17 December 2009

Meet Minerva...

Yesterday was one of those days where the mercury dropped from well above freezing to considerably below in a matter of hours, and the wind that had gone on brief hiatus came back with a vengeance. Naturally, it brought along some of those 'flurries where winds blow onshore...' which as we know have been known to create a LOT of inches of accumulation.

Didn't matter to me. The first of the amaryllis had decided it was time.
"Is that Sydney?" My longsuffering spouse asked me.
"Mmm...nope. That's Minerva." I replied, scrutinizing the box tops that I had saved in my office after forgetting to match containers to bulb names when I planted these all.

As you can see, that curious vase I bought nearly five years ago is doing its job, holding Minerva's two stems of blooms and buds upright quite nicely. I've grown this one a number of times and never tire of her festive colours. Part of the reason I grow her is that I have an aunt by the same name, who sadly is lost in the fog of Alzheimer's disease, just like her brother--my father--was. So when I look at this magnificent, exquisite flower, I think of my vigourous, capable aunt as she was in happier days.

Since I've yet to bring home any poinsettias and two of my Christmas cacti are actually planning to bloom AT Christmas, judging on their bud sizes, I thought we should move Minerva into the living room for several reasons. One, it's much cooler in there, away from the heat of the woodstove in the kitchen, so her lovely flowers will last longer. Two, she adds a definite presence to the living room's Christmas decor, which is still a work in progress. And three, I moved the slowest-growing bulb into the kitchen to give it a boost.

There are still two more bulbs upstairs in the reading room that need to come downstairs, as one is probably going to blossom next week. We won't know who is who (other than Minerva) until they have all put in a floral appearance, of course. But it's fun to watch them slowly, glamourously reveal their beauty. I think next to orchids, amaryllis are some of the best show-stopping flowers there are. Don't you agree?


  1. I do agree Jodi... Amaryllis and orchids are pretty spectacular blooms both in their own right... so different from one another. Minerva is quite the beauty! It is sad about your Aunt and your Father, as well as so many, many other's "lost in the fog of Alzheimer's disease." How wonderful you have something so beautiful to remind you of her earlier life. Enjoy your on going holiday preparations! Best Wishes, Carol

  2. hi jodi
    yes to both flowers!
    enjoy your day
    tabby :D

  3. That is quite a show-stopper. It may be all the Christmas decoration a room needs. It's hard to compete with that.

  4. Delighted to meet handsome Minerva, Jodi, and happy I'm not the only one who names plants ... Esmerelda is my 33 year old Clivia!

  5. Ditto. My mom always grows amaryllis during the cooler months and enjoys them so very much. I feel for your aunt and father. My father-in-law was in that same fog for so many years. Sending you blessings this holiday, Jodi, to you and yours!

  6. You've certainly been gobsmacked, Jodi. Weatherman said that Edmonton ( hope you're not near there ! ) had a record cold of -30 but the windchill was -70 ?!

    Those gorgeous amaryllis are doing their job of keeping the dreariness of winter away.

    I know you have connections so please pass the word NOT to send any more Canadian cold fronts down here:-)

  7. I knew a Minerva back in my high school days but she was not as pretty as your amaryllis, I think she is a perfect Christmas decoration.

  8. Minerva is beautiful Jodi. Just the touch for a winter day. I have a stupid question so please indulge me. Since I am new in the amaryllis bulb planting this year, how did you get that big bulb into that vase?

  9. Happy to report, Carolyn, that we're far from Edmonton--you're much closer, actually--and it hasn't been that cold here. The good thing about winter is that it's never...boring.

    Not a stupid question at all, Lona. That amaryllis planter opens at the bottom, you put the bulb in, then fill the planter with soil, close the bottom, and wait for the floral fireworks to start.

  10. I'm glad to see I'm not the only who will be matching flowers to boxtops. I forgot to tag mine too.
    Minerva is very pretty!

  11. Wow, the Minervas really stand out against the snowy backdrop! I hope they last till Christmas for you.

  12. You KNOW I agree, don't you? :-) 'Minerva' is lovely! That's one I don't have. I need to get busy and pot some more up! 'Piquant' is the only one that's bloomed so far, and she will be opening on a second stalk by Christmas. I've got a couple dozen down in the basement that I must get going.

    I just love these bulbs!

  13. Amaryllis are gorgeous flowers. There is nothing like them this time of year especially. They have such a presence due to their bold color and form.

  14. So sweet. I like the way you wrote about remembering your aunt and father.
    Amaryllis is indeed beautiful.

  15. Jodi girl .. I am an amaryllis "virgin" until this Xmas hubby (aka "me") bought Appleblossom and I am now wondering where the heck am I going to put this baby so the girls don't get at it .. do your cat kids try to investigate yours ?
    That is a wonderful show of colour .. but I fell for the pink wonder .. and now I am wondering can I pull this off ? LOL

  16. Your Minerva is spectacular! It's amazing what a bright shot of "festive" the amaryllis bring to a space.

    BTW - I think that pot is brilliant.

  17. Thank so much for answering my question on the small pot verses the big bulb. It makes sense now LOL.

  18. I am an amaryllis freak so of course I love 'Minerva.' She's quite the looker. One I don't have in my ever-growing collection. Glad she blossomed and brightened up your winter day Jodi. Amaryllis are the best for that.
    Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and happy "belated" birthday too. Maybe 2010 will be the best gardening year ever?!!


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