Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Solarium


We are enduring a severe late winter here with record low temperatures overnight and more snow in the forecast. The spring sun is shining on the icy landscape making the day look deceptively warmer than it is. The north winds have control of this day.

At the hospital, the solarium provides a refuge of green and warmth on a day such as this. The window shelves are full of growing vines, ferns and cuttings. Penny is the sole recreational therapist and she brings patients down here to work on potting, planting and pruning. She is always on the lookout for raw materials. Potted plants given as gifts to the sick are not pitched on the trash when their blooms are done but are lovingly cared for in this area. A couple of times a year, staff and visitors have a chance to buy some healthy house plants.

In the past, (before children) I used to spend a lot of time caring for a large number of house plants. My pots now contain only the heartiest varieties which can withstand dry conditions and moderate neglect. Today I noticed blooms forming on my Christmas Cactus. It generally blooms for Easter in my home and looks as if it will not disappoint me this year.


The birds are eating from my feeders at a steady pace in order to keep warm, huddling on the deck out of the wind. The snow is sure to melt and my garden will once again come alive with growth and bloom. Today I can visit the sunny solarium and watch the plants indoors respond the the sun and lengthening days as they grow and bloom on the warm side of the window.

7 comments:

  1. I had to smile at your remark that BC (before children) you used to spend a lot of time caring for plants. I had a garden--vegetables--BC. I gave it up when my daughter was little.
    Now that the children are grown and flown, I have flowers outdoors. I do go a little crazy in summer.
    I love places that incorporate solariums (solaria?) into their building plans. Good for your hospital.

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  2. We're getting those freezing temps and high winds too. Thanks for the breath of spring. I love the cactus!

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  3. How nice that it's sunny outside despite the cold. That has to be a lift to the spirits! Your plants in the solarium look lovely!

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  4. Ruth, keep visiting that sunny solarium for your own mental health until the thaw comes! I also like the reference, "BC". Life was different "BC", wasn't it? After BC, life was good, too :o)

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  5. My Mom had a Christmas cactus for years. I loved to watch it bloom.

    Poor birds...and poor you. Stay warm up there!

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  6. A very beautiful spot of green for people to enjoy!

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  7. KGMom- Yes, our priorities change after children come. I enjoy my outdoor garden more than houseplants too, but it is nice to have something green year round.

    LauraO- You are sharing our arctic air mass. I think it is quite cool far to the south. It cannot last!

    Ginger- One can always find a spot of beauty of you look hard enough. Fortunately, I don't have to look hard.

    Mary- Yes, post BC life is good too. Much as we can dislike change, each stage of life has its perks.

    Susan- Christmas cactus fit in the category of plants that will survive and thrive in my house. Mine is likely 10 years old now.

    Jayne- You know how important something like this is to people who are sick. They enjoy the plants so much.

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