A week ago, I was bemoaning the late arrival of my amaryllis spikes and starting to think they might skip a season. This is my 5th spring of Florida gardening and always they’d appear during March, with a few of the early blooming varieties opened wide by now! Then suddenly yesterday, the Mead Amaryllis varieties shot up:
The Mead Amaryllis is the result of a USDA breeding program that took place in Central Florida during the early years of the 20th Century. Drs. Theodore Mead and Henry Nehrling tested and crossed more than 3000 orchids, calladium, and amaryllis plants in what was to become Florida’s first experimental botanical garden. Of these, over 300 new and beneficial plants were introduced into Florida’s landscape. The amaryllis hybrids seen here are two such pass-alongs, and although not as showy or tall as modern Dutch hybrids, they are uniquely suited to our local conditions. Walk down any Florida street in March (….ok….April! :) ) and you’ll see red and white beauties popping up all over!
This next amaryllis, Hippeastrum cybister “Evergreen”, woke up FAST too!
Purchased as an indoor “force” for the 2012 holiday season, I planted H.cybister evergreen in the Ranchero when its bloom cycle ended. All I can say is WOW! It must prefer the outdoors, because it spiked MUCH taller than 2012! I counted 8 separate blooms atop this first inflorescence and as I recall, it produced 2 more before going dormant last time. I’m curious what might happen this year, but Clarisse isn’t quite so enthusiastic. ;)
The first daylily of 2014 also arrived on April 1, waaayyyyy later than anticipated.
Hemerocallis hyperion is a rebloomer and one of my original garden purchases. When winters are mild, I’ve watched it flower sporadically all year, but that didn’t happen THIS season. Better late than never, yeah? I’m happy to see it heralding spring!
Although technically not a “bloom,” I’m heartened by new shoots on this Dracena marginata.
This plant was so leggy, forlorn and cold damaged, I cut it in half so the upper portion could root near the original stem. As you can see, both segments have adjusted and seem to be thriving!
Fortunately my orchids were in containers, so I brought them inside for the worst of our cold snaps. They’ve been back outdoors and shaded for the past month, and look just about ready to say hello.
Late winter is typically orchid time in Florida, so these phals are seriously behind schedule!
Spring is here, and it’s fantastic to be out in the yard and digging again! Winter was tough all around, and I’m glad to see it go!
Until next time…..
:) :) :)