Saturday, November 05, 2011

Some Like it Cold


There's snow on the garden and change in the air. Pleased as punch I had the foresight to play hooky yesterday. Did absolutely nothing productive. Simply savoring what was likely the last warm autumn day to be had around these parts.

Apple Blossom Amaryllis
I keep marveling at our weather. How it's strangely predictable this year. Woke to snowflakes gently falling, and silence, having been abandoned by my sweet as pie, yet aptly named, Bad Dog.

I hear him on the hill, behind our house, barking like crazy... Perhaps in celebration of his favorite season. (He dearly loves to slide down that hill, head first in the snow. No one believes me until they witness it, first hand, but he really does do that!)

Try to find Amaryllis bulbs that have just barely started to grow.
Here I sit... sipping tea in front of a fire with grand plans to turn my house into an Amaryllis warehouse by day's end. I love Amaryllis bulbs ~ and, they make highly affordable holiday gifts.

Who can resist such big festive flowers? Plus, you gotta love a bulb with such chutzpah. She'll sprout in a dark box, without soil, or water, or TLC of any kind.

They lean to the sun. Rotate the pot each day so stalks don't bend.
I began this Amaryllis tradition awhile back, when I was beset by a bad budget. Spotted bulbs at Walmart for $5 a piece, and thought... hey! The bulbs, of course, don't look like much. But my little trick is to plant them 6 weeks before Christmas... delivering, not the bulb, but a pot of dinner plate size flowers inspiring lots of oohs and aahs.

To make them behave...
~ Plant in super small pots. About an inch or two bigger than the bulb. They'll grow faster and bloom quicker.

Carefully follow these steps to make sure that $5 Walmart bulb isn't dead as a doornail.
  1. Wait until the shopping aisle is empty.
  2. Open the box!
Patience is a virtue! It takes about 6 weeks from bulb planting to first flowers.
You can buy larger, higher quality Amaryllis bulbs from nurseries and they will produce bigger flowers. But, these are affordable. And, they're gorgeous. Therefore I think they'll do the trick.

21 comments:

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I had to laugh, wait until the aisle is empty....and then peek. Good advice.

I love Amaryillis, they simply are stunning, and yes they do make great gifts, I never thought to make them bloom first...

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Happy Saturday, Jen!
I hope you're enjoying this lovely change o' season. :))

Liza said...

Seriously, were we separated at birth?

Rilly said...

When raising my family I always told them "if it's cheap and it works, it works for us"...now my grandkids are being raised with the same idea. Your snow photo is pretty but I'm not ready yet. Flowers are pretty too. :)

Carly said...

I'd love to grow and least one in my little apartment but I think my boyfriend might protest. I've already turned it into a bit of jungle by all the windows.

But if I'm giving them to other people... well that would solve both my lack of budget and my want to grow them :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Liza!
I'm thinking.... yes. :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hey, Rilly!
I knew there was a reason we bonded. The snows have mostly melted. But the seasons have definitely changed. 7 degrees tonite! Brr.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

You're onto something, Carly.

A fab excuse! How can your BF argue with that?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a good idea...to wait until the aisle is empty. tee hee... Really, anyone would love to receive one of these beauties.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I love, love, love your snowy pictures! I can almost feel that fresh air!Thanks for reminding, I need to start looking for the bulbs. Three of my last year bulbs are still growing outside. It's warm yet!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Lisa;
If you lived closer, I'd for sure put you on my holiday flower delivery route. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Tatyana;
That first snow is always welcome. And, exhilarating. The 10th, or 12th, snow? Not so much. :))

Lona said...

Don't we always look around to make sure no one is looking. LOL! Then again on some days I do not care.LOL!
I cannot believe you have snow already girl. I guess gardening is over for you now and getting the snow shoes out is a must.
My amaryllis bulbs are in the dark basement after bringing them in from outdoors. It is almost time to bring them out. I love them in the winter and I am hoping they will bloom this winter. Yours are always so pretty. Stay cuddled under the blanket with a cup of tea.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I love them in winter, too, Lona. This year I bought a number of Apple Blossoms (the white/pink ones) I'm holding off planting them for another month so I'll have some indoor color in February. Right about the time cabin fever kicks in! :D

Cynthia said...

Gorgeous! I just bought one at WinCo and I'm so excited. I haven't forced bulbs indoors since I was in college (and we won't talk about how long ago THAT was!)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Cynthia;
You're reminding me to go pick some Hyacinths. I love forcing these easy bulbs. And such a great fragrance.

Mariana said...

Your pictures have left me speechless!

debsgarden said...

Your photo sent a chill over me! Our cold weather is predicted to arrive later this week

Long ago we lived in a house with a steeply sloping lawn out front. We didn't often get snow, but we had a neighbor whose dog came by almost every day to slide down our grassy hill, head first!

sweetbay said...

You're right, Amaryllis would make excellent holiday gifts!

kacky said...

Hard not to like an Amaryillis. What a great gift idea!

Snowcatcher said...

You are so right about checking before buying! I feel so bad sometimes for the less-than-healthy plants at discount places. Like orphans, they deserve a good home. But nothing like taking home a plant you think will be nursed back to health only to find it totally dead a day or two later.

Your Amaryllis photos are so gorgeous! (As is your snowy view...)