Friday, January 25, 2008

Forcing Spring

There is a sugar crust of snow against parts of the gray winter woods. But inside my little corner of the world I am a-n-t-i-c-i-p-a-t-i-n-g! Those of you who like plants know what I mean. The spider lillies are forming little buds, but will be slower and arriving later.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


A dark swooping shadow caught the corner of my eye during the early morning cereal at my table at the window. I had been spending the quiet weekend all alone and thinking how crisply blue the sky was after the winter thunderstorm which woke me and my three thousand neighbors, the Canadian geese, the previous night. I looked to the area against the blue sky and found this shaggy and brooding sentinel of death. Two comrades joined him in the barren gray trees within seconds. The last one's landing broke loose shards of bark and a dry branch went plummeting to the ground. The whole harshness of their arrival seemed apropros of their presence. In all fairness their role in the grand scheme as garbage collectors was important. But I could not see any beauty in that red-rimmed eye no matter how fair I tried to be in my thoughts. They remained for several minutes casting a mantle of melancholy over all.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


I am one of those people who find it difficult to throw out plants or bulbs when transplanting and I am always finding I have too much. Several years ago I had 40 (YES 40!) amaryllis bulbs that I had nurtured over the years brought back to life each January and February for pre-spring color in the house after the poinsettias faded. I gave 90% of those away at a plant sale when we sold our old house and moved and moved, etc.

Well now that I have new sunny corner windows--specifically designed for indoor plants, I am back again in the swing of propagation. All of the windows in my house have a layer of film that prevents direct sunlight from fading carpets and furniture while allowing the horizontal winter rays to warm the rooms. In this corner above, I just have the regular two layer windows so that full sunlight allows the plants to grow. Over time the wooden floor will fade differently than the rest of the room, but that is the price to pay for natures beauty. During the moves I saved a few amaryllis and blood lilys which come from South Africa. The blood lily which I purchased years ago at the Philadelphia Flower Show is a striking plant and after the bloom has waned, the plant itself is exotic and lovely.

All these plants have wintered over in my basement, too close to the heater this year. I train them to bloom in February, so I have to get them up and going this time of year and hope for the best.

Yesterday the weather was wonderful, in the high 40s and sunny. I went outside in the late afternoon and proceeded to separate bulbs and repot so that I would get larger and healthier blossoms this year and in the coming years. Alas, once again I am propagating. There were way too many bulbs---large medium and small to transplant as I untangle the birds-nest of roots. As you can see from the photo below I have quite a few bulbs of both types and I still have an amaryllis pot with 4 VERY large bulbs to separate and plant out today as well as a few pots of single amaryllis bulbs left in the basement for transfer next week.

Anticipation...I can almost see them smiling.