Friday, February 18, 2011

Blooming Flowers!

A real lift to the spirit: a pot of blooming daffodils! Of course, at this time of the year here, that's only indoors. I think down at the coast the daffodils have been blooming for a while. But we are still stuck in the depths of the winter. We don't need a groundhog here on Feb. 2 to tell us that we have at least six more weeks of winter to endure.

One of the reasons I chose this area of Alberta for our retirement is that the winter weather includes lots of sunshine. I do like the change of seasons, and having winter sunshine is important to me. However nice blooming flowers in February are, the winter sunshine is more important to me, especially when compared with the gloomy weather that milder, west coast climates experience in the winter months.

Jim started several pots of forced bulbs last fall, and now we can enjoy a variety of blooming plants indoors: amaryllis, daffodil, grape hyacinth, crocuses.

And here's the first bloom on the faith hibiscus, trimmed down to 6" before Thanksgiving. That plant is now about two feet high and ready to start into bloom again.

Another surprising addition to the indoor garden is this bud on the same "corn plant" that bloomed last fall. It's very unusual to have one of these bloom, and this is the third time for this particular plant, and the second time within one year. Just a huge surprise to me.

When this plant blooms, it sends out a powerful aroma at night. I find I have to move it into the sewing room to avoid the irritation of that strong scent in the living room while we are relaxing and reading there in the evening.

We have two other "corn plants," another in the living room and one in the bedroom. They have never bloomed, which makes me wonder if these are plants that are either male or female. Anybody have any experience with blooming "corn plants"?

After finishing two projects in January, I did start two new ones: the handquilted baby blanket that I pictured earlier, and then last week one of the heart table toppers that I've made so many of. This one went to a dear friend whom I visited for two days last week. I also made her young boys, great favorites of mine, a set of little felt animals to play with. When they visit here hiding my little felt animals (left over from teaching kindergarten years ago) is one of their favorite games.

So after my detours into new knitting and sewing (hats, neck warmers, table topper and animals) I'm back to trying to finish up old projects. Last year I made a part of a quilt top with pinwheels and 4 x 4's. It was only big enough for the surface of the bed and still needs sides and foot added. It was entirely scrappy, except for the white background, so I wanted to do the rest of it scrappy also.

I started on some 12" squares made up of already trimmed 2"squares from my bin. First I thought I'd like all dark, not wanting to put the white background on the sides, but soon realized that would be too dark. Then I made a few light plus dark squares, and finally decided to alternate them on the sides and foot of the quilt. There will be a red border around the top and the sides, so I'll have to buy some red yardage.

I need to make at least 38 of these 12" squares to fill in the sides and foot, and I'm finding this daunting. These eight are finished, and I'm getting a little better organized on how to put them together. But this is not going to be a quick finish!

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