Handsome cabinetry in oak, with sophisticated lighting and glass shelves, showcases a remarkable collection of sports memorabilia in the basement bar area. Custom, illuminated shelving for assorted swords creates an impressive visual display.
“Remember me” is the message of gladiolus, birth flowers for August. The flowers can also mean strength and integrity, while the sword-shaped leaves suggest love-pierced hearts. In ancient times, glads were associated with magical powers.
My great-grandmother’s “night blooming Cereus” (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), with its long, flattened, sword-like leaves, was a cause for family gatherings when it started to flower at night. Mine was grown from an easily-rooted piece of leaf stem from her original plant. Other commonly-shared night flowering cacti include those with three-sized leaf stems (Hylocereus) and rounded leaf stems (Selenicereus).
Also called sword ferns, Kimberly queen ferns (Nephrolepis obliterate) make elegant specimen plants, thanks to their straight, upright fronds. These nearly-carefree Australian natives are happy indoors if they’re kept in medium light and given sufficient humidity (if your air is too dry, try running a small humidifier nearby). Outside, they’re hardy in zones 9-11. Indoor gardeners love them because they help purify the air, but you can also enjoy them outdoors in warm weather months.