March colors, surprises and celebrations.

ceanothus blue so hemI took a long walk around the neighborhood this morning. If I had brought my camera, I’d have more pictures to post, but then the prayer and exercise benefits of my outing would have been greatly reduced, so I don’t regret not thinking of it.

I noticed fuzzy chamomile plants close to the ground, and the cobalt blue ceanothus bushes such as we used to have at our former property. Many types of ceanothus grow wild in California but you can also buy them at nurseries. The picture above shows the color that is blooming around here right now.

pine cone forming 3-15 March is the month of our wedding anniversary, which makes it the month that we have many times made day or weekend trips within northern California to celebrate. Usually some blue bushes are flowering in the places we are visiting, and we are outdoors a lot walking or looking from highway overlooks. Maybe this is one reason that blue flowers have long been my favorite.

For example, Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans), which I first noticed decades ago in Big Sur. It can grow in our county and we even had one on our church property for a while, but they must not thrive here. The picture at bottom I took last year in Cambria.

P1120593 forget-me-not 3-12-15
forget-me-nots in the garden

At home this morning the pine cones that are forming in our big tree caught my eye. It seems to me there are double or triple the number of them that have grown there before — or maybe it is just my imagination.


Is there some climactic condition that could cause this, say, severe drought that makes the tree feel that it is dying, and ought to get busy and reproduce? I’ll have to ask the children if their memories are different from mine. I still don’t know what kind of pine this is. The task of finding out needs to go on a project list that is buried somewhere here. It will be a small project just to find it.

P1120548 cones

The children I want to consult with, all five of them, will be here celebrating with us this month – we’re letting them do the traveling this year. It’s not like the early years when we had to get away to be alone. Nowadays being alone is the usual thing, and we are thrilled when any kids converge on our house.

Mr. Glad and I sat in the back yard this afternoon, on a bench in the sun. If I have many more days in which I accomplish both a walk beside a creek among the trees and sitting in the sun, I may find that I don’t need the Christmas lights that are still shining around my kitchen window.

sourgrass 3-15 crp

While we were relaxing and facing my potted plants, it suddenly dawned on me that sourgrass was living and blooming in the miniature rose pot. When did he move in? I don’t remember having sourgrass anywhere on our property in all the 25 years we have lived here. Maybe a bird dropped in a seed.

Another new thing is the Christmas cactus in bloom. The story behind my cactus is long: Friend May and I had both admired the mother cactus in our friend Jerry’s house for decades. It was a prolific bloomer and it was a huge potted plant on wheels, taking up a space about 4′ x 4′, with most of that measured out by long arching stems. When Jerry moved to a retirement home 3-4 years ago, May gave me a big chunk of his cactus plant with roots.

But I don’t have the wall of windows Jerry did, or any sunny and convenient indoor place for houseplants, so I moved my piece of cactus from place to place outdoors, and under the eaves in the winter. I made many cuttings from it and managed to give at least one away before they died of neglect. Last month my sister told me that her grandchild of the Jerry cactus was blooming beautifully on the central California coast, which was a big relief to me — my guilt at not providing a nurturing home for my adopted child was assuaged by knowing that the next generation was prospering.

first Thanksgiving cactus bloom 3-15 JerryNot a week later I walked past the corner of the utility yard where my poor peaked plant would have gone unseen as usual if its flower buds hadn’t glowingly called up to me, “Look at us!” I was shocked and blessed no end, and quickly moved “her” to a sunny place. Now that my cactus has shown a desire to perform, I am endeared to her in a new way and have named her “Tylda,” after Jerry’s late wife.

pride of Madeira cambria 14

This site tells how to care for these plants, and it showed me that this one is not a Thanksgiving cactus as I had previously thought, but a Christmas cactus. It also says that they require cold temperatures to spur them into blooming. So perhaps it’s not a bad thing that I left it outdoors. I’m thinking of ways that I can be a better houseplant owner in the future.

But this month, it’s the outdoor plants for me, and I do enjoy whatever colors they are dressed in when they bloom. But especially blue.

19 thoughts on “March colors, surprises and celebrations.

  1. I too notice maple and fir, hemlock and cedar are putting out a zillion pods, cones or seeds this year after last year’s drought. Your thoughts are similar to mine! I share your love of walking, too. Gotta go. Charles wants breakfast! Blessings to you both today!


    Sent from Samsung tablet

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  2. This post is a wonderful gathering of times and places. It’s delightful when one receives even a small bouquet for celebrations, and it is truly delightful when we are given a love of the bountiful plants with which the Creator has adorned His earth and those plants twine in our heart of memories touchstones of the journey of love in our lives. Happy Anniversary to you and your dear “Mr. Glad.’

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  3. While blue was never a favorite color of mine for most of my life, things have changed dramatically and I, too, glory in all those amazing blue flowering plants, especially the caenthus which I absolutely adore. And the pride of Madeira too. They are special. I love your Christmas cactus story . . . so glad the child of Jerry’s plant has once again come to life for you.

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  4. I love the blue bush at the top of your post! I was going to say that your pine is a Norway, but the droopy branches look different than our Norways. Happy anniversary month!

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  5. The blue flowers are always my favorites, too. Ceanothus is called California Lilac here. It can really overtake a garden. What joy to anticipate the visit of your children.

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  6. I remember you showing the blue flowers of your wedding anniversary month last year. They are so very pretty! Congratulations on another year to you two.

    I’m so glad for your Christmas Cactus blooms. They really are a thrill to see, aren’t they? Mine is still blooming (a little less now) and usually keeps it up until Easter. Crazy. Mine is not yet 4×4, nor on wheels, but it’s getting there!

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  7. There is a soothing atmosphere in this post, so calm and beautiful.
    Your photos are lovely.
    We have our wedding anniversary in March as well. I have loved freesias ever since…
    Happy anniversary month!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, fortunately I still came to admire your beautiful photos! Otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed your reply.
        I have now added your blog to my (Blogger) reading list. (I don’t know whether WordPress blogs show any kind of list of followers.) Now I will not miss your new posts! 🙂
        I actually buy freesias very seldom; I don’t want them to become “ordinary” flowers.
        Happy Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. HAppy anniversary month to you two. What lovely discoveries you have made as well as enjoyed. I wish and pray for more of both for you each day.

    Liked by 1 person

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