The Insiders, and Flowers of November

We have some tender plants. Orchids, the brugmansias, walking iris, some cacti, a staghorn fern, pots of amaryllis and rain lilies, are put outside for the warm part of the year.  In October, we bring them inside the house for the winter.

The fall before last, on a 28° morning, we found a neighbor’s little staghorn fern, frozen stiff on their porch. Our hearts melted, and we brought it inside to thaw.


After we brought the frozen fern inside, all but half of one leaf died, but the core of the plant clung to life. The road to recovery has been slow, but now it has six “regular” leaves. Right now it’s making a new mantle leaf, with a second mantle leaf about to start growing. Score a victory for the Wishetwurra Farm Plant Hospital! Next spring we’ll give it a hanging basket to grow in.

We have some east facing windows dedicated to some orchids. They must be happy, as they give us blooms almost every year. Here are the most recent buds to appear.


As the days shorten, the Christmas cactus are coming into bloom.


I’ve always admired their elaborately constructed flowers.


If you care to digress, read about them here:

Christmas cactus originally come from Brazil, where they’re called “Flor de Maio”, or “Mayflower”, from their time of bloom in the Brazilian spring. Our Mayflower, the trailing arbutus, isn’t as showy, but it sure does smell heavenly.



3 responses to “The Insiders, and Flowers of November

  1. Staghorns like banana as a fertilizer. Cut the banana in half length-ways and push the two halves behind the mantle and the tree it is growing on.

    • Ours is in a pot, since we can’t grow them outside in this climate. Isn’t banana full of phosphorous? The sugars would fertilize, too. Maybe we’ll try this when the fern goes outside again next summer. If we do this inside we’re guaranteed fruit flies.

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