Last month, an email was sent back in time for a small outdoor gathering of friends. It was June. As we talked and snacked on mango slices, I looked across the lawn and saw a pot with an unlikely plant — a flowering amaryllis. To the thick stalk full of a bunch of imposing red flowers was joined by a few tiny, shifted onions with bright green leaves.
The owner of the container was not excited about the plant. It was kept in the garage in the winter, taken back in the spring, and watered.
I was also reminded of a potted Red Lion amaryllis that I was missing to take back indoors after the summer outside. It survived the winter and grew again in the spring.
Survival of the onions would have been unlikely during this year’s long frosty winter. And now I’m wondering about the survival of an “outdoor” amaryllis that Linda wrote to me about last month.
“Most years we have amaryllis at home at Christmas. A few years ago, the amaryllis bulb was thrown into our side flower bed, where it grew only as a beautiful green plant without flowers for at least two years. I left it there because it was bright green and he was trying so hard to live.
“I saw the green growth again this spring, and one day (June 19, 2021) I was surprised to see a red nipple with bright green leaves. I was happy. Within a week, two beautiful red flowers opened.
“I consider amaryllis to be my little miracle plant. It was a great pleasure for me. ”
Linda’s outdoor amaryllis bulb snuggled against the short rock wall that lined the driveway. The wall is unfinished, still concreted. The plant was not protected anyway, but the wall could serve as a kind of heat reservoir and buffer against the cold wind.
It’s more than a minor miracle if Linda’s amaryllis bulbs survive and bloom again after a cold winter attack, but if most gardeners live that way, that’s the hope.
William Dam Seeds. This 73-year-old Canadian family seed company has long been one of my favorites. The large selection includes European vegetables and award-winning varieties such as Fleuroselect flowers, which I have always found to be excellent.
Of the new vegetables in the 2022 catalog, Little Napoli appeared to me, a compact Roma tomato that I grew in pots on my patio. From now on, I can get the seeds from a source I order regularly from.
Little Napoli brings a surprising amount of large, oval tomatoes compared to the small size. I picked enough fruit at one time to make a good dose of tomato sauce. I grow extra plants for my friends with container gardens on the decks and balconies because I know they grow well.
More new and interesting lists:
* Mascotte, short-shelled fillet beans grown in France for planting.
* Eliance, a new broadleaf endive (escarole) and Benefine, one of the best curly endives I have grown. I love these beautiful green leafy vegetables because of their flavor added to salads and their beneficial effects in promoting digestion.
* Miami, a carrot I first grew last year. The seeds brought plenty of strong, healthy top growth and beautifully shaped, bright orange carrots earlier than my other varieties.
* Apricotta, a new cosmos in shades of blush with shades of yellow and pink.
* Baby Orange, a new Fleuroselect award-winning nasturtium with intense orange flowers against dark green foliage on compact plants, ideal for edging and growing in containers.
* Profusion Red & Yellow, the Fleuroselect Gold Medal zinnia, was awarded for fading flowers from red and gold to the attractive color of flowering through rose and salmon.
* Blue Splash, a descending lobelia that adds airy blue and white accents to container flowers. The plants bloom early and for a long time, in my container plantations they bloom until autumn.
* Delft Blue, my favorite viola. I have never seen such a vivid beauty. Every deep blue and white flower is like a work of art. And yes, Fleuroselect is a gold medalist.