Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A bright spot in the winter

Last Christmas, I sent a teleflora Christmas planter with a bright red amaryllis to my friend Gaby in Belgium. Red for Christmas, of course, but red also because of a wonderful red sweater that Gaby wore as he showed me around Flanders when I was there the previous October. When he comes to mind, he's always wearing that poppy- or amaryllis-red sweater. In his New Year's letter last year, Gaby reported that a beautiful flower was reminding him of our family, and he hoped that maybe he could make her bloom again next Christmas.

When I was placing my annual spring bulb order in September, I noticed that amaryllises of different colours were being offered, and a Red Lion amaryllis bulb immediately joined the tulips on my order form. One amaryllis is twice as pricey as a pack of ten tulip bulbs, but I didn't think twice. I wanted a flower like Gaby's, to remind me of Gaby, and to make our house more Christmassy.

And let me tell you, she didn't disappoint -- she's still going strong!

In these dark winter days with extreme cold warnings, it's wonderful to have a flower bloom indoors, and this one seems to be intent on blooming three different times. Her colour is gorgeous, and I could look at her all day. When she first came out, she was a brash, shiny satin, but now she's deepened into a full, deep red, the colour of the sweater that looks so good on 90-year-old Gaby, who is one of the loves of my life, if you haven't already guessed.

I'm not at all versed in keeping amaryllis, but you can bet that I'll be doing my research to try to keep this one going. Her breathtaking beauty pretty much guarantees that -- pictures don't do her justice. Maybe I'll call her Gabriella.

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