Monday, January 18, 2021


 Remember the three poinsettias I bought for 25 cents apiece after Christmas? I always wanted a pink one, but the one remaining pink one looked as if it were on its last legs. I picked out a happier looking white one and a burgundy color that I'm not sure that I've ever seen before. On a whim, I grabbed the pink one too. 

75 cents. 

Woman goes wild.


Anyways, I brought the plants home and put them in a put them in a large dishpan and carefully kept them watered (and dutifully swept up the dropped leaves. As expected the pink one had no leaves at all in very short order. (The other two, surprisingly, still have most of their leaves.) 

After 3 weeks, today, I went around the house doing my weekly watering. I was so happy to see that the four stalks of that pink poinsettia are showing signs of new growth!  

It's the small stuff, isn't it? 

Encouraged, I spent some time reading about making them color for next Christmas, and carefully wrote down the instructions for myself. Surely next Christmas will be far different from the Christmas we've just celebrated. I thought happy thoughts as I worked. 

I also fell down another google rabbit hole. Amaryllis bulbs. I read about people who have saved their amaryllis bulbs for years. One person had one she got from her own mother. It's bloomed every year for 75 years. That's pretty cool too. These 'disposable' plants do not have to be disposable at all. I wonder how I got to be 63 years old and didn't know this little factoid. I'm wrote down the instructions on saving that, as well. 

I'm trying an experiment this year. At the retirement property, there is an old shallow well. I would never dream of drinking the water, but I've decided that this year that I'm going to build over it. A tin roofed building with a wooden floor, the well in the middle  It will be enclosed wood from the floor to about 4 1/2 feet  and then from that point up it will be screened for ventilation, with a tin roof. I'm going to use that damp to try to grow shiitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, using plug spawn for the shiitake, but loose spawn for the oysters which I plan to grow from a raised bed of sorts in the center of the building, the shiitake logs placed against the walls. 

I'm really excited about this. 

In just a month, I can start my seedlings. I'm excited about that too. 

Nothing makes you so hopeful as planning the garden for next year.


  1. Well well, and what do you imagine doing with this plethora of a fungal growth, from someone who doesn't like mushrooms.

  2. You can dry them and use them all year long. You can also can them, either marinated or just plain. You can also give them away, swap them them for other produce or sell them at a farmer's market. I'll probably just keep the family well supplied. That and make a lot of full english breakfasts. :)

  3. That is quite a plan that you have.

  4. I often fall down Google rabbit holes. Good luck with the Mushrooms.

  5. My MIL likes to "rescue" both poinsettias and orchids whenever she gets a chance. I dutifully toss their remains in the compost and recycle their cheap plastic pot if it hasn't already been done when they inevitably die. I don't think a single one has lived to be a year old.

  6. I have amaryillis growing in my yard that are about 15 years old nowm bloom every year. I have some in a big pot that when they bud out I lug to my husbands grave, he loved them. When they finish blooming I "lug" them home again to grow for another year. I mean lug as they are a very full pot of flowers. He was the yard and flower man and we had a beautiful yard when he was alive now it gets mowed and the needs met. Good luck with the plants.

  7. Good luck with the mushroom house.
    I am not very good with houseplants. The only one hanging on well is the money plant (crassularia?) That I grew from a sprig I found on the side of a road about twenty years ago!

  8. New Life in a Garden does spark Hope and Joy doesn't it? I once saved an Ivy from the Trash at an Office I worked at over Two Decades ago, it had one lone Leaf. I still have it thriving on a windowsill to this Day, strong and vibrant, it just needed some Love... not a lot of expert Care, just Love and respect for being a Living Thing. Growing Mushrooms sounds fascinating.

  9. Well, that mushroom house is pretty ambitious! And I'm impressed you've nursed along the poinsettias. We have four amaryllis bulbs that we've brought to blossom every year since 2012 -- not quite 75 years, but I'm still pretty happy with that.

  10. You sound like you're feeling better, Debby. I'm glad. Take care, Kris

  11. Good luck with the mushrooms - I had an awesome pickled mushroom recipe that I found on the internet.

  12. *had* being the operative word. Heading off to google for pickled mushroom recipe.

  13. My father used to grow poinsettias to give away during the holidays. But mushrooms? Shiitakes? Wow! That is very impressive... and exciting.

  14. I love mushrooms! I'm not good with poinsettias so I would hesitate to try to winter one over.


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