Ina Vase on Monday: Saving the Last Dance

You have seen this hippeastrum before – in a vase on Monday on the 27th November and again on 8th January – and here she is again at the end of February, a third flower spike from ‘Dancing Queen’. I have had three spikes or more on a hippeastrum before but all at the same time and certainly not at convenient and well spaced intervals like this. Perhaps she was too much of a prima donna to give three consecutive performances to her fans, preferring to space them out and perform only when she chose. Today is her big finale, as she will be heading into retirement after this dance.

In a surprisingly generous gesture, she agreed to share her last dance with this unfortunate young lady, who was found naked and destitute and with an unexplained hole in her skull. She appeared ‘armless though, so I took pity on her and quickly ran up a ball gown for her to wear on her big day; sadly she was in such a hurry to get to the dance that she omitted to put on any underwear…

The Dancing Queen was chaperoned at the event by Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’ and maintained her elegance and composure throughout; the armless young lady, however, was last seen propped up against the vase, having proved to be a little unsteady on her feet.

The bulb was bought from Peter Nyssen for £5.40 and planted up in mid October; hippeastrum bulbs from this source are invariably larger than the bargain bulbs ubiquitously available in the UK in the weeks leading up to Christmas and invariably have several spikes, unlike the cheaper ones which often only have one or two – so it seems that you generally get what you pay for with these bulbs. Sadly, I have still not yet succeeded in getting them to reflower – will I persist in trying? Not sure…

What branch or bloom or bud or twig or leaf can you find in your garden or greenhouse or home or nearby haunt to bring inside and add a breath of fresh air to your week? In this northern  hemisphere ‘off’ season it is an opportunity to think out of the box – it may be Monday, but it needn’t actually be a vase and it needn’t be… well, the rules are pretty informal anyway as long as we remain within the original ethos of the meme, so see you soon?

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67 Responses to Ina Vase on Monday: Saving the Last Dance

  1. Pingback: In a Moss Ball on Monday | Wild Daffodil

  2. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – preemptive action – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  3. What an endearing story! I went to school with no pants on once when I was about 5/6 – I can’t remember why but I had dreams about it for years!
    Cathy – sending you a huge hug of gratitude this morning – you’ll see why in my IAVOM post:

  4. Christina says:

    Very good value especially as she has flowered just when needed. Here the snow arrived during the night but luckily I was prepared and prepared my vase on Saturday.

    • Cathy says:

      I have been amazed at the progressive appearance of the spikes as I have never had that before. Your Saturday preparation seems to have been a good decision – hope it doesn’t get too bad for you

  5. Alison C says:

    Certainly a Prima Donna and worth the extra you paid. How long does each flower last when cut?
    Beautiful skirts in pretty colours and how like you to take pity on the unfortunate young lady whose skirts are equally pretty. Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Alison. From the second of the vases I know that if they are cut in bud they will last 3 weeks, but less if they are already opening. At letast 2 of the blooms on this spike have been open for most of last week so this one won’t last anything like that

  6. Pingback: In a vase on Monday: Sunshine Daffs – The Mindful Gardener

  7. Ali says:

    Gorgeous! I love your cheeky dancer!
    Can I join in?
    Her’s mine:

  8. Pingback: Freezing February | Words and Herbs

  9. What good value those Amaryllis are. Yours is a super one. I don’t know what to say about your armless pal! Anyway I’m with you this week

  10. Pingback: In A Vase on Monday: Goodbye sweet box, farewell snowdrops… until we meet again – Carrots and Calendula

  11. I think it is a “last dance” sort of a week, squeezing the last drops of enjoyment out of winter flowers until the spring brings new blooms. You have urged us to think ‘out of the box’, but I’m afraid I took out the box instead and put it in a vase with the last of the snowdrops and crocuses.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh well, the box in the vase is definitely thinking outside of the box!! And I like your ‘last dance’ analogy – most appropriate 🙂

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Your young lady in purple made me smile Cathy. Kind of you to rescue her. The arum works nicely with the hippeastrum for a lovely arrangement. I’m behind on everything this week, but wouldn’t miss participating today. Hope you have a wonderful, flowery week.

    • Cathy says:

      Ideall she would have had a coral pink gown but this was the only netting I did, left over from making a princess dress for The Poppet!

  13. Brian Skeys says:

    The hippeastrum that flowered for us a few weeks ago had been demoted to the utility room, it has started to send up a new flowering spike, so has been returned to its previous high spot!

  14. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Phormium and Dahlias, Orange and Yellows – Absent Gardener

  15. Cath says:

    She has certainly made a great display, even if she doesn’t re-flower. Here is mine:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cath. I am always reluctant to dispose of them afterwards and have about 4 previous seasons’ bulbs in one pot for economy but none show any signs of flowering this year… 😦

  16. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The Queen out performed herself this year. Happy IAVOM.

  17. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday: Day Zero | Nomads By Nature: The Adventures Continue

  18. That is a very fancy and dramatic bloom! So lovely! Here is my offering for the meme: “Day Zero”

  19. My goodness three different spikes of blooms….Cathy that is quite a bulb, and beautiful in a vase with that foliage. I still have bulbs flowering even now as winter is yielding a bit. No vase this week, but I’ll be back with one next week.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – hasn’t she done well? I am glad you still have some bulbs flowering and that your weather is easing off a bit, unlike the UK and much of Europe!

  20. I love the Arum Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia! more ABBA. And the purple ball gown, a party in a vase. I was thinking inside the box today.

