As some of you may have guessed, we were away from Austin for a few weeks and I'm having trouble returning to everyday life. It will take a long time to get reordered and catch up with all your posts, but that's not the reason why my Christmas tree is still up and the outside lights are still lit... the reason is that my maternal ancestors were a bunch of stubborn Chicago Irish people who always kept their trees up until Epiphany, the 6th of January. And at this time of year, I'm proud to be one of them.
My brothers and sisters and I were raised in this tradition, calling the day "Little Christmas", a time for visiting with aunts, uncles and cousins. Sometimes we stayed at one location - other times finger food was served at one house and desserts at another, with mixed drinks for the adults and 'Kiddie cocktails' for the youngsters - would anyone dare serve them today? Most houses had a piano or one of the electric organs that were so popular in the fifties and sixties - a couple of the aunts could play and everyone could sing. The party may have been stressful for the hosts and hostesses but we kids thought it was all wonderful.
Although I'm far away from my family and many of those people are no longer around to celebrate Little Christmas, the lights will shine here for a few more nights, to puzzle the neighbors and add a little sparkle to the January darkness.
There were a couple of hard freezes while we were gone and we came back to a garden that had changed greatly from the one we left - MSS from Zanthan Gardens referred to her rosebuds as 'freeze-dried'... I like that phrase enough to swipe it to describe the iris buds as they look now. A 2006 birthday gift from my mother and sisters was a miniature rose bush... I divided it into 3 plants last spring and one of them was still blooming yesterday near the shelter of a brick wall.
The Sasanqua camellia 'Shishi Gashira' seems untroubled by the colder weather - with just a few more buds not yet opened.
Inside the house the barely budded Thanksgiving cactus from the previous Blooms Day post had opened in the hoped for peachy-apricot color, which I like very much in the breakfast room.
Peachy-apricot must be the in color this January - back in November I decided to bring the Mother-of Thousands inside rather than let it freeze - my reward was a few delicate flowers in that shade... but they didn't appear on the usual 3-foot stalk. The plant was already taller than usual when I brought it in and it kept elongating all of December. Now the flowers hang almost at eye level, 58 inches above the surface of the potting soil.
Happy New Year to all of you who have made the world of garden blogging such a warm and interesting place!
This post, "Stubborn Irish People From Chicago", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.