Sensational Cosmos and Enchanting Christmas Cactus

Author’s Note:

First, please forgive the amount of time since my last post. Next, as you will soon read, this post was written in late March. I have many more things to write about but wanted to get this posted. Thank you so kindly for reading.

30_Apr_2015Despite the cold winter, there has been a lot of indoor gardening, and the idea of this particular article has been floating around since November when the Christmas cactus proliferated in bloom. It truly was enchanting but more on that in a bit.

Spring EquinoxIt is the eve of the vernal equinox and I am taking pause to allow for some rumination. In my last entry I spoke of summer giving way to autumn and the eventuality of winter. Not only is autumn over but winter is also officially over as well. Five months, just like that. An equinox and another solstice, finished. I love all the seasons as each provides nourishment for the soul, but I suppose my order of preference would be the autumn equinox, the winter solstice, the vernal equinox, and then the summer solstice. I love cold and the peace that accompanies the short winter days. I love the snow and how it provides the perfect blanket for the slumbering plants. And now, today, a new season is about to begin. The snow has receded and all around, the soil is bursting forth with life. I shall devote an entire entry to the celebration of the vernal equinox but for now I wish to share my thoughts on two incredible plants that deserve celebration.

sensational_cosmos
Drifting oceans of pink sway in the wind as the sun glances upon their perfect flowers. Immediately and significantly the swathes of cosmos sensation I planted from seed have lived up to their namesake by inducing a sensation of appreciation of their old world beauty.

The back border makes one perfect home for this plant, or if you have the space, you could incorporate this into your wildflower patch. Regardless, this for me is one of the more friendly summer annuals. I have seen these naturalized in fields as well as in the English cottage garden and in either setting, they stand tall begging to be noticed but are not so imposing as to overshadow the other beautiful plants and flowers around them.

I am instantly attracted to any flower that has an open face similar to a daisy, and couple that with the fern-like foliage and you have a plant that is a must for the summer border or grown en masse on their own. These flowers greeted me in the garden until the first hard frost came and I shall be forever thankful for blessing me with their beauty throughout the season.

Photos of the incredible, versatile Cosmos Sensation. I have applied some artistic filters to these images and I hope you like what I have done. Any and all of the images on this site can be purchased. For details, please email webmaster (@) bennysplace (dot) com and indicate what photo you are interested in, size, etc.

Christmas Cactus

Admittedly, I have not had much luck with growing Christmas cactus indoors. For whatever reason, previous specimens became unwieldy and tattered looking. Worse yet, once the initial bloom had finished, I rarely saw flowers again. Fast forward a few years and I was given a combination of different colors in one pot. The specimen was indeed beautiful and full of gorgeous blooms but previous experience prevented me from becoming overly attached to the plant.

After its initial bloom, I repotted it, removed the spent flowers and thought to myself, well, let’s see what happens. As winter faded into spring and spring into summer, the plant itself thrived and I allowed myself to become hopeful.

Then, it happened . . .

Just before Thanksgiving the following year, there were buds abound on this lovely plant and I let my excitement get the better of me. I had a thriving Christmas Cactus! It is important to note that in its native habitat, Christmas cacti grow within rock crevices and on tree trunks and branches, so a large pot is not needed but moisture is. In my previous attempts at growing this plant, I treated it as a succulent that required little to no water. Also, because in their native environment, they are shaded by a canopy of leaves, I moved my thriving specimen out of the direct sun and now I think it is perfectly content. So much so that I am about to get some more blooms! This time, white.

The enchanting Christmas Cactus gallery. Enjoy!

As time passes I hope to write more features on specific plants. I thank you all for reading, and until next time which I promise will be very soon – Happy Gardening!

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