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Beyond Poinsettias

You deserve better than that for the holidays



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when echeverias (below left) are in blossom, and the leaves of flapjack kalanchoe (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, above) resemble an immense blossom.

Photos by Kindra Clineff

Psst. Come here! There’s a holiday plant that’s not high maintenance. Yes, really!

Imagine going through the holidays without fussing over a needy houseplant. Imagine a windowsill bristling with gorgeous growing things that require almost zero care. Yes, you can give a green gift without taking a guilt trip afterward. The secret is out of the bag.

Amaryllis
There is no plant easier than an amaryllis. This is one instance when you can just sit back and watch while a bulb performs on autopilot. Isn’t that just what you need for the busy holiday season? Actually, amaryllis is just a common name for hippeastrum, cultivars of bulbous species native to South America that form immense trumpet-shaped flowers crowning stems that stretch one to two feet above the soil. They come in colors ranging from white through burgundy red with pinks abounding. Some have a hint of green in the throats of their petals, others blush peach. The single-flowering versions look most like trumpets, and doubles resemble snowflakes, so there’s always that 

holiday association. ‘Rapido,’ ‘Amalfi,’ ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Razzle Dazzle,’ ‘Snow White,’ and ‘Hot Lips’ will blossom for the holidays, if the bulbs are planted in late September. Note of caution: Amaryllis (and all members of the lily family) are toxic to cats.

Give amaryllis good light to achieve glowing flower colors. Keep the pot size snug around the bulb. Do not overwater. When they’re happy, amaryllis often stage repeat performances throughout winter: a gift that keeps on giving.

Orchids
Promise anything, but give an orchid. Not only are orchids incredibly rewarding and amazingly low maintenance, but they are now readily available and affordable. Get a tropical lady’s slipper (Paphiopedilum cvs.) or a moth orchid (Phalaenopsis cvs.) and the pride of accomplishment will continue long after the holidays. Not only do they look suitably snazzy, but these ultra-sophisticated plants are amazingly easy if you choose something accessible—such as a tropical lady’s slipper or moth orchid. And you can give them as gifts knowing that they won’t be a maintenance burden. All an orchid requires is indirect light and water about once a week. Skip the ice cubes. Tropical orchids will not be thrilled with frigid water.

Christmas Cactus
Christmas cacti have come a long way since your grandmother’s old standby. For one thing, the color range has increased to hit various shades of yellow, orange, fuchsia, red, and white. In that broad spectrum, even tiny cuttings of Christmas cacti send out large flowers that look like someone married a shrimp with a gaping dragon.

Although they sometimes get their holidays mixed up and open for Thanksgiving or Easter rather than Christmas, they generally blossom within the dormant season timeframe—just when you need pizzazz. And they thrive on neglect. Overwatering might lead to some grumbling from your Christmas cactus.

Succulents
Several succulents are a cinch in midwinter and often blossom when you need flowers the most. Grow an echeveria, and you might even see blossoms in addition to remarkable rosettes of fascinating foliage. Ditto for flaming katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana), (pictured to the right) which performs to beat the band in the flowering department. You can even rescue a flapjack kalanchoe (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) from the garden. 

The trick to succulents—and all of the plants mentioned here—is to give them a natty presentation. Find a container that really does the plant justice, echoing foliage color and form and playing up the inherent architectural lines of the plant. And then just practice benign neglect. Although a south-facing window is optimal, most survive in a bright east or west-facing exposure. As far as watering is concerned, wait until the soil is dry before serving drinks. Talk about easy.

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April 2018

Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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Earth Day with The Wildlife Line FREE admission ~ You’re invited, to come and celebrate ( : Sunday April 22nd, from 11-4, at beautiful Harrybrooke Park, in New Milford, CT. Live...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Harrybrooke Park
100 Still River Drive
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: Harrybrooke Park
Telephone: 860-799-6520
Contact Name: Billy Buckbee
Website »

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Registration Closes: Friday, April 13th Jenna graduated from F.I.T with a degree in Fashion Design. She started her career working for the high-end Accessory Brand, Isabella Fiore and later moved...

Cost: $155.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
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Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

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​NEWDAA, the North East Westchester Domestic Abuse Alliance, hosts its annual Interfaith Service this year in Katonah.  Join community members, local clergy and government representatives...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Katonah United Methodist Church
5 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY
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Sponsor: NEWDAA
Telephone: 203-356-5405
Contact Name: Patti D'Agostino
Website »

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By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

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ENTRY DEADLINE: February 24, 2018 The area’s hottest musical competition known as BandJam 2018 will bring eight high-octane bands to compete at The Ridgefield Playhouse!  A panel of...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE ROAD
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

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Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

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Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about building structures resistant to earthquakes with toothpicks and marshmallows Tuesday, April 24th from 4-5 PM For kids in grade 1-3 Registration is required To register,...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

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On Wednesday April 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. join us for a leisurely stroll down our stream-side trail in memory of one of our founding Board members, Helen Hermes, to discover some of her...

