Winter Blooms

Though it’s been a relatively mild autumn, my gardening tendencies have moved indoors. I don’t have a lot of room in my apartment for plants (I’d have more if I didn’t want desks and art tables by the windows), so I have to limit how many plants I grow indoors. Still, even a few plants keep the indoors bright on these darkening days.

My winter cactus is in it’s 3rd year. I know it’s called a Christmas cactus – schlumbergera is the official name, and there are varieties called Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter cactus. Mine is a Whenever It Feels Like it Cactus, known to bloom in midsummer, or send out a flower any old time.

“Schlumbergera is a small genus of cacti with six to nine species found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. These plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats that are generally shady with high humidity, and can be quite different in appearance from their desert-dwelling cousins.” (Wikipedia)

This year, I potted two different ones together, so I have white ones blooming now, with buds starting on pink ones.

I love watching them grow from tiny buds into flowers that get larger and longer, peeling back their petals to reveal the stamen and pistil. They droop down as they grow, so it’s hard to see just how lovely they are when in full bloom.

I’ve made a few sketches of them and a few attempts to paint them. Their structure is a challenge, but I also want to express my delight in them. I finally finished a painting I like:

Winter Blooms by Joy Murray, 8×10″ acrylic on stretched canvas

I hope everyone is keeping safe and warm.


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