Friday, January 16, 2009

GBBD January, 2009 (a little late)

I know that I am a day late with this month's bloom day post. But there were extenuating circumstances-really! We will get to those a little later. GBBD is brought to you by Carol of May Dreams Garden.

Due to a definite lack of favorable growing conditions out side(and we will get to those later, too!)all blooms seen below are ones found in the warmer climate of my home.

I have a garden window that is above my kitchen sink that faces east. This seems to be the perfect spot to grow African violets. Several months ago, I showed the dividing and transplanting of several of the ones I have. It has taken a while, but they are all looking very healthy and most of them are blooming. Carol says you should only have one plant for each decade of your life. Hmmm... I'm sure I'm not in my 90's yet! Although the one above looks purple it is actually more of a dark magenta. I now have 4 of these.

And I know this looks blue, bit it is actually a lavender. No amount of working with the 'fix it' photo program I have will show the true colors. It must be my camera. Anyway, I have 4 of these. The 9th one was a gift last fall and it is pink. But of course it is not blooming right now, and that's the one color that does show true when looking through the lens.

I know there is a botanical name for this one, but I'm too tired to look it up tonight. I call it a 'Peace Lily'. Last winter, it bloomed once for me. But this winter, I have had several blooms. I like that they last a long time and have a quiet elegance to them.
That's it for the blooms this month. I didn't think ahead like so many of you and plant an Amaryllis, or pot up some paper whites. When I did finally think about it-after seeing such pretty ones on others' blogs-I couldn't find any in the store. Oh well, I'll enjoy yours and put them on my plant list for next year.

Now, for the rest of the story. Sorry, Paul Harvey, I couldn't resist. I worked last night and when I came home, I thought the house was a little chilly. But then the temps were down right frigid outside so I really didn't think too much about it. This morning when I woke up and could see my breath, I knew something was wrong. It was 52 in the house! I checked the furnace and the pilot light was lit, but the furnace would not come on. BUMMER! After making a few phone calls, I found a company that could come out within a couple of hours. It seems there were a lot of people having furnace problems today.
Long story short-our 45+ year old furnace had broken a belt to the blower. And just for good measure, the thermostat was going bad. By 2:30 this afternoon the temp in the house was a balmy 65! Really, I am not complaining. I think we got off pretty well. We could have needed a new furnace and that just isn't in the budget for now!

Now, about the unfavorable growing conditions outside... I took this picture of the weather channel on our television at 12:30 tonight. Notice the actual temp and then notice the wind chill. But did you also notice the heat wave coming on Saturday? And of course a chance for more snow.
I hope where you are it is warmer than here. And I hope you are staying warm where ever you are!

**** update-we just hit -14, wind cill -32!****


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your violets are absolutely gorgeous Beckie. I just love them. When I see plants like yours it makes me want to try to grow them again. Geez. I have such bad luck with them. They do so well for you.

Your peace lily is pretty too. I haven't tried one of those yet.

I hope they didn't get tooo cold when your furnace went out. Wouldn't you just know it the coldest day of the year so far and the furnace went out. Brrrr

Your new header picture tells the tale of your outside garden. You all have had so much snow this year it seems. We have had only dustings.

Stay warm...

flydragon said...

Hi Beckie. Love your violets. I used to have quite a few of these in my house too, but for some reason I stopped buying them. I'll have to fix that.
My camera won't pick up the dark blues and lavenders either, no matter what I try. Can't figure out why. If you figure it out, let me know.
What a time to have furnace problems!! My outside temps are -5 as I type this so we're warmer than you are. Na Na

Rose said...

Oh, Beckie, I have had too many days/nights like this! And these always seem to happen when it's the coldest day of the year. You were lucky to find a repairman come out right away and that your furnace could be fixed. There's nothing to make you appreciate a warm house like a broken furnace.

Your violets look so healthy; they really like your kitchen window. I gave up on mine years ago, and the peace lily of mine isn't looking too great anymore either.

