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Waiting for Spring: GBBD, March 2015

March 15, 2015

Charisma1It has been a snowy day in Maine – a warning that we should not be lulled by recent spring-like temperatures and melting into thinking that winter is over. More than a foot of snow still covers my garden, so I remain reliant on indoor plants for blooms.

My ever-reliable potted cyclamen (below) continue to flower, although they are beginning to slow down. Only the oldest of these plants is still producing new buds. As this plant has grown over the years, the number of corms in the pot have increased and they have gotten out of phase with one another. The result is that different parts of the plant go into dormancy at different times and it almost always has some flowers in bloom.

bedroom red cyclamen window cyclamen

For the past two weeks, blooms on one of my potted amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs, ‘Charisma,’ have been a joyful presence on my living room window ledge. I took these photos on a sunny day earlier in the week to capture the beautiful markings on its translucent petals when they are backlit by the sun.

Charisma2 Charisma3
Happily, as these flowers begin to fade, I have another potted amaryllis just starting to bloom. This is an unidentified plant that I inherited from a friend last summer. It’s about-to-open flowers look like ‘Apple Blossom,’ which is a perfect companion as winter turns into spring.

amaryllis bud

unknown amaryllis

One thing I am missing this year are the vases of cut Forsythia branches that I usually force into bloom. The new addition on my house now sits where the brassy gold forsythia used to grow. I did take  a small rooted piece of the softer yellow one that grew in my Gettysburg garden and planted it outside my study window, but it is too small to bloom yet. It is currently buried under snow, and it remains to be seen whether this variety will be cold-hardy in Maine.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the lovely invention of Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Although it will be another month before I have spring flowers in my garden, you can visit her blog to see what is blooming this month in many places where spring has already arrived.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2015 9:41 pm

    Hello Jean. I love your picture of that hippeastrum, it is a very lovely variety coupled with the wonderful photo. Hippeastrum is my 2nd type of addiction, next to hoya. My relationship with cyclamen is only when i resuscitated a plant of my sisters housemate in New Zealand. The owner is on vacation and i also vacationed there in her place. I cared and loved the almost dying plant for almost a month, when the owner arrived she continue the caring and sent me now the already lovely, blooming plant. We can’t grow them here in the hot tropics.

    • March 18, 2015 9:49 pm

      Andrea, Charisma is indeed a lovely variety of Hippeastrum, and I’ve been very happy to have it blooming on my window sill. I’m not familiar with hoyas, but your photographs are beautiful. I would imagine that cyclamen would be very difficult to grow in the tropics, given their preference for cool nights.

  2. March 15, 2015 10:11 pm

    I love Cyclamen!
    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • March 18, 2015 9:50 pm

      Lea, I love them too, especially since they provide me with so many months of color and pleasure when there’s not much else happening.

  3. debsgarden permalink
    March 15, 2015 10:27 pm

    Your amaryllis is gorgeous, a happy counterpart to all that snow! I hope your forsythia does well. Ours bloomed late this year, but now they are lighting up the spring garden. I always think of spring arriving with those cheerful yellow bells.

    • March 18, 2015 9:51 pm

      Deb, I’ve never seen this soft yellow variety of forsythia growing around here, so it may turn out not to be cold-hardy this far north. However, it will have been well-protected this winter by several feet of snow insulation, so we’ll see how it’s doing when it reappears from under the snow.

  4. March 16, 2015 8:39 am

    Great write-up. Your Cyclamen is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • March 18, 2015 9:52 pm

      Thanks, Kevin. Those cyclamen keep me sane in winter 😉 .

  5. March 16, 2015 2:02 pm

    ‘Charisma’ is spectacular, especially when backlit like that. ‘Appleblossom’ has always been a favorite of mine (although I don’t currently have any) and I look forward to seeing it in your window in a future post. Best wishes for a gentle spring melt, Jean!

    • March 18, 2015 9:53 pm

      Kris, Apple Blossom is a favorite of mine, too. So I’m particularly happy that turned out to be the identity of this mystery bulb, especially since neither of my other potted bulbs of Apple Blossom deigned to make flowers this year.

  6. March 18, 2015 12:16 pm

    How did you ever get that fabulous amaryllis photo. I can never get light shining through the petals.

    • March 18, 2015 9:55 pm

      Pat, I noticed last year that Charisma has unusually translucent petals — so I moved it to a sunny window ledge as soon as it started to bloom in order to get that backlit effect. (My window is south-facing, so it gets sun much of the day.)

  7. March 18, 2015 12:55 pm

    Charisma is superb. What a beauty.

    • March 18, 2015 9:55 pm

      Chloris, I agree. I had no idea when I bought it that it would turn out to be so spectacular.

  8. March 18, 2015 4:50 pm

    Still getting cold and snow here Jean and a foot of snow still here too. And I have hippeastrum flowers to fill the void. Love the variety of bulbs you have flowering.

    • March 18, 2015 9:58 pm

      Donna, I think my hippeastrum are going to be done blooming in another week or so; then I don’t know what I’ll do. Melting better start happening fast so I can get my flower fix.

  9. March 20, 2015 10:07 am

    we wait together. I daren’t put a pot plant on a windowsill against the sun. As the seasons change I had to move the Japanese maple, catching the afternoon sun it is sunburnt and cross.

  10. March 26, 2015 11:00 am

    Wonderful Amaryllis there, Jean. As usual for my set of bulbs they’ve been more interested in producing offsets as opposed to flowers. I think I might have to up the potash or ditch them and return to the supermarket for new bulbs next year.

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