Monday, April 27, 2009


Imagine my proud surprise when I received this photo from my friend Eric in the Bay Area along with this message: "Your child is blooming again! Perhaps it will have four flowers next year."

The Amaryllis in the photo (or Hippeastrum, as they are correctly called) is one I had sprouted from seed over five years ago by pollinating a lovely pair I had on a sunny windowsill one winter. It was great fun to see the base of the blossom swell and, eventually, develop into well-packed seed pods. When the seeds had fully developed, I planted a number of the them in tiny terracotta pots and, lo and behold, they actually sprouted! While a number of friends received these tiny treasures as St. Valentine's Day gifts that year, only Eric diligently fostered and fed and fussed over his seedling, determined to get a bloom. Which he did, in record time I'm certain, and which he continues to do year after year.

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