Stay warm!

tina said...

Those African violets are great! Such lovely color. I grew them at one time. I know what you mean about the color adjust too. Great you got your heater fixed. Bummer!

tina said...

Beckie, Guess what? Our house in Indiana lost its heater too. Too funny! I was glad I had read this post first so I am not so panicked since I see it is a common problem. Hubby is handling it and hopefully we'll get off easy too. A gas furnace.

Roses and Lilacs said...

We have a huge Spathiphyllum in our lobby doing quite well. It's blooming now but hasn't produced many blooms in the months we've had it. Wonder why there is a 10-year limit on African violets?

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Beckie, It was 10 degrees here this morning. Lately the high's have been in the 20's. This is pretty cold for Northern VA so it's kind of fun, believe it or not.
So sorry for what you went through w/the furnace...lucky you didn't need a new one, and good thing it didn't get below 65 in there.
I love your african violets and other blooms. I'm not grown the Afr. Viol. right now due to my cat.
I have not even posted my GBBD yet...I am just SO behind. It takes me forever to upload photos, etc. I'm TIRED. I just want to read and comment on OTHER people's blogs right now:)
Take care, Jan

Susie said...

African violets are so pretty and yours look wonderful Beckie. At this time I don't have any but I do have several Peace lillies.

Glad to hear you got your furnace fixed. I can't believe those temps, hope you stay warm.

It didn't get as cold last night as they predicted but tonight it's suppose to be even colder. At least the sun is shining.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Oh bananas! This is the WORST time of year for the furnace to break! I had mine repaired on Xmas eve! Glad yours is working again, too. (And in my house, 65 is indeed balmy, ah hem heh heh...) :)

Gail said...

Dear Beckie,

Oh my what a shocker to wake up to...puts new meaning to a cold and frosty morning! We had our heating system inspected and were told some motor was sounding funny; so I have been waiting for it to stop working now that it is so cold. Your violets are sweet lovelies and look like a cat would love to just nip off a petal or two! Take care and keep warm~~gail

beckie said...

Lisa, thanks, I think the east garden window in the kitchen is the answer as to why mine are healthy. Besides getting just the right light, being above the sink they get plenty of humdity.
We've had snow and ice this year! Not used to so much and I'm ready for spring.

Flydragon, Not sure when I started with the violets, but I do enjoy their blooms. Should get more colors. I think my camera is not one of the better ones. :} Rub it in!

beckie said...

Rose, I was very happy when they fixed the furnace. Especially when I found out I didn't need a new one.

You've got an east facing window above your sink-you should try violets. My peace lily is in the front living room under the sky light and seems to be very happy there. Again, I think it's the right light.

Can't wait til we go gareden shopping. Getting sooo tired of winter and need to start thinking spring!

beckie said...

Tina, I guess this cold weather is just too hard on some of these furnaces. Hope you get yours fixed without too much hassel.

Marnie, thanks for the name. :} I still hadn't looked it up. Not a limit on the violets. Carol was refering to them as being little old lady plants and the older you got the more violets you had. Of course she was teasing-sort of!

I hope you are staying warm and managing to get around okay with all the snow you've had.

beckie said...

Jan, okay-if you think it's fun come stay with me for a few days! :} I was thrilled that we didn't have to get a new furnace. I know we are pushing the limits with the old one and probably will have to get a new one soon.

When we first got the cat, she loved to nibble on the violets and tried to lay in them. But I moved them to a lower shelf in the garden window and gave her a clear spot to lay. Now she leaves them alone.

I know just how you feel about posting. I have really slowed down on putting up posts and just enjoy reading others' and commenting. I expect when the weather warms and we can get outside to work in our gardens, we will feel more like sharing. Take care.

beckie said...

Susie, I see you guys are really cold there too! Surely the temps will get back to normal soon. The peace lily is one from our daughter's funeral so I am very fond of it and thrilled when it blooms. They have a gentleness about them don't they?

Stay warm!

