A few really warm days with lots of sunshine (and showers – hey, it’s April!) have got me outdoors in the garden at last. But indoors some of my houseplants caught my eye as the evening sun shone on them the other evening. What glorious colour!
Above, a beautiful Begonia I bought last year. I am proud to say it has flourished… I am not terribly good at looking after houseplants, but this one is easy. If it needs watering it droops noticeably. Then immediately recovers once given a drink.
I have several Kalanchoe (Flaming Katie) in various colours – also very easy to care for – but this one is new to me…
I couldn’t believe those gorgeous bell-shaped flowers belong to the same family. The thick dark green leaves are a tell-tale sign identifying them clearly. I just hope this one is as undemanding as its sisters!
Although our winter has been very mild (and wet!) there was little to pick today apart from some pretty white Hellebores from a patio pot and some greenery from the rockery. Still, I am glad to find anything!
The garden is looking rather brown and messy right now with no snow and hardly any frosts, and it is far too muddy to do any tidying up. I think I prefer frost and snow to this. But there is still time for our winter to show its darker side – as it is in North America at the moment – I hope all the gardeners there are staying indoors in the warm too!
Indoors are, after all, other delights at this time of year such as candles, hot spicy tea, comfort food…. and Hippeastrums!
This one is called ‘Rapido’ and has seven small flowers on one stem. A second bud is about to open too, so this has been another success after the lovely Lady Jane did so well in December. Unlike Cathy, I have not cut any of the stems so far, but it may be necessary with this one below:
I am certain that at that angle Hippeastrum ‘Red Peacock’ will not be able to remain upright once it opens… (The pinky peach coloured Hippeastrum flower on the left is the last of Lady Jane).
Wherever you are, and whatever your weather, I do hope you can find something of beauty today to either simply regard, or to put in a vase and share with us. Now go and visit our host Cathy to admire her beautiful ruby red Hamamelis flowers.
Another week has flown by, and some very mixed weather with it. Wind and sleet mid-week made me wonder if winter was back with a vengeance, but then an extremely mild 15°C on Saturday brought on a few early spring flowers. 🙂
And Amaryllis/Hippeastrum are flowering beautifully on my windowsill too…
But a few other spring flowers are making their debut appearance today: a white Hellebore, a single yellow crocus and one purple one, and three stems of this dear little pale blue Puschkinia that the bees were humming around on Saturday afternoon. Marvellous!
I wonder how your March began. Was it in like a lion, as the saying goes… out like a lamb. We can hope!
A couple of pinky brown Heuchera leaves, a hazel twig with tiny tightly closed catkins, one sprig of Miscanthus Adagio, a Fennel seed head, two Clematis tangutica seed heads, and a single white Cyclamen flower trimmed from a new houseplant. 😉
The Cyclamen smells delicious – I have never had a scented one before which is why I chose this one to brighten up the winter days.
Please forgive the grainy photos… light is scarce at the moment!
The angel with the spade is a Willow Tree figure called ‘Angel of the Garden’ – a gift many years ago when these angel figurines first became popular. She stands over a small fossil I found in my rockery one day. And the plate with the seed heads painted on it was a gift to myself. 🙂
The garden may be sleeping, but there are still remnants to be found… and still no sign of snow, despite the cold. Hope you are all staying warm and cosy!
Last winter and spring, after seeing some gorgeous blooms on various blogs, I made a note to myself to order plenty of Amaryllis/Hippeastrum to see me through the following winter. I ended up with eight different bulbs, only one of which failed to flower (called ‘White Christmas’, of which we all dream of in vain 😉 ).
They were all planted in light compost with a little grit, in fairly small pots, and with a third to a half of the bulb showing above the soil. From December to March I had at least one in flower constantly. Some of them needed minimal support as they started to go over, but most were sturdy enough to stay standing on their own. Here is a summary of which ones I grew and how they flowered.
First of all, the record-breaking ‘Tres Chic‘: planted on 4th November and flowering by 15th December…
(It must have taken me by surprise, as I failed to take a decent photo of it!)
It was a lovely bright, festive red with a white centre, and it flowered for about two and a half weeks.
The next one to flower was ‘Chico‘. Planted on 9th October, Chico flowered on 27th December, and then again on 19th January. This was quite possibly my favourite. Click on any image to enlarge…
I just loved the way the petals curled upwards, and the shades of pink and green were very delicate. I will definitely try and grow this one again.
In early January Chico was accompanied by ‘Apple Blossom‘…
This was a much more traditional-style Amaryllis: frilly pink and white flowers, with pretty markings on the petals. It was planted on 25th November and flowered on 7th January. There must have been about seven flowers on this one stalk – stunning.
In January another more unusual one flowered: ‘Evergreen‘…
This was such a lovely pale creamy green, and lasted extremely well too. It was planted on 9th October and flowered on 16th January. There was something very classical about this one, and it reminded me very much of oriental lilies.
My windowsills were now getting a little overcrowded, as two days later, on 18th January, ‘Rosy Star‘ joined the party.
This was a simple flower – not as fussy as Apple Blossom – and rather pinker than the photos show. It was pretty, but not mind-blowing. Still, very welcome in the darkest month of the year!
In February ‘Lemon Star‘ finally opened and put on a beautiful display for several weeks – it flowered on two stalks simulataneously and was the firm favourite of my Man of Many Talents. I planted this one on 25th November and its flowers opened on the 10th and 18th of February.
It looked very lemony. In fact I kept thinking if I sniff it, it might even smell of lemons! (It didn’t though.) This was a nice light colour to welcome spring and the longer hours of daylight. This one will also go on my list for next year too.
Around the same time ‘Blossom Peacock‘ opened too. This was planted on 22nd December and flowered on 6th February and again on 6th March. It was the last one, cut down only last week.
As you can see from the planting and flowering dates there is no way of telling when they will flower – some needed three months, while others needed only four to six weeks. I kept all of the bulbs almost dry and rather cool until they started shooting. Then they need only a little water and a warmer spot to flower.
Do you grow Amaryllis? Do you have any particular favourites? Or do you hate them?! I thought it would be interesting and fun to ask you to vote for your favourite from those that I grew. I will then tell you the results next week. Thanks, and a have a great Easter weekend! 🙂
A thin layer of snow and ice has enveloped the garden. And as I have seen from recent posts from the UK we are not the only ones!
As I write, the sun is shining but the temperature remains below freezing. This means the chances of finding anything for a Monday vase are extremely slim – a few frozen hellebore buds and violas at best. So in order to join in Cathy’s meme again this week (Rambling in the Garden) I thought I’d cheat a little and show you an indoor plant in a pot, rather than a vase.
Like ‘Chico’, which I showed you here a couple of weeks ago, ‘Evergreen’ is not what most people expect of an Amaryllis. It is elegant and statuesque, a still-life botanical painting…
And yet you could argue it is also slightly brash, with a waxy artificial look to it…
In any case, I like it for its fresh yellowish green, while the world around me is currently lacking colour.
Do go and visit Cathy and see if anyone else around the world has been able to produce flowers for a vase this Monday.