Debra Prinzing

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Happy Amaryllis!

Sunday, December 11th, 2011
Poetry in a bloom

Here’s a lovely amaryllis that I potted up to enjoy in our dining room this month. I can’t say enough about the beauty of every Hippeastrum hybrid I see this time of year. There have been many holiday seasons when I am super organized, and have planned ahead to purchase the bulbs, plant them in decorated pots and nurture them to bud-stage for hostess gift-giving.

This was not one of those years. Instead, I purchased two amaryllis already in bud stage from Cascade Cuts, a wonderful grower who is now selling herbs and potted plants at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. You can see how I planted the ‘Joker’ hybrids here.
The flowers I chose are mostly white with red streaks. In Starr Ockenga’s marvlous, photo-filled book called Amaryllis (Clarkson Potter, 2002), there are several varieties of these candy-cane style blooms. Not ‘Joker’ but enough alternate varieties to wow you for holiday decorating or gifting.
As I said, I purchased 2 potted amaryllis about a week ago, but I didn’t know how I was going to display them until yesterday. I attended 2nd Saturdayz, the monthly indoor vintage flea market, with my friend and design muse Jean Zaputil.
We found all sorts of fun stuff, from a 1950s plastic light-up Santa (Jean) to red and green-handled wood rolling pins (me – for my culinary essayist-friend’s surprise Christmas gift). And then I found a pretty piece of glass for $15. It has a nice footed base and graceful lines. I guess you could serve a trifle in it, or perhaps display it filled with vintage glass ornaments, as I found it.
But once I came home yesterday, I started thinking: “Why not plant my 2 amaryllis flowers in this beautiful vessel?” Who says you can’t put pottting soil in glass anyway? The trick was to first pour a layer of gravel in the base, then add some potting soil and the two amaryllis. I topped off the design with the vintage silver-and-gold ornaments that came with my $15 vase. A new sort of mulch! When I water the bulbs, it will be carefully, so as not to flood this glass vase (since it has no drainage).
They are gracing our dining room and looking quite lovely. When December and amaryllis season arrive, I always find myself wishing for more of these yummy blooms. So here are some more pics. Please enjoy!