Pictured above is the beautiful amaryllis which was given to me as a bulb at Christmas by my mother. The amaryllis has always been one of my favourite flowers. Each petal perfectly formed, they combine to make a bold statement giving a dash of colour and beauty to any room at this time of the year, when everything outside is grey, cold and damp.
For years my mother had expressed a wish to make a trip to see the Dutch bulb fields. So, just under 12 years ago as a treat for her 80th birthday, mum and I went on a coach trip.
We not only visited Amsterdam and the bulb growing areas of Northern Holland but drove on into Belgium visiting Bruges and Yypres and eventually along the Northern coast of France to visit the beaches of Dunkirk. Here, there was a touch of nostalgia for Mum, as she recalled the time when my Uncle Frank had been rescued along with so many others from advancing troops in the second World War.
During this trip, I bought an amaryllis bulb from a roadside vendor. He couldn’t guarantee what colour the flower would be but it was a good healthy bulb. It produced 8 beautiful pure white flowers. I managed to keep it through the summer and it flowered again the following spring, sadly after that it went into decline and despite all my efforts it refused to flower again. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common occurrence, lots of leaf and no flower!
However, all is not lost! On a trip to Nantwich market just before Christmas I had a conversation with one of the plant experts. He assured me that the best way to deal with this tantalising plant after flowering is to plant the bulb in the garden allowing the leaves to grow to feed the bulb. On 1st August uproot the bulb, throw it into a dark corner of the shed/garage and allow the leaves to turn yellow and die.
On 1st November, if you’ve not forgotten all about it, replant the bulb it into its pot, bring it indoors and wait for the flowers to appear. I was assured that this would not fail if I adhered to the two important, recommended dates – I’ll tell you the outcome next year!
‘To everything there is a season’
‘There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot – – – – Ecc 3:1-2