I have a confession.
There are two indoor plants in the world that I can say I hate. The poinsettia and these Christmas-Thanksgiving-Easter cacti. So why do I own these plants? Because Walgreens was selling them last year and I couldn't stand the sight of these plants tucked on a shelf next to the Snickers bars. The first time I noticed them the plants had buds that were swelling with the promise of blooming for the holidays.
After of few days of living on a shelf next to the Snickers bars the buds either dropped or shriveled up. I knew what their fate would be if they were allowed to remain in the store so I bought them and brought them home. I tossed them on a shelf in a window and left them to their own devices, it had been years since one of these plants last saw the inside of my home.
Watching the blooms unfurl and spread out in their unique and dramatic fashion I've started to feel something for them. It isn't love or anything serious like that but maybe the beginnings of a deep respect. Seeing all of my plant rescues reward me with wonderful flowers I'm beginning to understand why the ladies of the houseplant forum on GardenWeb flip over them. I've got the strangest urge to visit Wal-Mart in the hopes of finding a yellow flowering Schlumbergera. In the entry for oriental lily seed pods I was struck by how those pods reminded me of a building here in Chicago. The flowers of this Thanksgiving cactus when viewed in profile remind me of the Pritzker Pavillion's profile. But having seen both of them in person I can tell you that Frank Gehry's work has got nothing on this flower.
Today I stopped into Walgreens and noticed a display of "minature" poinsettias. Not those tacky colored ones with the glitter that make them look like "temporary companions" but the traditional red colored variety. At first my stomach churned at the sight of them but then I noticed that the little buggers were 4-5 inch tall and blooming their little heads off. Don't be surprised if you come here a year from now and see a photo of a poinsettia on these pages. I'm a sucker for two things; plants in distress and miniature looking plants. In a few days Walgreens will have both by the shopping cart load.