When winter comes, and the outside garden is fast asleep, it's time to grab color inside where you can find it. The winters are long and cold here in Ohio and each year I think I can't bear another one. I look for ways to lift my spirits, which can become as gray as the skies. I'm here to tell you that SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a very real thing.
Once the world of amaryllis was opened up to me, their siren song was strong and clear, and soon I had a collection. The bulbs were more pricey then (2005-2006) than they are now, although some companies still maintain what I consider to be prices higher than they should be. They may argue quality of bulbs as explanation and in some cases, it may be true, but I've always been able to find large, healthy bulbs in just about any cultivar that catches my eye, at a reasonable cost.
I keep my amaryllis bulbs from year to year, growing them outside in the summer and bringing them in for their resting period when frost comes. After six to eight weeks, I bring them up out of the basement, pot them up if they aren't already in pots. I water them a little bit and they're off and running, bringing my home that longed for color and me the joy of living with them.
Amaryllis blooms bring a fifth season to Our Little Acre and as of today, it's officially begun. The first 'Zombie' has opened and there are more on the way. More 'Zombie' and 'Blooming Bells' and 'Cherry Crush'. 'Dancing Queen' and my favorite, 'Blossom Peacock'. 'Rembrandt van Rijn' and 'Solomon' and 'Rilona'. 'Lemon-Lime' and 'White Peacock'. 'Benfica' and ... you get the picture. What a pretty picture it is - all winter long.
And sometimes, one will surprise me in summer, too.