And now for an interlude with the houseplants ....

The houseplants are holding together--they liked summer and fall better than they like winter. We're suffering from a small mealybug infestation, that occured when I brought some ivy inside for the winter. The nice guy at the greenhouse suggested an organic spray that seems to have gotten them mostly under control, but the baby ficus has been sick sick sick. ...Ficus lyrata (Zeus)--looking wonderful, loving it's nice new bigger pot, missed out on the mealybugs because he's on the other side of the room. ...Boston Fern--still looking a little ragged from a bad haircut this fall, but other wise doing well, also missed out on the mealybugs. ...African Violet--last bloomed in September, but leaves are looking good ...Roesmary--needs more light I think, as it's looking a little scraggly. I'm going to move it up to the table and see if it does better than on the floor. If it does better there we'll have to see about a more permanent sunnier spot. ...Other herbs rescued from outside--seem to be doing better since repotting, they were very rootbound so I pruned the roots back a bit and I think it's helping them ...Succulent pot--the little cacti are doing fine, but the bigger succulent is still loosing leaves. I've tried less water and more water both. I think maybe it's getting cold. I'll try moving it somewhere a little warmer. ...Ivy--growing like a weed as usual, despite the mealybugs. Thinking of training it around a topiary form to get it off the floor and all in one pot. ...Fittonia--a few brown spots on the leaves (possibly from the mealybug spray), but otherwise good ...Gardenia bush--a new addition (for my happy birthday) all budded up and looks ready to bloom, but not quite there yet. I think we'll have flowers in January. Got some of the mealybugs, but still looks healthy. ...Ficus benjamina (baby ficus)--lost one braid of the trunk due to the mealybugs, loosing some leaves and otherwise just not looking up to par. I need to call the greenhouse and see whether or not I need to cut out the one shriveled trunk (Poor baby ficus)