Saturday, January 21, 2017

One Project I've Been Putting Off

Now that we are coming up on a year on South Calhoun I'm getting around to finishing some things I've been putting off. Aside from still sorting through the few boxes that are stashed discreetly under my bed, I have been putting off painting all of the doors that face the hallway. Initially I was worried about painting any of them, but after Contractor swiped a roller over the laundry door I realized I should go with my gut and paint them all. White trim be gone!

I accomplished the door to the bathroom on Wednesday night. Hopefully this weekend I can finish the front and bedroom doors. And then, just maybe, my closet...

All of the baseboards and window trim in the apartment had been painted the first go round. We should have just continued. The white trim on the bathroom door has just begun to be painted.

The pantry door looks so great (after a few touch ups). Here you can clearly see how the white trim stands out against the Bedford Gray walls.

One down, two to go!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Surprise in the Winter Garden


On Thanksgiving I went into the "Winter Garden" where most of the tropical plants are stored for the winter (actually the smallest bedroom at my mom and dad's house that happens to have a giant south facing window) and noticed that after almost a year and a half the papaya tree was blooming. I instantly read up on papaya reproduction and was quickly discouraged that I might have a male or female tree rather than a self pollinating tree. I took a cotton swab and sort of exchanged pollen between the flowers (I'm not sure if this really made any difference) and low and behold a month later there was definitely something growing!

Now if only my citrus would follow this growth spurt!

The creamy white flowers on the papaya tree. It always surprises me when plants start to grow better inside rather than during their time outside in the summer.

About a month later and there is clear growth, I think we are well on the way to having at least one papaya to harvest in several more months. Maybe a few more will appear by then!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Beating Winter's Chill with Houseplants

Now that Christmas is packed away and the apartment is somewhat back to normal, I took a few minutes to check up on all of the houseplants. I've discovered that ferns and begonias love South Calhoun. I'm not sure if it's the floor to ceiling windows allowing great natural light, or the fact that they face east instead of west that has made this apartment so hospitable, but either way everything seems to thrive like never before. The light is so great, in fact, that a little angel-wing begonia has been growing on my kitchen counter far from the windows since I moved in, and a rosemary plant brought in from the garden is doing quite well on the kitchen island. Rosemary once had to fight for a spot in the south facing windows at the Penthouse. On South Calhoun everything just sort of grows wherever I place it.

I haven't tested bringing the citrus home for the winter, but maybe next year. I mean, if there's enough light for the rosemary there should be enough for a little lemon tree. I just made a visit to the "Winter Garden" at my parents home and brought home two orchids who have new spikes. I'll share those as soon as they bloom.


I recently potted up two stephanotis vines into one large pot I painted Bedford Gray. They seem to be thriving with much more room to climb as well as spread their roots.


Staghorn ferns seem to love growing in my bedroom. They are still in pots, but I would like to mount some and hang them like true "trophies". The fronds look so much more impressive that way.

A lovely, nameless begonia I rescued from the frost.

There are quite a few angel-wing begonias, including this 'Fannie Moser'.


'Fannie Moser' and 'Medora', another angel-wing, tucked into a faux bois container on my desk.



Another great staghorn fern in another faux bois pot. I love how the gilded frames and brass and mercury glass look against the dark gray walls.

In one of the bedroom windows my Southern magnolia patiently overwinters, He, too. looks wonderful compared with last year.


His leaves are still quite glossy, with brown fuzzy undersides. My bedroom makes me think of rooms in Charleston, so it's fitting to have this Southern beauty sharing the space.

Even in the windowless bathroom enough light is filtered in to make this Rex Begonia 'Dark Mambo' thrive. Unless I have an orchid or flower arrangement in here, this begonia is on the counter.


My biggest experiment to date is going on in my closet.


Three camellia plants seem to be surviving. I don't have the proper potting mix, but the unheated closet (if I keep the door closed) is the perfect place for them as they need night time temperatures between 35 and 60 degrees in order to bloom.

I don't know what will happen if they do survive. I don't have room for them to get too big. I found a great source for camellias earlier today that I might go a bit crazy if these guys survive.


Back in the living room with all of my green (and my little aloe) is my newest medinilla.

Malaysian Orchid ('Medinilla Myriantha') is right next to my Medinilla magnifica, which I have succeeded in reblooming once. Hopefully I can get this guy to produce the drooping umbels of light pink flowers they are known for.