Friday, January 30, 2009



Such a simple act. A container, some soil, a couple of onion like bulbs, and a hint of moisture. Place it in a sunny spot and you wait. You wonder if it will ever happen. And then you see the faintest of green peek through the soil. It grows a little bit each day like a large blade of grass. Then somewhere in the space of a few days you notice that each time you enter the room it seems to have grown a few more inches. Until it seems it might topple over with its own height. I know you are suppose to pull out the stragglers that show up on the perimeter. I never have the heart. So here we are at the crux. A slight pinkish hue is showing through the points at the end of the stem and it will be any day now that they burst forth. Amaryllis. I never tire of this display of growth and always marvel at the perfectness of design. The wait is so much a part of the pleasantry of growing bulbs. Hawks Run abounds with bulbs in the gardens out of doors and they are by far my favorites in the greenery. Even above peonies because the blooms of our bulbs seem to last forever, and the peonies disappear all too fast. I have had in my gardening library a book on container bulb gardening that I have had since I was about twenty. I knew nothing about gardening at the time but I knew someday it would be a hobby that took me by the heartstrings. Now, nearly twenty years later, I am nose in this book quite often. Tasha Tudor bought bulbs by the thousands- if only my checkbook were so deep. Something tells me Tasha would buy those bulbs even over her groceries if it had come down to the choice. Bulbs endure once dropped into the ground. Magnificent lost gardens of Gertrude Jekyll have been restructured to near exactness with the where about of bulbs that lay active and dormant for decades upon decades. Such was the case with Manor House, Upton Grey in Hampshire, England. There is something significant about knowing that the bulbs we throw in the ground today may surprise and delight others years and years down the timeline. I think this amaryllis will be magnificent. I need only to find a spot just as magnificent where I will place its spent bulb in a permanent home outdoors. And each year I will eagerly eye that spot with anticipation.

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