Succulent Flowers and More

Flowers are a wonderful bonus on any succulent plant.  At the same time though, succulents can be shy when it comes to blooming.

Many succulents need higher temperatures in summer to set their blooming chemistry and, therefore, if we keep them indoors and our homes are climate controlled, they aren’t provided with that necessary temperature extreme.  Succulents that originate from cold-winter deserts, need winter dormancy and cold temperatures to induce spring blooms.

Generally speaking, if they are provided with the cold of winter, summer’s heat and a little fertilizer, they will put on a spectacular show.  Other times, a more intense light may be all that’s needed for successful flowering.
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The Queen in My Garden

I’m starting to get a nice little collection of Anthuriums.  Also known as tailflower, flamingo flower, and laceleaf, the flower of this tropical plant is quite impressive, but it’s my latest acquisition that is a royal stunner.  With dramatic burgundy flowers that can also range from black to brown (I’ve been watching the colour lighten as the flowers age), meet the Black Queen Anthurium I couldn’t walk past recently.

The Black Queen

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The Creamiest Day of the Year

The what day?  The CREAMIEST day!

And (I hear you ask) why is today the creamiest day of the year?  Because July 30 is Cheesecake Day.  Yum! Yum!

As I pulled into the shopping centre carpark this morning, my favourite radio announcer was giggling about today being Cheesecake Day.  But I was so pleased he was because without his reminding me, I would never have known and would have gone about my day completely oblivious to the fact that today is the day to indulge in the decadence of this delicious dessert.
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Did You See That?

In January this year, I missed the Super Blue Blood Moon, that rare event saw a total lunar eclipse occur when the second full moon for the month was in perigee (its point of orbit when its nearest the Earth).  I was guttered, the weather was so unkind with huge summer storms rolling in even though clear skies were predicted.

But I did say back then that what I love so much about the Moon is that every month there’s a chance to see it full.  Sometimes there are two chances, and at other times special events coincide with the Moon being full.  This is what happened during the recent eclipse when totality – the duration of total obstruction during an eclipse – lasted an unusually long time and it’s all thanks to a few celestial events converging – well, almost converging.
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Magnificent Mars

Look up into the night sky at the moment and, providing there are no clouds to obstruct your view, it will be hard to miss seeing Mars, which is currently nearing its closest approach to Earth in almost 15 years and looking resplendently bright.

Rising approx. two hours after the Moon last night, Mars was clearly visible.  I’ve been watching it for a few nights as it moves towards opposition in the early hours of Saturday morning when will also be at its brightest since it made its closest approach to Earth in almost 60,000 years back in 2003*. Continue reading →