Monday, January 19, 2015

Surprising Winter Color

Like many parts of the country, we were hit with an ice storm this weekend. There was lots of freezing rain that made travel on the roads treacherous. I used the time to cook and bake, and enjoy having a fire in our fireplace. At least our house was warm and cozy inside. I must admit, that while the ice made it dangerous outside, it was really pretty to look at from the safety of our warm home. Even this morning, the trees were still covered in ice and the branches had a glass look to them. I tried to snap some photos to share with you, but the camera did not do justice to the natural sparkle and look of crystal that the ice gave to our yard.

But while things where icy outside, we had some surprising color blooming inside. The first colorful surprise came from our Christmas cactus. While it may be appropriate for this houseplant to bloom this time of year, our plant hasn't flowered in several years. So you can imagine our surprise to find these colorful blooms yesterday morning as they provided a sharp contrast to the ice outside.
But an even bigger surprise was this gorgeous bloom.....

We have a hibiscus tree that grows in a large pot on our deck every summer. Each year at the end of the season, we always move the large plant indoors. Usually the tree loses it's leaves over the winter, and sadly looks like we have a small dead tree in a large flower pot in our house. We tolerate the less then pretty phase each year however, as every spring it sprouts new leaves and it blesses us with bright flowers each summer. These trees can be pricey to buy each season, so it really seemed silly to throw it out and buy a new one each year. However the winters are too cold in New Jersey for the plant to survive outdoors, so every year we bring it inside. Surprisingly, the tree didn't lose it's leaves his winter, but we were really amazed when we woke up to find this gorgeous flower yesterday. This morning it has two more buds that are getting ready to open. We're not complaining however, as the house was looking a little plain after all the Christmas decorations were put away. These long cold winters can seem dreary at times, so we are thrilled to have these bright flowers around to remind us that the coming seasons will bring new color and promises. Hope things are warm and cozy and full of nice surprises where you are.