Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Merry Christmas!

In addition to the Tulip Fairy we have a seasonally challenged Amaryllis. Which isn’t really an Amaryllis but a Hippeastrum, which is part of the Amaryllidaceae family. As opposed to the real Amaryllis which is known as Belladonna Lily or Naked Ladies. Does your head hurt? Mine does.

Anyhoo, a couple of Christmases ago I purchased an Amaryllis bulb “kit” in a box to give as a gift. The “kit” consisted of an Amaryllis bulb (which we now know was really a Hippeastrum bulb), a bag of potting soil, and a plastic pot. For some reason (unknown to me now) I never wrapped said “kit” up and gifted it to anyone. But I also forgot to open and pot up the poor thing. One day, months later I’m embarrassed to admit, I spotted a leaf sticking out of the side of the cardboard box. Such guilt! You can only imagine. So I quickly opened the long forgotten box and potted up the forlorn bulb which had sent out its effective little semaphore. But I was too late.

Or so I thought. I placed the pot with its limp leaf in the kitchen window, just above the sink where it would get the morning sun and warm, moist air from dish washing. It threw up another leaf and then another, each one greener and healthier than the last. But alas, no fabulously showy Amaryllis (er - Hippeastrum) flower emerged. But we left it where it was all through the spring and summer months. By last autumn, all the leaves were looking ragged and wan. I was tempted to compost the poor thing just to end my prolonged guilt. Or, better still, try putting it out in the potting shed to give it a bit of cold and then try bringing it back in around, well, Christmas.

But I never got around to taking action in either direction. It just sat contentedly above the kitchen sink, getting the morning sun and the occasional spritz of water from the dish sprayer. A while ago, some new leaves emerged. Then, a couple of weeks ago, a bud began to push up. We couldn’t believe our eyes! Over the next few days it pushed determinedly upward, both stalk and bud thickening daily and stretching to its present height of 32 inches (81.28 centimeters) - with three buds in all! Wow!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Spring and Summer too!


Sue said...

How beautiful!! My mom also bought one of these whatchamacallits and left it out on our patio to grow. It got watered and it had leaves, but no flowers. The next time I stopped to even look at the poor thing, it was covered with about 10 or so beautiful bright red flowers. Not as tall as yours, but there none-the-less. The flowers died and I thought that was the end of it, but looked at it again the other day and turns out there are more on the way. So, merry Christmas to you too!! I always wanted to have Christmas in June, we always have warm weather for Christmas!

Anonymous said...

WOW, I don't remember seeing the little lady the last time I was over, she must have been in her "wan" stage.


Pink Granite said...

Hi Sue -
Until I read your comment I hadn't thought about what might happen after these three flowers pass. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.
As I read your "Christmas in June" sentence, I had to put my thinking cap on for a second. Then I realized our seasons are reversed! Duh!
- Lee

Hi Gail -
In fact it was right before your last visit that I was debating what to do about the poor thing. Indecision ruled the day so it was sitting forlornly (and inconspicuously) above the sink while we were celebrating. Perhaps all the laughter inspired it!
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

That's beautiful, but I can't bring myself to grow the, the stalks are too fleshy, they creep me out.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
I never thought of the stalks that way before.
Now. I'll try really hard to put that thought out of my mind!!!
- Lee