Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Little Miss a Hit


This year, one of the amaryllis bulbs given to us by Robert's Dad has decided to flower. It's always a little hit and miss whether or not I am doing the right things with these potted plants. Twice in the three years since we've had the bulbs, one of the flowers has bloomed, filling that corner of the house with a quiet thrill.

These flowers remind me of the poet Diane Wakoski. On the back of her book, 'Argonaut Rose', there is a picture of her with an amyrillis. Her gaze from behind a pair of very large glasses is enigmatic - as if she is the only one who really knows why the flower warrants more attention than she does.

Her title poem opens with the lines:
'What is the history
of this arm of a red lily that towers
out of its January pot, ready to bludgeon anyone
with its axe-handled crimson blade? ...'

I know I am a greenhouse pleb., but it is a puzzle to me why amaryllis are a December / January plant, whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere  ... You'd think the bulbs would know better. Daffodil ones do; in New Zealand, daffs. wouldn't dream of flowering in May as they do in the northern hemisphere. For Diane (an American poet) it is a plant that emblazons her winter. For me, it sucks up summer light, reflecting it back in determined and boastful triumph.


kctoyama said...

Big & beautiful flowers!

I love them. :)

Kay Cooke said...

yujinxiang - So do I. :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos and loved the poetry!

kj said...

i have two amaryllis bulbs reaching forth as i write. you are better than you think, kay: often times the bulbs are a one time bloom. that you nudge them to come back and flower again, even one, i think is an accomplishment.

to me amaryllis is christmas. sometimes i give them as gifts.

p.s. ♥

Dona Bogart said...

I especially enjoyed this post, it is a subject close to my heart.The beauty of a flower is fleeting and should be cherished. I am particularly fond of bulb flowers. They have are so wise and exotic. You are so right, the amaryllis demands attention. A true diva. I have them planted in several spots. I am also here to testify that they also grow in the spring here. I think I have pics on twitpic, I will check. I have solid red and a red/white striped one. The greenery has sprouted, but I haven't had a winter flower yet. Thank you for this lovely post!

Elizabeth said...

Your amaryllis is one fabulous red-headed woman! Born to you, Kay.

Kay Cooke said...

Theanne - She's a beauty!

KJ - A lovely idea to give them as Christmas gifts - I shall see if I can procure!

Dona - Thanks for that - love to see the photos.May you see a winter flower (and I'll try for a spring one!)

Elizabeth - Oh I love that! :)

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