Spring has sprung at Connecticut Country House! The halls have been un-decked, and the trees dragged out to the big composting ditch down in the back 40. The rooms are looking pretty stark and bare – with the exception of  plants that came inside last autumn to winter indoors. Looks like everybody’s happy. In our newly edited January interiors the show is just getting started.

Year round plants, like my pair of Cymbidium orchids, always take center stage. I call them “Sister and Brother”. I don’t know why, other than Rick and Conor bought me the first one (Sister) for Valentine’s Day about 10 years ago, and then about 2-3 years later came Brother. They live side by side and have been re-potted twice. I don’t do anything special for them. I don’t feed them. In late spring I put them outside, behind the house under the Forsythia shrubs, and let Mother Nature do her thing. They only get watered when it rains or when I remember to.

By October, before the first frost, when they’re covered with crunchy fallen Maple leaves, my annual ritual is to very gently unearth them in search of a surprise or 2 or 3 new flower shoots. What a happy feeling it is every year to find them! Sister flowers consistently and profusely, while Brother usually trails behind with one smaller, yet equally beautiful shoot. The two flower from November all the way to April. Amazing.

Speaking of amazing, another fabulous twosome is my pair of skinny little Azalea topiaries. They too, were gifts (Mother’s Day) from the boys. Year round, they live side by side inside and out. They’re the same size as when they first arrived, but are in full bloom from September to March – usually taking a break for a couple of months and then by summer they’re back in full bloom again.

My white geranium is a monster, and bloomed throughout the holidays. After a couple of weeks of rest, she’s all budded up and about to burst into blooms again.

I keep the bulbs going – Amaryllis and Paperwhite Narcissus – through March. And a sweet little basket of Primroses are always welcome.

If only these plants knew how much their beautiful presence fortifies my eyes, my state of mind, and most definitely my soul!

Happy gardening.

Love, Nora

  • Gee whiz you have a green thumb Nora! I have very little knowledge about orchids so I had no idea they would rebloom like that. I have for years purchased paper whites and amaryllis for the holidays. After discovering your blog last year on keeping paper whites for the winter season I bought more this year after Christmas and they are sprouting now. I did not buy enough. Would you be so kind to share your source I was barely able to locate any here in South Carolina. I think I may have 10 or 12 planted while your basket is overflowing.
    All the best to you in 2014. Looking forward to the next edition.

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