February begone — welcome Hippeastrum

This has been the most amazing February on record.  Very few blades of grass to be seen all month.  I can actually look back and note years when we have tilled the garden in February but this year has seen snowfall after snowfall.  At long last the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) have come into bloom to add some flowerful color to our lives.

An Amaryllis couplet

Even the Amaryllis seem to have been delayed this year past their normal appearance.  I usually take the cue from the plants and don’t try to force their pace.  But once they start to grow they get lots of light and water.  Though somewhat retarded in time they have put forth a solid set of blooms.

Amaryllis in bloom

Though widely known as Amaryllis the flowers we grow under that name are more properly Hippeastrum.  There are 70 species and over 600 cultivars and I’ve long since lost the names of the two particular ones that we grow.  They respond well to living on the outside during the summer then a dry dormancy at the end of the fall where they live in the dry basement.  In December we start watering gently again and wait for some sign of growth.  They flower for an extended period of time and they’re well worth the small effort to grow them.

Amaryllis detail

Outside I’m seeing increasing patches of green.  The crocus are showing above ground in the spots where the snow has melted — there is still a foot or more of snow in many places— but they would still like to have some warmer weather before granting a bloom.

Crocus just starting out in the grass

And in the garden bed where the most of the snowdrops live, the same snowdrops that appeared in January are still hanging in there.  A bit bedraggled from living under the snowpack, but flowering nonetheless.  I am becoming a real admirer of these little bulbs.

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) still in bloom

2 comments on “February begone — welcome Hippeastrum

  1. Melissa

    John, very nice shots of your amaryllis in bloom! Mine have just appeared too although I attributed their late bloom to how cool I keep my kitchen. Mine are doubles, shocking read.

    I also appreciate your keen eye in catching the mistake about the Gamble vs. Procter family in my post – I’m about to correct it. Another example of typing not being in sync with the brain!

  2. Les

    Yes, good riddance to February.