  21. Peter Herpst says:

    ‘Dancing Queen’ has certainly performed well over quite a long period of time! Nice of you to have pity on the armless dancer, her gown is lovely. Thanks for both beauty and a nice laugh to start the week, Cathy! I thought outside the box a little today .

  22. Kris P says:

    That is one terrific Hippeastrum and the flowers looks great combined with the foliage of the Arum. The ‘armless lass in the purple ball gown is a delightful touch too, even if she proved to be a little unsteady on her feet. I bet she has a story to tell if she was willing to share it. Thanks, as always, for hosting, Cathy! Here’s my contribution:

  23. Always a surprise on Monday morning!

  24. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – @ashnurs @GdnMediaGuild | Bramble Garden

  25. karen says:

    Glad the rules are informal. No vase this week, but something different. Your arrangement made me smile. I’d have had to give the poor doll a viola hat or something. A piece of moss, or a daisy. I feel quite sorry for her. Love your fab amaryllis. All kinds of colours are coming from the Aldi ones. Good value, but nothing like what’s in the box. No good trying to make a group of the at all, they are all different.

  26. Alison says:

    Hah! I love your ‘armless little doll! And your vase arrangement too, the big marbled Arum leaves are fabulous. I’ve often considered growing Hippeastrum, but haven’t taken the plunge yet. Maybe Christmas this year I’ll buy a few bulbs. I’ve joined in again this week with my own vase arrangement of Hellebores.

  27. Noelle says:

    Winter is definitely the season for balls, and you have gone to Town again. What a great story, and having bought Amarylis bulbs each year for my grand daughter, now she is eight I think she is ready for the top quality ones. I too received a ball of quite a different type from Sandra D. Its a good job I had Red Dragon in my arms…it certainly hit the spot when meeting up with strangers. I wonder if I will be able to entice more IAVOM snowdrop lovers to drop down this way next year? My contributions is a mere shadow compared to yours:

    • Cathy says:

      Fair exchange is no robbery, they say, and I am sure you were equally delighted with your gifts 😉 Glad you like to hear about the goings on at the ball, and I love the idea of giving amaryllis to your granddaughter every year, hopefully nurturing a love of plants

  28. Cathy the Hippeastrum “Dancing Queen” as she is so beautiful does not want to say goodbye to her admirers and has blossomed for the third time …… Will there be a fourth? The Arum is wonderful in the background and I love it. It is a magnificent vase. The little dancer dressed in her purple dress takes advantage when they do not see her dancing around the vase looking at the Dance Queen. That’s why she does not hold on well supported in the vase: she’s tired of dancing so much. Greetings from Margarita.

  29. Cathy says:

    The Queen was very gracious to share the stage with the poor little lady with no arms! (I wonder where you found her… in the garden?!) I agree, the more you spend on an amaryllis bulb the more blooms you get. I got mine on the internet from a Dutch nursery this winter and was quite pleased with them too. I love the Arum leaves and the vase itself too. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I can’t remember if I dug her up or not, Cathy, or whether she came from sort of flea market. Thanks for your kind comments about the vase – I didn’t need to do much for the end result to look good

  30. You are so right about getting what you pay for with these bulbs. Good mail order sources like VanEngelen will provide huge fat recently dug bulbs–in stark contrast to the shriveled scrawny ones at US big box stores. I have grown Dancing Queen also and had success saving and forcing it again the subsequent year only once with this variety–better success with others but all are labor intensive to ‘summer over’. Love your posts!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for your informative comments about the bulbs – seems as if I need to decide if I want to put any real effort into trying to get them to flower again…

  31. How to cure a headache. I can testify to the quality of Peter Nyssen. I purchase a lot of my bulbs from them.

  32. tonytomeo says:

    Three from one ‘Dancing Queen’?! One more and you got ABBA.

  33. Annette says:

    They go so well together, beautiful! I admire Arum greatly – have you ever noticed how they collapse in hard frost and look terribly dead, only to rise again from the ashes and look as pure and pristine as if nothing ever happened. Also like their ordinary name: Lords and ladies, evokes all sorts of stories. Couldn’t join you for lack of time and flowers…I would have had to give them a kiss of life in their shock-frozen state and I didn’t fancy that 😉 I’ll try next week! Best wishes xx

    • Cathy says:

      Mine are certainly like that at the moment, Annette, but I shall be watching for their transformation… Hope you are both keeping warm amidst this freeze

  34. Anna says:

    That swirly vase is just the perfect companion for your ‘Dancing Queen’ Cathy. I have not purchased hippeastrum bulbs from Peter Nyssen before but note to self has been made. This year I bought just one huge and healthy specimen from Pheasant Acre Bulbs and was duly impressed. It was a similar experience – three stems produced at considerately timed intervals 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Sounds as if Pheasant Acre bulbs are pretty good too – lovely to have yours producing a series of spikes too 🙂

  35. FlowerAlley says:

    I have to admit that the armless dancer with no underwear brought me back for a second look. This is the kind of thing that makes me laugh hysterically. Thanks …again.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I am pleased to hear that it brought more than just a smile to your face 🙂 It would have been so easy not to add this sort of detail to the post, but sometimes the words seem to just type themselves on the keyboard… 😉

      • FlowerAlley says:

        Well we know the little dancer did not type it.

      • FlowerAlley says:

        My husband and I have been laughing all day about my ” neighbor ” sequel. I told him the video may go viral like ” Catch Him Derry” . I almost pants everyone I see that on u – tube. If you have not seen it. Search it. It is so funny.

  36. LisaDay says:

    Also very pretty. I like the stripes.

  37. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Strange Fairytale – Carrots and Calendula

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