EVERYTHING IN MODERATION; EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO AMARYLLIS

IF HALLMARK WANTED TO COMMERCIALIZE ON GROUNDHOGS DAY, SURELY THE AMARYLLIS WOULD BE ONE OF THE DECORATIVE ELEMENTS – THE AMARYLLIS ALREADY OWNS FEBRUARY.

With six more weeks of winter left to enjoy according to Punxsutawney Phil, I think that many of us will take any flower that we can get – and so I shall bore you with some ordinary, yet lovely amaryllis – for no other reason other than I happen to have a few in bloom at the same time, and my camera is right here in front of me.

There is something so self indulgent about posting amaryllis photos on a gardening blog, as I think it’s safe to assume that all of you have raised far more impressive amaryllis than I, and if you haven’t for some strange reason aside from the cost of a few new varieties, then perhaps this post will inspire to to toss a few bulbs into a pot next autumn, for nothing is as easy to grow during the winter months, and few bulbs offer such a show for the price. I wouldn’t say that it takes much skill, if any to grow an amaryllis ( I would not even say that growing a bulb to bloom indoors is technically ‘forcing’ a bulb, but who cares when the show looks like this. Indulge away my friends. There is nothing wrong with the beguiling amaryllis, and with so many new varieties to try, I say – just buy as many as you can afford and let them do their thing.

Yes, it appears that I over did it again, this time with amaryllis bulbs, but at this point in my blogging career, I feel that there is absolutely no point in me attempting to justify any of my foibles, be they insanely impractical or inefficient. When it comes to plant collecting, we obsessive horticultural types sometimes just give into the temptation – surely there will be a reality show about us someday on a cable network – until then – just let me be a quiet plant hoarder, for there are worse things that I could be doing.

Here are a few of my amaryllis which are beginning to bloom. Yes, there are a lot of them here, as I am taking photos for an upcoming article for somewhere. So please do not ask me questions like “how many did you plant this year?” (um…a lot), or “What varieties are these? (apparently – nearly all of them). Just, enjoy the color show.

‘FLAMENCO QUEEN’

I AM FALLING IN LOVE WITH MANY OF THE NEW SMALLER VARIETIES, BUT I ADMIT, MOST WOULD LOOK BETTER IF PLANTED IN GROUPS OF 3 OR MORE IN ONE CONTAINER.

Yes, I know. But, it is pretty, right? Really – what’s five feet of snow in 6 days anyway? It’s not as if we live in Buffalo.

IT EVEN SURPRISES ME – THAT DORMANT POTS OF BULBS SUCH AS THESE TUILIPS WHICH WERE HARDLY SHOWING ANY TIPS LAST WEEKEND, VIRTUALLY ROCKET OUT OF THE SOIL AS SOON AS THEY ARE BROUGHT INTO THE WARMTH, INDOORS.
THESE HYACINTHS WILL NEED SOME CARE, PERHAPS ADDITIONAL DARKNESS AS THEY ARE FORCED WITH BOTTOM HEAT, AS I DON’T WANT THEM TO BLOOM TOO DEEP IN THEIR SHOOTS. OLD TIMERS WOULD BRING THEM INTO DARK ROOMS, COVER THEM WITH POTS OR DARK CLOTH SO THAT THE GROWTH WOULD EXTEND MORE.
I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER NOW SEEING HOW FAST ALL OF THE BULBS ARE EMERGING. TIMING IS STILL A CONCERN FOR THIS UPCOMING FLOWER SHOW, BUT HOPEFULLY, I CAN BRING THEM TO BUD STAGE, AND MOVE THEM ALL BACK TO THE COOLER GREENHOUSE FOR THEIR LAST WEEK.

I’VE SET THE TIMERS ON SO THAT THESE BULBS WILL GET 13.5 hours of LIGHT, ESSENTIALLY TURNING A SPARE BEDROOM INTO THE MONTH OF APRIL. COOL EVENINGS, AND NIGHTS, WITH THE ARTIFICIAL WARMTH OF GROW LIGHT BULB-SUNSHINE, DURING THE DAY.

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