forced bulbs though and must do more next year.

  22. Anna says:

    Sorry to read that you’ve been under the weather Pauline but hopefully you will be fit in time for Christmas. What a warm splash of colour in your conservatory. Those silvery cyclamen leaves are most attractive. African violets seem to be the only house plant that I can keep alive for any length of time 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I’m feeling stronger each day, thank you Anna, I should be fine by Christmas.I love the cyclamen leaves, they are so pretty. I used to have quite a lot more African violets, but they have dwindled!

  23. Helle says:

    A lovely collection of flowers and colours. I do like the cyclamen but only have the outdoor ones. Cyclamen flowers always make me think of mildly hysterical elves? :-)) Good luck with the fritillaries, we don’t have pheasants here but the slugs do their best to demolish them. Is there anything slugs don’t eat?

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Helle, yes, we have plenty of the hardy cyclamen in the woodland, the small ones that we have indoors are larger. They are sold for people to plant in their outdoor pots over the winter, but I don’t think they would like any frost. I see what you mean about hysterical elves! There must be something that is slug proof, I just don’t think I’ve found it yet!

  24. Frank says:

    What a garden you have there to enjoy when the weather isn’t cooperating. Those colors are just what you need on a gray day.

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