I certainly did not expect to have a hippeastrum (aka amaryllis) flowering in the middle of April, but something clearly went awry with my plans to have amaryllis blooming in the Coop when visitors came to our open garden in February. This and three or four others were planted up in mid-December and kept frost-free but not warm in the Coop, as I think I did the previous year when we did not have such a mild winter. In future, I need to plant them earlier, or start them off in the warmth of the house and take them to the Coop when the buds first appear. One advantage of its slow progress is the length and straightness of the stem – 26″ or 66cm of vertical poker-straightness, which you may have seen in context on yesterday’s post about the greenhouses.
Putting what we might think of in the UK as an indoor winter flowering bulb in a vase with spring blooms might seem a bit like a cuckoo in another bird’s nest, especially with the typical hugeness of the bloom – all the more appropriate then that the variety is not the expected pure white ‘Intokazi’ but possibly the bi-coloured ‘Happy Memory’ instead. Whatever it is, having cut the stem down by more than half and seeing the blooms at close quarters I could now admire their deep green centres, something I definitely missed when they were towering above my head.
Joining the hippeastrum are unidentified tulips, not what I expected to be putting in my vase again today after offering tulips last week, but they seemed to complement the stripe of the petals. These tulips are in several of the pots on the paved area, mixed with two other varieties, one of which is ‘Elegant Lady’ and the other an as yet unidentified multi-stemmed one that has not opened. I have come to the conclusion that today’s are an unlabelled variety from Aldi although they do look familiar and I am sure someone will recognise them.
Rather than cut the stems further and attempt an ikebana style arrangement I used a clear slender vase that supported the stems well and added glass pebbles to keep them upright, and in the absence of any handy cuckoos to act as a prop I requisitioned a chicken on its nest instead.
I know not everyone would choose to cut an amaryllis stem to put in a vase but I got over that stumbling block a few years of IAVOM ago! Perhaps there will be something else you would be happy to cut from your garden instead and pop into a vase or jamjar to share with us today – just leave the usual links to and from this post if you do.
ps here are the graceful remains of last week’s tulips, still elegant in their frailty. For those, like Susie, who are interested in how much water the vase holds I can tell you that it is exactly one imperial pint or just a little over 500ml.