Yeah, Ruellia. More decorations. Newsletter printed. Elaine.

ruellia blossom
The ruellia plant I had almost given up on produced a blossom today

I really like the Ruellia plant (Ruellia brittoniana, Mexican Petunia) because of its purple blossoms and because it is hardy and a perennial here in Phoenix. We first saw them in a neighbor’s (Chino Barrios) yard and he gave us some cuttings to plant. We started with two plants in our front yard and when one of them started growing too wild I cut it back. I put the cuttings in a water-filled vase inside and it continued to blossom for several weeks and still looked healthy when it stopped. Elaine transplanted those cuttings into the yard later. 

But I worried about the original plants that I had trimmed, for they had not put out blossoms. The foliage looked healthy and the plants did not grow much more – just no blossoms. Until today. While looking at some new decorations I noticed that two of the plants that I was about to give up on had one blossom each! Exciting. Now I feel more comfortable cutting back the one plant group that I had let continue to grow. It has gotten too tall, and I want the planting to be more bushy.

added lights
I added the skinny tree today as well as the rope lights and green garland with white lights. You can see the wild ruellia plant in the foreground.

I got the modifications to our skinny vinyl tree stand done and put that up in the front yard today. This is a simple spiral-type tree that we bought several years ago because it did not take much space when collapsed and stored in our motorhome when we were fulltimers. I modified it by looping a string of little purple LED bulbs vertically inside the tree, which give it a nice glow. See it in the photo. The recent modification I did consisted of drilling holes at right angles near the top of the top pole section and gluing two nails through those holes. The nails are at right angles to each other and serve to wrap the runs of the light string at the top. I used to use blue tape to hold the tops of the light runs.

rope light color
Compare the rope light color with the color of the icicle lights and the skinny tree lights. The rope lights are too red.

I also ordered a 150-foot roll of purple rope lights, which came yesterday, and I put up the first section of that today along the front of the planters. I arranged them in a swag fashion, as you can see in the photo, accompanied by a swag of green garland that has white lights. While we are happy with the effect, we are not happy with the rope light color. It looks too red for us, as you can see in the photo by comparing with the icicle lights. All our lights came from NoveltyLights.com. I will call them tomorrow about the color issue.

I wrapped up the newsletter this morning and delivered it to UPS for printing. I went back this afternoon to pick up the printed copies only to learn that they had problems with one of the printers and did not have the job finished. That’s OK; I told them I would be back in the morning. While they said it would only take another 45 minutes, I did not want to buck the late afternoon traffic on Dunlap Avenue.

Elaine started feeling better last evening and this continued today. She was able to be fairly busy this morning, though she ran out of steam by noon. She is more her sparkly self.

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