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Thursday, April 22, 2010


Spring is here!  Well, actually, it has been here for over a month, but now it has finally blessed my north-facing window garden with floriferous abundance!  This is the first time my paphiopedilum has bloomed since I bought it last summer.  It is a hybrid labeled Incantation x Cocoa Cherry, and was a wine-red lady slipper bloom that lasted quite a while before finally drying up.  Now we wait.  I hope the bud doesn't blast.  That would be disappointing. 

A little background...

I am the proud resident of a north-facing condo in downtown Chicago.  My home possesses beautiful skyline views, lake Michigan peaking out from between towering high-rises, and plenty of light all day long.  Plenty of indirect light.  No direct sun.  Ever. 

Here, in my cave, a genocide has occurred.  Innocent jade plants of all sizes and variegation met a cruel, mushy, fungal demise as a direct result of Sol in absentia.  No sun.                             

Who knew you needed direct sunlight to grow plants???  Well, I sure do now.  After much research, trial, and error, I am now owned by a number of lower-light requiring plants...and more succulents!  Hi, my name is John, and I am a cactus and succulent-a-holic.  I've been a long-time C+S lover, and now I am on a quest to raise a few of my favorites despite my northern exposure.  This blog will chronicle my defeats, lessons, and (hopefully) victories.  However small they may be.  Thrown into the mix will be a collection of vigorous gesneriads, tropical house plants, a couple indestructible plants, and a slightly sunnier office space that I use as a convalescence home for succulents in need.  I have learned that the death of a plant is not a total waste.  While disappointing, we can learn from every failed attempt.  Perhaps most importantly, it provides the opportunity to try again.  Or buy a NEW plant! 

What we call the beginning is often the end.  And to make an end is to make a beginning.  The end is where we start from.  (T. S. Eliot)

Stapelia scitula in bud.

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