Monday, November 17, 2008

'Tis the Season


I've heard Christmas music in the stores and I've seen Christmas ads on TV. I won't whine about how these things seem to come earlier every year (though they do), because this time of year means something else for me, too. Something I look forward to every year, almost as much as Christmas.

When late September comes around and it's time to start thinking of getting the garden ready for winter, there are always a number of tender bulbs that I need to dig and bring in. The cannas, callas, dahlias, and glads have all shown their true colors and graced us with their presence in the latter half of summer, but it's time to bring them in out of the cold so we can enjoy them again next year.

And then there are those that have their own special flower bed here at Our Little Acre, though they usually produce only a bloom or two all summer and some years none at all. These spend the summer months merely biding their time, converting the nutrients in the ground and soaking up the sunshine in preparation for the winter. Then it's their turn to elicit oohs and ahhs from their adoring fans.


These are the Amaryllis - more correctly called Hippeastrum. Just as the outside gardens are winding to season's close, I look forward to the Amaryllis season. As I was putting other bulbs away for the winter, I
saw tips of green peeking out from the brown bulbs that have been stored in the basement for the past 6-8 weeks. That was my cue to pot them up and by the time Christmas is here, we'll be enjoying their exquisite blooms.

Over the past few years, I've amassed a collection of Amaryllis. Here are some images of the beauty they've given to us in the past:

'Papilio'



'Picotee'



'La Paz'



'Misty'


'Red Peacock'



'Grandeur'



'Apple Blossom'



'Solomon'


'Limona'



'San Remo'



'Lemon Lime'



'Piquant'



'Royal Velvet'



'Dancing Queen'



'Rilona'



'Blossom Peacock'


Many gardeners will buy the bulbs, pot them, enjoy their blooms, then throw them out. I can't bear to do that, so I trim the flower stalk down to where it comes out of the bulb, and continue to water them as long as they are producing foliage. For most of them, the foliage will eventually begin to yellow, at which point I trim them back to the bulb, just as I do in the fall, and they go back into storage until spring, when they are planted in the ground for the summer.

At the moment, 'Blossom Peacock', 'Susan' (purchased new at Meijer last week), and 'Lemon Lime' are potted up for bloom.


15 comments:

Yolanda Elizabet said...

It was my Mom's birthday on saturday and among other things I gave her an Amaryllis bulb as she loves them. My Mom used to throw the bulb away once it had finished flowering but last year I told her about the way you do things and guess what? When she received the new bulb she told me that she had used your system with the previous one and that it had flowered again. Then she showed me that bulb and it had produced another green stalk so it will flower again soon. So thank s Kylee for all the info on Amaryllis bulbs. For me you are the Amaryllis queen. ;-)

BTW lovely pics of a wonderful collection of beautiful Amaryllis flowers.

Shibaguyz said...

Royal Velvet is definitely one of our favorites... might have to look into getting a couple to brighten up the place this year... hhhmmm... thanks for the inspiration!

buedamau said...

you have so many gorgeous amaryllis! i loved the 'Dancing Queen', beautiful and unique!
they really are a beauty as you said...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You have quite a collecton of amaryllis Kylee. They are gorgeous.

Barbarapc said...

Found your blog through blooms day - yes, I'm a little behind. What terrific photos - I'm growing Papillio this year - now yours looks a little different from the glamour shot on the package - but still exceptionally lovely. When I see people hold onto these successfully from year to year - I really want to try to do the same. Thanks for the great post.

Cosmo said...

Until I reached the end of your posting, I was going to ask you how you got them to rebloom in December--but I see you do the same thing I do, and they come back in the summer. Those are really gorgeous blossoms.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Oh my! What a wonderful indoor display you have. It has been years since I've tried amaryllis. Your photos are so enticing...perhaps I can try again since we have more space here for indoor plants.

I saw a garden in Greensboro this summer where the amaryllis were blooming in the ground en masse! I was taken with it so much. Your instructions are helpful about keeping them over the summer.

Many thanks,
Cameron

flydragon said...

Wow, such great pics of such beautiful flowers.

perennialgardener said...

I've never grown Amaryllis before, believe it or not. Now that you've shared your beautiful collection I might have to try a few myself. They are absolutely stunning Kylee! What a perfect Christmas bloomer!

Anna said...

Wow what a beautiful flower collection, and what a wonnderful time too look forward. Gardening can be really rewarding, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anna :)

nancybond said...

What extraordinary colors in some of those plants, Kylee! They're all beautiful, but some, I hadn't seen. I always make a gift of an amaryllis to my parents every Christmas. It's become one of those funky little traditions. And they enjoy watching it grow and bloom in the following weeks.

Gail said...

Kylee,

To borrow Nancy's description...extrodinary. The first photo surely says Christmas! Then there were more! If I had to choose a fav (!) it would be 'Piquant'...

Gail

Sue said...

Wow! Those photos capture the beauty of the flowers so well! Thanks for posting and sharing your information.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Gorgeous! I couldn't find 'La Paz' anywhere locally for some reason, darn it. I so love that one, it's exotic-looking. And the cybister called 'Lima' (I think) in the WFF catalog is amazing, too.

But that 'Red Velvet' is a stunner. I'm glad you showed such a close-up of the soft leaf texture on that one.

Kylee said...

Yolanda Elizabet ~ Oh, wish your mom a happy birthday from me! I'm so glad she had good luck with keeping her amaryllis bulb!
Let's see...now I'm the Procrastinating Amaryllis Queen...LOL

Shibaguyz ~ 'Royal Velvet' is just stunning, isn't it? Believe it or not, I found that one at Walmart a couple of years ago!

buedamau ~ 'Dancing Queen'is really one of my favorites, too. I love the doubles a lot.

Lisa ~ I love each and every one. It was easy to attain collector's status with these!

Barbarapc ~ Welcome to Our Little Acre! 'Papilio' really is unique and exquisite. It was the first amaryllis I ever bought. I think you will have no problems keeping them from year to year. They really are easy plants to grow and take care of!

Cosmo ~ Once in awhile, one will bloom in the summer, but not usually. They're just dramatic flowers, aren't they?

Cameron ~ Oh wow, I'll bet that garden in Greensboro was breathtaking! I've seen them growing in Florida in bunches and they're gorgeous.

flydragon ~ Thank you for visiting and I'm glad you enjoyed them! :-)

perennialgardener ~ Yes, you DO need to get at least one and try it. They really are easy!

Anna ~ They do bring a lot of indoor color at a time when we need it.

Nancy ~ I think that's a great tradition! There are so many different ones available now.

Gail ~ 'Piquant' is especially nice. It was a sad bulb when I found it at Lowe's a couple of years ago and I wasn't sure it would make it, but it has improved since those days. They are pretty easy bulbs to grow.

Sue ~ Thank you! If you knew how many photos of them there are on my hard drive, you'd be amazed. They just are so beautiful, I love taking pictures of them from all angles.

Kim ~ I've gotten most of my bulbs from The Amaryllis Company. The bulbs they send are huge (depending on the type) and I've always had great service and luck with them. The price is better than most, too.

The first winter I had 'Red Velvet', every once in awhile, I'd stop as I walked past it and say out loud, "Wow, I just can't believe how beautiful and rich that color is!" Finally, Romie said, "I'm glad it's making you so happy." LOL.

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