Friday, March 01, 2013
I potted this huge amaryllis bulb (a gift to myself) just before Christmas, so I knew I was going to have to wait 8 to 10 weeks for the beauty to appear. I have two stems with four blossoms each and another flower stem which has yet to leave the bulb. Until a few days ago, I couldn't see any red. Now as the days go by, the petals are becoming a deeper, richer red with tiny points of white on the tips of the petals. The stems remain short so the plant is sturdy.
You can see a fern (rescued, no longer wanted, from a mixed pot I repotted) and several large African Violets (a gift when I had the daunting task of dividing a violet that was at least 24 inches wide and as tall). I was given tiny shoots and it has taken time and patience to get them as large as they are now. Bottom right is another, smaller amaryllis sending up a flower stem. I don't know what color it will be. I have a succulent top middle. Another orphan.
I have the habit of bringing home Lost Causes and trying to give them another chance at life. Plants only. No animals or people. Or UFO's.
This giant Amaryllis bulb reminded me, so strongly, of a trip many years ago to visit our son in California. It may have been his first or second winter living there. We happened on a sale of bulbs at Smith & Hawkin in San Francisco and I purchased three or four big bulbs. Now when I see them, I think of that visit. So sweet, yet so sad. Seeing him on that visit made me miss him even more when we had to leave.
Those huge bulbs grew tall heavy stems with huge flower heads. G & I were awakened one night by a huge crash. The pots were up on the top of the kitchen cabinets (to get good light from the skylights) and they had reached the point of diminished returns. The weight of the flower heads and the size of the pots---- well, they all fell off the cabinet top and shattered on the wood floor. I cut the flowers for a vase. And tried over the years to get the bulbs to stay alive. Over caring for them--which rotted the bulbs. I could never afford the high retail cost of new bulbs (over $25 each now) so I thought my days of having amaryllis were past. I have gotten a few small bulbs as gifts in recent years. I have gotten a few from customers who thought they were goners. And this year, on sale, with a discount, I got a really BIG one for myself.
Every morning I check my flowering plants to see if we are making any progress. It's slow in the winter. But now it's March. Time for things to quicken. For seeds to sprout. For time to spring ahead.