Monica, those furnaces pick the worst times to act up don't they? Glad you got yours fixed. take care and keep warm.

beckie said...

Gail, seems like it is always something going on. At least it was fixable. :}

As I told Jan, the cat doesn't bother the violets now. Actually she is really good about all the house plants. I have several big pots that sit on the floor and she leaves them alone too. She makes up for it though in being a big pain in the...! Stay warm.

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie......The peace lily is one of my favourite indoor plants and did you know it keeps the air is really very efficient at that.

Your temperatures are awful and only you could have the heating go glad it is sorted. You certainly don't need it at this time.....

Hope you have a great weekend.....and stay cosy.......

Sue said...

Brr! It's cold here, too. I forgot to include the pic I had of my African violets. They are almost finished blooming. Yours looks good.

Wendy said...

African violets! My mother used to have a windosill full of them! She loved and babied her little violets. They were so beautiful. Just like yours!
I don't seem to have the same good luck with them, so don't have any.

Too bad about the furnace breaking down. It's way to cold!!! Good thing you didn't need to get one right away. Imagine all those men coming and going in your house trying to install a furnace and you shivering cold with a mess to clean up afterward?
Not to mention the cost.

Yeah, it's cold here too. Even the birds are hiding. Hope your weekend is warmer.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Not a good day to have heater troubles. Glad they came out quickly!

Your violets are so pretty. I didn't have any blooms, not even my violets.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Beckie, sorry about the furnace. I believe you are the next person on the list to send the seeds on to from Monica from Garden Faeries Musings seed exchange. If so, I would love to link you up on the forwarding post. I posted about receiving them today.


beckie said...

Cheryl, one of the reasons I like house plants is their ability to help clean the indoor air. That and they are so pretty.

I know, I thought, "well wonder what else can happen!" Sometimes you just have to laugh at life's little surprises.

We have the girls this weekend and are having a birthday party for the 6 yr. old so that will be lots of fun. They don't have school on Monday so we get them an extra day.

The cold has finally eased a little were back to 20! Hope your weekend goes well.

beckie said...

Sue, I know it's been exceptionally cold over a lot of the country this winter. Maybe we've seen the last of it. :} I usuallu got 2 or 3 violets blooming while the others take a rest. But I'm thinking of getting some different colors.

beckie said...

Wendy, My luck with violets is because of my garden window I am sure. Otherwise...:}

A new furnace would have been a mess to contend with! all that tracking in and out, not to mention the exspense!

I haven't seen many birds here during this weather-like you say, I suppose they are hiding trying to stay warm.

Robin, I was lucky to get such quick service. They were near here working on someone else. Blooms are pretty scarce for us northerners this time of the year!

Deb, I am so looking forward to getting the seeds. Maybe they will get me in the mood to start thinking of the gardens.

perennialgardener said...

Beautiful violets for Bloom Day! They are so particular about the amount of light they get and no window in my house seems to fit their needs. :) Glad your furnace problems were an easy fix, with the temps you have you definitely need some heat.

Kylee said...

Hi Beckie! None of my violets are blooming right now. :-( Yours are stunning!

Glad you were able to get your furnace running without having to buy a new one. Is a new furnace ever really in the budget? Not ours!

Hang in there, spring is comin'!

Carol said...

I love your African violets. They are nice to have, as long as you don't have too many!

And sorry to hear about your furnace, but happy to hear you got off without having to get a whole new one.

Stay warm, and thanks for posting for bloom day!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

kpaneitz said...

Hi Beckie! I'm so excited I finally figured out how to post on your blog!! Yippee! I totally forget about bloom day (almost every time) so a day late is no big deal! You have some beautiful African violets. I've never grown them and always heard they were difficult so you must have a green thumb. I have a peace lily too but it hasn't bloomed in quite a while ~ it's actually not looking very happy at the moment so I need to look into that. NOT a good time for your furnace to go out is it?? and I'm so impressed it's 45+ years old ~ I hear nowadays they only last about 20???? You've gotten a lot of work out of yours. I'm glad they were able to fix it so you didn't freeze. Stay warm and Happy New Year (since I didn't tell you earlier).

