Valley Gardening: Caring for Christmas cacti

Aren’t we all glad the elections are over? I’m so sick and tired of all the lies, the half-truths, the exaggerations, the accusations, etc. You really can’t tell who is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth anymore. Am I the only one who is thinking this? The sad thing is that it doesn’t even look like we can enjoy the holiday season without more of the same. It seems as if there is already talk about the next presidential election—yuck!

There is one thing I can’t understand and that is how folks can organize marches and protests with thousands of people participating, yet no one has organized campaigns against lifetime salaries, private social security for elected officials, private medical insurance, term limits, etc. Why can’t we get those things under control? It might eliminate some of the candidates, because they won’t get the lifetime benefits. 

As I talk to people, I keep explaining that all I want is for people to work. We have way too many folks who won’t work….and why should they….everything is given to them for free. The hemp farmers couldn’t find help. The potato farmers can’t find help. I have talked to grocery store owners, and bank supervisors and they can’t find good help. Construction companies can’t find good workers. Maybe it’s time folks had to do some kind of work for their benefits—like it was in the olden days—the WPA programs, etc. Maybe that would put us, as a country, back on track.

Off my soapbox for a bit, to talk about Zygo cactus, otherwise known as the Christmas cactus. I just got a bunch in, so they are fresh on my mind. Mine are blooming a bit, so I won’t transplant them until they are done. To keep them blooming for a longer period of time, I am pinching back the spent blooms, taking care not to knock off the little blooms coming on. 

If your Zygo is putting on flower buds, but the buds are dropping off there are a number of causes. One would be lack of light. Another reason would be too close to a heater or heating vents, where they may be exposed to ethylene gas—incomplete combustion. Apples also put off ethylene gas. Moving of your Zygo should be done carefully. When plants are purchased at the Green Spot we always put them in a paper bag or covering this time of year. Wherever you purchase your plant, make sure they are covered.  This is especially important when Poinsettias start coming in. 

I don’t know of any plant off the top of my head that likes to be in a south or west window.  It’s just too intense around here. Put your Zygo in a bright spot, but back a little bit from the window. 

I am remembering how much work Geraniums are—even though I asked for them. Lucky for me, Jenny Kroschel comes in every Thursday afternoon and she does an awesome job of keeping them clean! If you need a hug, come by and just say “Hi, Jenny.” It makes her day, which in turn makes our day, and in turn will make your day! Such a simple thing to do.

Please put this date on your calendar—December 19th, a Wednesday. The Green Spot (my family) will be hosting the 6th Annual Memories and Reflections. We will celebrate our families, our friends, our neighbors, our customers. We will be honoring those who continue to wage the battle against cancer—of any type. We will remember those who have lost the battle. We will do this by lighting candles and placing them on the glass shelves surrounding the pond. If you haven’t been before, it really is quite beautiful. Very beautiful. No shopping is allowed. But feel free to wander the entire store.  When lighting a candle we ask for a $10 donation, and the candle may be taken home. All monies raised will be donated to the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund. One hundred percent of these funds go to folks in the Valley battling cancer. Isn’t that what Christmas is about? (And, there will be refreshments.)

The 19th was chosen as the date, because that is the day my Dad, Howard ‘Red’ Iveland would get up, hang the flag and say “___ years ago today I was in Prison Camp.” He was a German POW. And that’s all he would say. It was a horrific time for him. All eight of us kids remained quiet the entire day. I look at my Dad’s picture every day in my store window. I remember him this Veterans Day. I thank him and all veterans for what they have given us. Take a moment on Saturday afternoon, at 4 p.m. and just be thankful. That is the true 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in Europe. Thank you Jack Rudder, for this reminder.