Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All's not lost to Jack Frost!

Winter sunshine bathes the Kalanchoe as evening draws in. It is late December and this newly acquired succulent has benefited from the gentle rains that have fallen on the parched Empordà earth. Here the emergency water controls are to remain in force for another 18 months so a little water has to go a long way. The castaway Kalanchoe has rooted and established itself sufficiently well to share late blooms with the gardeners. As Mediterranean winters tend to be dry and cool the succulent should survive its first test.

Frosty nights are upon us now -3c is often experienced whilst Mediterranean days still provide the occasionally warming and very welcome 19c. 

More often than not in these early winter days, the air is cool, damp and perfumed by wood smoke curling from the chimneys of the village houses. Pine cones and fallen branches are collected daily from the woodland floor by neighbours anxious to keep their home fires burning.

The mountain tops are now snow covered and the ski stations are open to winter sport enthusiasts. The occasional flurry of snow flakes is blown across the plains towards the pueblo but seldom makes an impression on the land.


  1. Is that Kalanchoe or Cotyledon orbiculata? The flowers look like Cotyledon. I have both plants in my garden, they thrive here, and yes they will tolerate cold dry weather. My plants have survived 20F temps. We have mild water restrictions in force here, we're hoping for a wet winter so the restrictions aren't increased. Your description of the winter day makes it sound so appealing. :)

  2. Hi Michelle,
    The leaves of Kalanchoe luciae look very like this specimen which was a rescued plant, therefore no I.D. label. It may well be a Cotyledon do you know which one it is / might be?

  3. Hi Colin and Carol,
    It looks nearly identical to the Cotyledon orbiculata that I have except that mine has a more grayish colored leaf. The flowers are the give-away, they look identical. The common name that I'm familiar with for this plant is "pigs ears". I also have two other Cotyledon orbiculatas that have finger shaped leaves, one is a larger version than the other. They all have the same distinctive flowers. I don't know much more about them other than that they are native to the cape region of South Africa. My original plant is over 20 years old, still in the same pot that my mother gave to me. It has survived a lot of neglect.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and signing on as a follower (I hate that term, sounds so cultish).

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog. I am bringing up a kalanchoe, but it is slightly difficult in Japan because there is much moisture.
    Rain gives much damage to a cactus and a kalanchoe.
    By the way your blog is beautiful.