Cost: FREE

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Come see Edith+Eddie, a 2018 Academy Award® nominated best documentary short film, followed by a panel discussion of esteemed experts in the fields of estate...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Ferguson Library
One Public Library Plaza
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Join Grace Farms Foundation and New Canaan Library for an insightful conversation about global policy and America’s potential for growth and leadership with retired United States Army General...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation & New Canaan Library
Telephone: 203-920-1720
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
Website »

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Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Thursday April 26, 6-9PM Gallo Ristorante, 5 Grove Street, Ridgefield Guest Bartenders from the Ridgefield Rotary Club: Robert Herber, Rainer Gonet, Kristina Kelly,  Ralph...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gallo Restaurant
5 Grove St.
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-431-7726
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

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Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Music on the Hill  celebrates "Music of Scandinavia" in a concert combining the Festival Chorus and professional Chamber Chorus, led by Artistic Director David H. Connell....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

Ages: K-5 Registration Closes: Wednesday, April 25th In this workshop, Lil’ Dreamers will have a ton of fun learning marbling techniques while creating their own unique papers.  Each artist...

Cost: $30.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
View map »


Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
Website »

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On Saturday April 28 from 10 – 11 a.m. veteran fly-tier New Pond Farm Program Director Tim Laughlin, would like to introduce you to the art of fly tying. Learn to tie a “Woolly...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm member child, $20 per non-member child

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Norwalk Now Presents a City-Wide Adventure NORWALK CITY HUNT Saturday, April 28, Meet-up 10:30 AM, Hunt 11 AM-1 PM, After Party 1-3 PM Norwalk Now presents Norwalk City Hunt, an...

Cost: $40

Where:
93 N Main St
norwalk, CT  06854
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Sponsor: Norwalk Now
Telephone: 203-561-9878
Contact Name: Linda Kavanagh
Website »

More information

Learn how you can transform your yard into an outdoor living OASIS! Vendors of the latest and greatest outdoor living products will be onsite Saturday, April 28th at Ridgefield Supply to answer...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Ridgefield Supply
29 Prospect Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877-0519
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Telephone: 203-438-2626
Contact Name: Krystal Lugo
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists presents its juried small group exhibition "2-1-2" in the main gallery, opening Saturday, April 21 with a reception from 4-6pm. It is free and open to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

“Glorious,” raved the New York Times when Joyce DiDonato sang the title role of Cendrillon at the Royal Opera in 2011. “Her performance was thoroughly...

Cost: $25

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE
RIDGEFIELD, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

On Saturday April 28 from 1 – 2 p.m. join New Pond Farm Program Director, Tim Laughlin, and learn how to fly cast. Fly-fishing is becoming a very popular sport for ladies. Once you learn the...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm member and $20 per non-member

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 Rated PG Open to everyone, no registration required For questions, please call the library at 914-669-5161 or email at keelerlibrary@wlsmail.org To learn...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Library's 2018 Great Expectations Gala will honor The Couri Family - John and Elaine Couri and Chris and Megan Couri with the Hope H. Swenson Visionary Award for their many...

Cost: $250

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Library
Telephone: 203-438-2282 X11029
Contact Name: Laureen Bubniak
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Livingston Taylor is part of musical royalty – with James Taylor as his brother and Ben Taylor as his nephew, Livingston lives up to the Taylor name and more! From Top-40 Hits: “I Will...

Cost: $75

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 EAST RIDGE ROAD
RIDGEFIELD, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County to Honor Margaret Keane at Benefit Concert Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) will honor Synchrony Financial CEO...

Cost: $55

Where:
Palace Theatre
61 Atlantic Street
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Learning Centers of Fairfield County
Telephone: 203-653-1369
Contact Name: Mike
Website »

More information

Ability Beyond's signature annual black-tie “Masquerade Gala" fundraiser seeks to unmask the ability in everyone. The elegant evening will feature both...

Cost: Individual tickets are $250

Where:
Amber Room Colonnade
1 Stacey Rd
Danbury, CT
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Sponsor: Ability Beyond
Telephone: 203-826-3183
Contact Name: Kelsey Rondeau
Website »

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