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I was so preoccupied with counting birds yesterday for The Great Backyard Bird Count yesterday that I forgot all about Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted on the fifteenth of every month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens!  This month she is celebrating the eighth anniversary of her monthly garden party; many congratulations to Carol for her faithfulness and consistency!

February in northeastern Pennsylvania means all indoor blooms.  My “Old Faithful”, Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia millii) is, as usual, covered with small clusters of dainty pale red flowers.  It recently dropped a lot of its lower leaves, so it’s looking more leggy than ever:Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milliiHowever, last fall I noticed that it had sprouted a couple of new shoots at its base, and today one of those slow-growing sprouts has its first tiny flower:035Another red flower bloomed beautifully just in time for Valentine’s week.  This is Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Red Lion’:Amaryllis 'Red Lion'This Amaryllis was a Christmas gift to me, and I was sad when I opened the box to find this:002I planted the bulb anyway, to let it grow leaves and develop enough energy to bloom next year.  I’m sure you can imagine my surprise and delight when a bloom stalk shot up!  There are four flowers on this stem; the last one should open today or tomorrow. I think it resembles the bill of an exotic water fowl:Amaryllis 'Red Lion'The stem of ‘Red Lion’ leans quite a bit, and I am seriously considering cutting it to put in a vase for Cathy’s “In a Vase on Monday” meme.  We’ll see . . .

Two other Amaryllises are due to open soon.  This is ‘Elvas’, which should sport frothy, peach-colored double blooms:Amaryllis 'Elvas' in bud‘Apple Blossom,’ delicate pink in hue, is one of my favorites.  I had hoped it would bloom for Valentine’s Day:Amaryllis 'Apple Blossom' in bud

Yesterday’s weather brought us temperatures of six degrees below zero at night, a whopping high of eight degrees F (-13 C!) during the day, and a strong, bitter wind that gusted for hours on end.  I felt it was too cold at the windowsill for my lovely primroses and Gerbera daisies, so they are vacationing on the kitchen counter for a few days:042Gerbera DaisyThis poor limp Gerbera bud may, in fact, have gotten too cold before I moved the plant:  031With a snow cover about two feet deep, and no above freezing temperatures in the forecast until month’s end,  I suspect March 15 will be an all-indoor Bloom Day as well!  I anticipate having some forced tulips and daffodils in bloom by then, as well as an African Violet that is heavily budded now.  Perhaps the orchids will open a few flowers by then, too!  There’s always something lovely to look forward to in the world of gardening!

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