Mountain Mama said...

Your violet's are so pretty. I just have one right now and it looks like it's on it's last leg er stem or something. I do have some geraniums blooming. I am wintering them in the kitchen in front of the sliding door and they seem to like the light and warmth.
I like the little splash of color they make during this otherwise dreary looking January.

beckie said...

Racquel, even though violets may be old fashioned, I still love their blooms. They brighten up a winter's day. I am so glad to have the east facing garden window as they really like that spot.

Kylee, are you sure spring is coming? We have fresh snow today-about 2" and it's cold again. Although later in the week we are to get in the 30's!

beckie said...

Carol, I so enjoy bloom day. Even when I don't have much I can see the gorgeous flowers of so many others.

Kathleen, whoo-hoo! What ever you did it worked. So glad. The violets do best with the right light and luckily I guess I have that.

We've been very lucky with the furnace-they sure don't make them like that any more. :} But we know the day is coming. :{

beckie said...

Bev, I seem to have no luck with any other blooming plant like the geraniums trying to over winter them. You must have the 'touch'. We've had more snow and it's still cold, but we are going to warm some this week and have lots of sun. :}

joey said...

Glad you're back, nice & toasty warm, dear Beckie ... not a good time to loose your heat in that arctic blast. Believe me, I noticed Saturday's snow ... 50 guests trudged through the storm to attend my husband's 'Swingin' into Medicare' party and danced 'til 2 in the Pub (all got home safely albeit slow)! Love your African Violets ... I always keep 3 in my antique Flow Blue bowl and at least one blooming in the SW library window. Thanks for sharing :)

Eduardo Miguel said...

- Se gosta mesmo tanto como parece das libélulas como chamam aqui no Brasil visite meu blog e veja como transformo o lixo em dragonflycorner e veja se não fica mesmo bonita???
- Parabéns pelo blog e sucesso

- It is liked exactly in such a way as seems of the dragonflies as call here in Brazil it visits mine blog and it sees as I transform the garbage into dragonflycorner and I see if she is not exactly pretty?
- Congratulations for blog and success

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Just stopping by to say hi...thanks for leaving a comment on my post for the Desert Island challenge. It was difficult to choose!
I've decided not to reply on my own blog any more to comments...I can't do it all and visit others too. I'll answer questions on my blog though, if someone leaves one.
Hope your survivin' in that snow! Yes, I would come and live with you so I can enjoy it, really! But just for a day or 2--then I'd leave:) I can only take it in small doses! Please stay warm and cozy!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Lovely violets and glad you are warm again...........

Mary said...

You do have color in the midst of winter. I'm glad you are WARM! It's such a bummer to lose heat or air conditioning - something we take for granted until it's gone.

Stay warm! I hope you hear spring peepers real soon, Beckie.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

PS I love the Peace Lily, too;)

How's the snowy midwest? Hope your heater is working well:)

We had about a minute and a half of little flurries this morning then they just stopped, just like that. We are supposed to get 'something' like as snowstorm...this afternoon into tomorrow. We shall see about that:)

Really, I don't envy you at all! I know it's a difficult time with all that cold and snow:) I used to live in Maine, and we got a lot of snow and cold there. My husband's family still lives there, and have had -35 temps and many feet of snow...lots, anyway:)

Hope you're doing well on this day in Jan. Only 53 days until spring!!

Meems said...

Hi Beckie, I'm so glad you have the violets inside to remind you of things to come this spring. They are very pretty. I grow the peace lily (or spathiphylum) outisde in the ground here and it adds a nice tropical flair in the shade ... you can link here over to a post where I featured them if you have an extra minute.

So glad you got your heat fixed... you are really having some cold wintery weather... one of the reasons I can't complain about our two nights of freezing temps. Stay warm and here's to a soon coming spring time for you!
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel