Amaryllis Bulbs 13 days, with friends

So the center is still lifting.  No sign of this year’s new growth.  I’ve nervously looked for web sites that show pictures of early stages and found none.  Is there something wrong?  Oh dear, oh dear!  (OK, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration.)  But I decided that this use of blog space, so that you can speculate with me is a good thing.  Beginners need to see something besides the end product.  (Cannoli and Spumoni are 7 months old; they were adopted from Metrowest Animal Awareness Society.)

Cannoli checks the tag for more information
Cannoli checks the tag for more information
Spumoni and Cannolli check out Amaryllis Lemon Star
Spumoni and Cannolli check out Amaryllis Lemon Star

Fall palette

Fall colors are dramatic splashes of paint.  They have a short life span but under the right circumstances of temperature and humidity can provide an unbeatable palette.  On this small tree, Sorbus alnifolia (Korean Mountain Ash), was a special annual color combination during the second week of November.  Flocks of raucous (yes, raucous) robins flooded the tree to get the berries, their breasts disappearing among the leaves.  It was a spectacle.

Planting plus 6 days

Amaryllis “Lemon Star”.  Still looks pretty dead but the center of the old shoots is lifting.  And I see green.  These are in a spare bedroom, in front of the windows that get morning light.  I turn the temps down to 60 at night so it’s not as warm as they are supposed to be.  I may move a couple into the furnace roon, warmer but hardly any light, to see if I can bring them along.

Lemon Star about a week after planting
Lemon Star, planting plus six days

Hydrangea grows how? Another question

Sister was gifted with a small, potted hydrangea.  Thinking she had nothing to lose, she stuck it in a bed in front of her house and has been trying to figure out whether she should keep it, ever since.  Unknown variety but it looks like it blooms only on old wood, which is iffy in MA.  But it has had some good years.  This year the plant was bigger and beautiful but didn’t bloom.  Providing it with a winter cover of remay has been discussed, if there’s any hope that it might bloom next year.  And as we were looking for signs, we wondered what the side buds were for?  Inquiring minds.

sister's hydrangea
sister's hydrangea

Amaryllis Bulbs

Potted up three Apple Blossoms and a Lemon Star, some of these will probably be Christmas gifts. The bulbs were so big that I had to get new, deeper pots. One of the web sites that I checked for directions said protect the roots. These came with big clumps of roots, which had been packed into paper bags and shipping boxes so I wasn’t sure that they meant all of these roots. But being a novice, I got pots deep enough to protect the roots.

The winter garden

So first I JUST found a recipe that I like for swiss chard, the night before our first hard freeze, and NOW something is eating them.  I suspect deer, although my beds are awfully close to the house for a deer to come that close.  But I’m pretty sure they worked on the beans in the outer bed this summer.  Or rabbits.  Whatever.  As you can see, I can still pick some to put in my salad but not enough for a batch of Mollie Katzen’s Pasta recipie

Chomped chard
Chomped chard
More chomped chard
More chomped chard








On the other hand, the Piracicaba blossoms on.  I could probably still be picking it if I’d kept up with it.

More questions about dahlias — dividing tubers

When I look at tutorials about dividing tubers, the tubers don’t look like this:

tubers to divide

I am clueless as to where sprouts are supposed to appear.  ??

dahlia tubers 2

This is more like what I would expect.  This is the same variety.  I think I got three sections out of this with likely places for sprouting near the old stems.  This variety is “Art Deco”.  I grew them in my deck boxes and they did exceptionally well.  Fingers crossed that I managed to divide them properly and they will survive the winter.

Learning Curve and dahlias

I love the dahlia gardens that I’ve visited in France but I haven’t mastered the art of growing them well.  This was my second summer trying and I have some questions for more experienced people.  People who actually grow them year after year.  Question 1.  Is this bad genes or something that I did wrong? 


 I also had a lot of these (nice!)

dahlia Bilbao

I’m trying to save the tubers, just to get the experience; will I want to use them?