Hippeastrum Madness

Love is the flower you've got to let grow.John Lennon

Ermahgeeeeerd! I picked up two more Hippeastrum bulbs this week. This is more perilous than it sounds. I have bought about 6 so far this season, and in the root cellar are about six more from last year. I love this beautiful, showy flower, but last night, my wonderful husband gently suggested that I might have a problem here. To justify this obsession, I am giving one planted bulb to my mother, one to his mother, and am bringing one to my place of work. But still.

Here’s a very cool time lapse video of a Hippeastrum, from planting to full bloom. It makes me happy to watch it:

It’s nearing time for a road trip to Balleks garden center In East Haddam, Connecticut. Not only is this nursery stocked with every imaginable indoor plant, outdoor plant, tree, bulb, rhizome, orchid, fern, herb, pot, statue, ornament, plant food, and organic fertilizer known to humankind, the cultivars are top rate, the prices are right, the selection is mind-boggling, the employees are hugely knowledgeable, the owners are on-site, and the main greenhouse, warm and humid and smelling of loam, is a soul-soothing oasis. I like the place, - a lot; let’s just leave it at that.

My Balleks wish list so far includes a mature orange clivia miniata, a dark pink phalaenopsis, plant food, a few smaller pots, forcing glasses, and at least one white Hippeastrum.

This weekend, we’re pulling out the large, 3-tier grow light station that I’ve had for about 10 years now. Looking back, it was the best $600 investment I ever made. With it, I can overwinter all the geraniums, grow fresh herbs, start seeds and bulbs (like Hippeastrum), get a jump start on the germination of summer veggies and flowers, and lots more. It’s brilliant. I greet it like a lover every autumn.

It rained hard last night. Today is October 29: two days until Halloween. It’s 75 degrees and sunny outside. There is a fresh breeze moving through. I can smell the earth. I’d take this all winter long if I could.


Namaste. Peace. Grow.

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