Garden Photo of the Day

Tropics in the Sunroom

If you have some sunny windows, you can always have flowers

We visited Barbara Cain’s beautiful garden in Norwell, Massachusetts, in the summer, and she recently shared some images of escaping from the cold winter in California. Today she’s sharing a different kind of winter escape: the tropical plants she grows in her sunroom at home. The diversity and beauty of flowers she has shows that if you have a sunroom with some bright light, you don’t have to get a plane ticket to escape from the snow and the cold. Instead, you can enjoy a piece of summer and the tropics while looking outside at the snow.

Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri, Zones 8–11) in flower. Citrus blooms smell so amazing, they may even be better than the fruit, though given how heavily this is flowering, it looks as if Barbara is going to get a nice crop of lemons as well as a beautiful fragrance.

Walking iris (Neomarica gracilis, Zone 10) producing its unusual and intricately patterned flowers.

Another view of the walking iris in flower.

Here we’re looking down at the walking iris blooms from above, which are showing off their incredible patterning. This almost looks like an orchid, the flowers are so complex.

An Epiphylilium hybrid (orchid cactus). These tropical cacti aren’t difficult to grow, though they can get very large. Their flowers are absolutely spectacular.

A flower bud on the orchid cactus. The buds on these plants are really quite stunning!

Night-blooming cereus (Epiphylilium oxypetalium). These huge, fragrant, white flowers are absolutely amazing, but they only last for a single evening. This fact makes them all the more special, and they are well worth anticipating. Taking the time to enjoy them when they do make their show-stopping blooms is a must.


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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/26/2019

    Hi, Barbara, I'm quite enthralled with the flower stages of your orchid cactus...the bud itself is a thing of beauty and the fully opened bloom is spectacular. The color is so rich and has to be quite a treat to see in winter. The pattern on the flower of the walking iris is also quite eye-catching....all those lines of color are "drawn" in such fine detail. Mother Nature's artistic abilities never fail to amaze and impress.

  2. paiya 02/26/2019

    Barbara, your plants and photos are beautiful.As Michaele said, the intricate patterns of the iris flower are amazing.

  3. btucker9675 02/26/2019

    Wow... I'm going to investigate both the walking iris and the orchid cactus - so stunning! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos.

    In the backyard of the house I where I grew up in Clearwater, FL, there was a very tall pine tree with a huge night blooming cereus growing up at least 15 feet of the trunk. When it was in bloom, we would all run outside to be enchanted by it!

  4. janlyn 02/26/2019

    Love the sunroom flowers but I would have liked to hear how she heated it (or didn't). It's an important bit of information.

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