My Amaryllis, continued from February 2014

Yesterday my walking group visited the botany greenhouses at the University of Washington. We saw a very stinky plant, big and ugly, and full of flying insects that were attracted to the smell that we found repellant. To each his own, I guess. We saw other carnivorous plants, watched one of them devoured a little green worm, and proceeded¬† through wonder after wonder. Then, in the hallway between greenhouses, I saw–a gorgeous, tall, healthy flowering amaryllis, and I thought OMG (because there were lots of students about, and that’s how they speak), I have forgotten my amaryllis. Usually I bring them up out of the dark in early February. This year, because our fall and winter were so mild, I left them outside over long, until November 16. Then we had a spectacular accident. I was removing the tired bulbs to their basement resting place. I carried them, one by one, from the front porch to the dumb waiter in the living room. We live in a tall house. What my granddaughter calls our “mini elevator” allows us to carry big loads, like three or four armfuls of laundry at one time, through the five levels of our home. Granddaughter doesn’t think much of it. She said, “You’re the only people I ever heard of who have to have a mini-elevator to carry their laundry up and down. Most people carry it in their arms.”

Back to the accident. I had all six amaryllis plants in the dumb waiter car. They were at the living room level; I was in the basement, four floors below, the lowest level of the house. I was pulling on the ropes to bring the car down when the car stopped. I tugged on the ropes, and I heard a terrible noise. Fortunately I didn’t look up into the shaft to see what was happening, because the whole car came tumbling down. The bottom of the shaft was full of broken wood and amaryllis plants. Amazingly, only one pot, the smallest one, was broken. We were able to rescue five pots with bulbs and green leaves intact, carry them off to a dark corner of the basement, and forget about them. Until that visit to the greenhouses…

One big fat blossom coming up, and a new baby bulb on the side

One big fat blossom coming up, and a new baby bulb on the side

Healthy bulbs starting to turn green

Healthy bulbs starting to turn green

When I got home, I went to the basement to check on my amaryllis, the first time since the accident. They looked awful.¬† No one had come by for several months to trim away the green leaves as they faded. Now they lay limply over the edges of the pots. I cleared away the dead leaves from the bulbs and brought the pots up to the laundry room. I could see the tips of new growth coming up from the bulbs, but it was white, not green. Still, it’s easy to tell by the tips whether we will have leaves or flowers. Two of the bulbs showed fat tips, that will become flowers. I watered the bulbs and left them to enjoy the indirect light coming from a high window. Now they are beginning to turn green, and they have big, fat blossoms forming. They look very healthy. Stay tuned.

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