During these gray, winter days, my houseplants are still bringing me joy. Sunday is my official day for watering and puttering around them, but I've been trying to take a little break mid-afternoon and check on my plants while I'm drinking my cup of tea.
I've always had a thing for orchids, starting from when I was pretty young. There are such a variety of species that you could limit yourself to only orchids and never get bored. I realized recently that the blooming season for Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) and Paphiopedilum (lady slipper orchids) is the winter, which is so perfect. Just when the outside gardens are a distinct memory, orchids open their very showy flowers right in your house!
I'm also really loving my tiny plants on my kitchen windowsill. The textures and colors of the leaves are so pretty, and their small sizes make them very charming. The calligraphic one in the middle is a mistletoe cactus, and I started it as a tiny cutting from my friend Maria. It belongs to the group of jungle cacti in the group Rhipsalis, which are actually succulents. They are found in tropical rainforests and so enjoy diffuse light and high humidity. My plant is growing in a methodical and surprising way, pushing out one little segment after another. It's starting to gently drape over the side of the pot. The rippled leaf is that of a small peperomia caperata, and the hairy leaves belong to a strawberry begonia.
And here's some serious color! This leaf belongs to a Prince of Orange Philodendron. The page from my sketchbook reminds me of a busy indoor garden and incorporates some of the same colors as the plant, a good example of art being inspired by nature!