I thought I would splurge on myself this year.
So when I saw it, I knew I should have it.
That sparkle! That racy red!
It has gotten some dust on it.
It is just what I need to keep me facing forward.
Rushing fast to a brighter future and ignoring the rearview.
I love big, bright, blooming Amaryllis inside during the winter, but they seem comical outside in spring.
These poor Beauty Queens did not ask to be hybridized into showy giants.
They would probably rather be tall, ugly weeds than painted, potted flowers.
But they did not get to make the choice of whether to be wild or tame.
So here they are, comically colorful clowns in the garden.
Too big and too bright to be taken seriously.
Just as man intended, not as nature recommended.
Manipulated for man’s enjoyment.
I am and will continue to be a tall, ugly weed.
(‘Identity’ poem by Julio Naboa Polanco)
Stay safe, Stay Home, Wear a Mask (even if you are a man)
I hope you did not toss that big bulb that bloomed over the holidays.
Here in the south, we can grow them in the garden.
I try several new varieties each Christmas.
Some have disappeared over the years.
I have wondered whether they were eaten or rotted.
I have found a solution that works for either problem.
I call it a “Rock Nest.”
Here I have used some lava rock. You can use any rocks or broken pots or bricks.
The point is to surround the bulb with material to help with drainage
and to protect it from digging critters that snack on our bulbs,
I also amend the soil because we have quite a bit of red clay here.
Be sure to mark your bulbs.
Also, take note of the height. Pink Surprise is tall and goes in the back of the bed.
Moon Scene was short so it goes in the front.
They like sun and warmth.
Don’t toss that bulb! Plant it outside.
I am having to pull out all the stops on this blah day.
The rain shows no signs of stopping.
I must stay inside. I must stay up.
I will be staying near my giant blooms of ‘Pink Surprise.’
I will be drinking coffee out of my Barley cup.
I will be writing book reviews on gardening books.
I will thinking about spring.
That’s how a flower survives winter.
Everyone needs a flower in their future.
I try two new varieties of Amaryllis/Hippeastrum every winter.
These bulbs get put in the garden every spring to produce many more blooms for years to come.
But for now, I need a flower when it’s cold and my garden in brown.
I need a flower when the gray skies make me blue.
I need a flower in January.
No other bloom will do.
I appreciate the giant, gorgeous blooms of the Amaryllis.
Glowing in the window like my own little sun.
Reminding me that winter will end and spring will come.
I know that April is late for an indoor Amaryllis.
‘Benfica’ has put up its THIRD stalk of blooms.
I am usually pleased to see a second stalk, this is my first for a third.
I hope it does this well out in the garden.
A single stem florescence must maintain balance.
It does this by dancing very slowly around the stem.
Symmetry must be maintained as the flowers bloom.
The round dance is called circumnutation.
I have been watching my Benfica Amaryllis dance this week.
There is an odd number of blooms.
The last one to open is days behind the others and smaller.
I have observed this last bud slowly spinning above its sisters.
It has finally settled down close to the oldest bloom which is beginning to wither.
Taking up the space that is being vacated.
Timing and balance.
We can learn from our green relatives if we pay close attention.
This amaryllis was worth the wait.
Its blooms are a deep, velvet red with ruffles.
The yellow pollen and white-ended pistil add contrast.
I may have a new favorite!
Each winter I order at least one new variety of Amaryllis.
This year I ordered two.
Half-and-half is still blooming and has sent up a second stalk.
Benfica is making me wait.
Its buds are dreamy red velvet.
Every day there is slow progress toward blooming.
It is a joy to watch.
I will be happy when I finally see the faces of its flowers.
Until then, I am enjoying the anticipation.