Every year I try to buy at least one new amaryllis bulb. What seems like a needless expense in the fall when I am still coming down from a bright and plentiful growing season, is almost essential by the time the long grey days of winter kick in. That little boost of colour and life is worth every penny.
I bought this year’s amaryllis, Hippeastrum papillio aka Butterfly amaryllis back in late September while I was at a garden shop picking up spring flowering bulbs for the garden. I have been longing to acquire this beautiful variety for years, but the price — often over $25 per bulb — put me off. Ever driven by a deal, I threw caution to the wind when I found mine at a $3.00 discount. Hey, it was the last one in the bin!
The forecast is calling for the year’s first snowfall today followed by a wet and rainy weekend. In order to beat the weather I spent two hours before dark yesterday hustling to get the remaining bulbs and transplants into the ground.
Today the anticipation of spring flowers reminded me of the clusters of white rain lilies (Zephyranthes candida) that were in bloom back in September at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
This cluster of hanging baskets photographed in the Tropical High Elevation House at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens harbours a secret. It took three trips to the room before we spotted them.
I’ve been on a sort-of break from work in an attempt to unwind from a year of madness, although so far most of my break has been spent painting, framing art, and doing the work of making this place feel like a home. Our move-in was thrust right in the middle of writing my third book, which at the time meant setting things up as best we could and then getting back to it quickly.
We are not minimalists. We’ve collected an assortment of strange things over the years, and I find comfort and inspiration when I am surrounded by those things. I am visually oriented — my eyes need to dance around a room. I hate plain walls.
Unfortunately, my neck and shoulder is acting up (again), which says to me that it is time to take this whole down time thing more seriously. No more trying to attempt to take a break. I need to take a real break. For REAL!
On that note, I leave you with a selection of garden pics. I’ll be back posting regularly when my neck/shoulder/arm permits it.
‘Rocoto’ hot pepper flower.
‘Plum Frost’ Coleus.
I wrote about the cosmos recently when the flowers were just starting to open. Well, they’re coming up full force now and I’m loving them even more. The soft, double blooms have begun to poke through a false roselle (Hibiscus acetosella) plant that is growing alongside — it has proven to be an unexpected combination that I would repeat again.
Eventually, if all goes well, the false roselle will bear its own soft pink blooms. It’s a long season tropical — I started the seeds underneath lights back in January with the hopes that the plant would have enough time to make flowers before the killing frost comes. I am loving this plant in it’s own right, even without flowers. I first encountered it in St. Lucia where my friend David was growing a stand of them. Here it is a struggle to get 7-foot-tall plants — mine are not there yet and may never make it, but even still, it’s been beautiful at every stage. Both the flowers (if they ever come) and the young leaves are edible. They taste a lot like their namesake, sorrel (Rumex acetosa), and have that slightly acidic bite.