Go Amaryllis Go!
Now, most of you know that I have a black thumb. Hence, the fact that I was able to witness the progress of this plant from start to finish is a sheer miracle...and being the nerd I am I took photos of the entire process. I suppose I have no children or pets at the moment (Penelope went home to RitchN remember...) so I snapped away like a proud parent.
Here she is when she first arrived--tiny little stubby tuft of green protruding from it's bulb. Beth had picked out a lovely rustic red receptacle which matched the decor of my abode perfectly. She told me all I had to do was keep the soil moist. For good measure I played Mozart every morning as I got ready for work...
Even after one day, I noticed growth! In fact I was astounded by how quickly this thing would shoot up:
I estimate that it grew roughly an inch and a half every two days.
Rain or shine every morning before work, I'd have my blinds open, played Mozart or NPR depending on my mood, sip my coffee and enjoy looking at Ms. Amaryllis. It wasn't until a bit later that I realized I completely forgot something I learned way back in elementary school--plants travel in the direction of sunlight.
I rotated the pot...
...and realized I needed to be more mindful lest Ms. Amaryllis end up kinda wonky and vertically challenged. So, each morning, I'd rotate her so that the head was facing furthest away from the sun:
..and eventually she'd straighten out:
...then I overshot a little:
Tis true that there are all sorts of contraptions that can help a amaryllis plant grow straight, and Beth even provided a crafty suggestions involving knitting needles, but by God, I was adamant that my amaryllis plan would be able to manage to keep her head up and grow strong without the aid of any sort man made object. Sure, I was imposing my own value system on Ms. Amaryllis, but it was for her own good, damnit.
I sound harsh and all, but really I coaxed her gently. Kept her well watered and encouraged her. I was happy to see her progress each day when I came home from work. "Grow! Grow, like the wind," I told her. She grew and grew...
I assured her that I didn't care that she wasn't perfectly straight. I loved her the way she was, swaying sinusoidally but moving upwards nevertheless and then suddenly one Saturday morning awoke to find the start of a bloom shyly peaking through it's protective bud.
I had no idea the bloom would be red (my favorite color)! For some odd reason, I suppose because I attribute amaryllis to Christmas, I expected it to be white, so I felt giddy when I saw the bust of color coming through. More coaxing and admiring and day by day the trumpet shaped blooms came to be:
I'm in awe that this thing knows how to bloom in pairs. What an intelligent plant! Making room for all of its flowers. How civilized and well-planned it is.
Anyhow, Ms. Amaryllis and I had a good run together and I put her to rest yesterday. Still what a lovely gift to appreciate and admire during the holidays: