Monday, February 15, 2010

February GBBD: Deja Vu

If you have a feeling of deja vu seeing this amaryllis bud once again on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, don't worry. This is not the same amaryllis I featured on last month's GBBD post, but rather a new one I potted up in December. I was hoping this one might bloom in time for February's showcase of blooms, and it didn't disappoint me.

This "Appleblossom" showed such promise, its leaves standing straight and tall, unlike the first one whose leaves flopped all over the place. Four or five buds suggested, too, it would outdo its predecessor in bloom production.

However, in my effort to move it to get a better photo without background clutter, it met with an unfortunate accident. When I sat it on a stool in front of the bare white wall, Sophie suddenly got excited at something outside the window and bounded forward, knocking over the plant. The result: the stalk was broken, though not detached, and at least one bud fell off. All that waiting, and now a quick death seemed certain! What to do? I thought about using duct tape to dress its wound, but I thought that might be too hard on it, so I found the next best available alternative.

Some painter's masking tape kept the tear from losing all the plant nutrients, but didn't keep the stalk upright, so I tied the stem to my sideboard with a piece of yarn. My poor bandaged amaryllis has bravely given out three blooms, but its injuries have kept it from achieving its star potential. I hope this never happens again, but if anyone has a better solution for stem injuries, I'd love to hear them.

Miss Rosemary is not in bloom, but with so little greenery in my house (Houseplant Census: a measly 10), she deserves her photo featured on this Bloom Day. Besides, I'm so thrilled to have managed to keep her alive this winter--notice the leaves straining toward the window to get every sunny ray they can.

Rosemary's roommates include five geraniums also overwintering here. Again, I'm happy to have kept them alive thus far, even if these two little blooms are the only signs of color among them.

Another survivor, the Begonia "Dusty Rose," has one solitary bloom that has finally opened. I love this delicate little blossom, but even more so when this is the extent of all the blooms in February here at the Prairie.

Needless to say, there is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, blooming outside right now. These last two photos are for Gail, who recently posted about studying mosaics and thinking about an art project for her garden. I don't have an artistic bone in my body, unfortunately, but we do have an artist-in-residence here . . . Jacques Frost:)

Of all his work, I particularly like his ice scupltures. I'm sure the art terminology is not correct, but I've titled this piece "Clematis Frieze."

For other Bloom Day posts, be sure to visit our hostess, the plant guru Carol at May Dreams Gardens. And the best part about this February Bloom Day?--It's only 28 days until March GBBD!


  1. Very pretty post for GBBD. The begonia, geranium, amaryllis all looking so exotic. Yes, sometimes i have to stalk it as well to save it from falling.

  2. I am surprised your amaryllis survived its broken neck. You did a fine job of doctoring it. It is so pretty. I must remember to pot some of them up next year. Jack is busy creating in our garden too. He dumped 4 more inches of snow last night. No blooms outside here except the snowdrops. Happy GBBD.

  3. Poor amaryllis. I think you did a fantastic job of saving it. Also great job on that rosemary. I can never keep them alive over the winter-inside or out. Another snow day here. Sigh.

  4. I love that blue painter's tape--I've uised it to mask the rudder on a plastic model airplane I'm making (don't ask), and it's nice to know you can use it for ailing plants, too. Both of my amarylises are a bit slow... one has one really long leaf and nothing else, and has been that way for weeks. The other is finally starting to send up two leaves. Maybe for April Bloom Day! Are you still going to Chicago Flower Show? What days? I'll be there March 10-11.

  5. Love the surgery on the Amaryllis..what lengths gardener's will go to, lol.

  6. Bloom day always reminds me of what I don't have growing that I WISH I had growing.


    I'd better start keeping a plant list.

    Happy Bloom Day! Spring will come again. . . someday!

  7. Rose, Jack is truly the artist! The beautiful sculptures he creates almost make winter worth experiencing. Doesn't Arizona sound good right now! Let's meet there~A little sunshine and warmth will do my spirit good!

    I can testify that taping a branch works...I repaired my rosemary with blue painter's tape, too. It was a fashion statement.

    Thank you for the mention/link and I do wish you a great day~Be safe out there....Jack creates a lovely work of art...but also icy road conditions!


  8. You did a great job saving the amaryllis! It's basically like grafting a plant back onto itself. I like the begonia bloom too...spring is coming soon, right?

  9. Hey Rose, isn't it funny what we gardeners will do to try and help our plants.

    I'm glad our rosemary lives outside during the winter. It's still as green as can be. With this last snow tho I thought it was going to break from the weight but it looks good.

  10. Oh, the photographic calamities. That sort of thing happens to me All The Time. In fact, just last ight, I dumped the phal orchid in my GBBD post in the sink while shooting it. Don't tell anyone! Happy GBBD.

  11. Too bad about the accident. Amaryllis are kind of fragile inside.

    Jack Frost is a great ice sculpture. I think Jack taught Chihuly every he knows:)

  12. Hello Rose, hope you had a delightful Valentine's weekend. Sorry about all the snow, but think of all that's going on underneath that is going to pop. ;)

    I'm playing a little catchup as I've been busily planting seeds for the vegetable garden. How delightful to see you taking the Master Gardener program! I should have done that but 16 years of developing our own gardens left little room to do so. By the way, the photo of Sophie at the window is too cute; I think she is already anticipating your being at class (without her). :)

  13. Love the doctoring you did on the Amaryllis. And, what a luscious color on that Begonia! Happy Bloom Day!

  14. As someone who once saved a broken-off cherry tree branch with duct tape and a splint, I think you did a great job! I was hoping my amaryllis would open by today but it has a few days to go. Love the ice - all this sunshine has made some impressive sculptures outside!

  15. Hello Rose,

    I love your ice sculptures - their shapes are so interesting. What a great job getting Geraniums to bloom indoors in the middle of winter. I think you did a great job 'casting' your Amaryllis so that it could produce it's blooms, even though they weren't perfect, they are still beautiful :^)

  16. Hi Rose.....such a beautiful amaryllis bloom. Excellent first aid......I am sure said plant appreciated it very much.

    I am a great lover of Jack's work and at this particular time have some of this wonderful icework in my garden. Whilst I appreciate his efforts, I now wish him to leave, so that I can go about creating some artwork of my own...

    Have a good week my friend.......

  17. The tape was an inspiration, a splint of a bamboo stake or even a tongue depressor would have helped support. I hope there won't be a next time.

    Apple Blossom is such a lovely bloom.

    Happy Bloom Day.

  18. Oh how sad about your amaryllis! Must have made your heart sink. I do like your "art work".

  19. Rose, I also have plenty of Jacques Frost sculptures in my yard, but didn't think to take photos of them all. Very impressive gallary you have there.

    Does your darling Sophie feel the least bit guilty about what's happened to pretty Miss Appleblossom?

    Our cat, Butterscotch, has been living here less than a year, but terrorizes every plant I bring into the house.

    I see that Miss Rosemary and her roommates are doing quite well.

    Rose, I felt very peaceful while the computer was gone for a week, but I did miss visiting my blogger friends. Some people thought I was gone on vacation. No so, the 'puter was in the shop.


  20. Lovely photo's! Apple Blossom Amaryllis are my favorite & glad it has survived! Happy GBBD!

  21. Masterful first aid techniques there Rose. What a brilliant artist is Mr Frost and each a unique work of art.

  22. Jacques Frost is quite the artist. :) I think Appleblossom is my favorite Amaryllis.

  23. Wow, Rose, can't believe that you have geraniums in bloom. Your rosemary looks really good. I don't think mine would've survived without my grow light - our homes are so close here that its difficult to get adequate light.

    Hurry Spring !

  24. Oh Rose, I smiled all the way through this post. Can so relate to smashing the flowers I was going to photograph. Happened to my primula - bruised the petals while trying to move them (just so) over top of a leaf.{{sigh}}.

    You did a good job on the amaryllis. My hubby recommended I tape and splint a flower stalk(don't remember if it was an amaryllis or another plant) that had broken. I thought he was nuts, but tried it anyway. And it worked!

    How wonderful to overwinter a geranium and the dusty rose begonia (my favourite kind of begonia). I've never been able to overwinter them. Good for you.
    Your plants must know how much you care for them.

  25. Rose, the painter's tape is even funnier when actually seen on the stem.:) Hubby really got a chuckle out of that. He just doesn't understand what lengths plant lovers will go to.

    You have done so well with your over wintering. Should have moved daughter out of that room years ago. Just think of all the plants you could have saved. :)

    Inspired idea to capture and name Jack Frost's work. When it is 90 outside you will only have to look at those photos to cool off.

    3 weeks til the Chicago flower show and our mini get away!

  26. Dear Rose,
    I am so sorry for the broken stem. How disappointing for you! It still is a lovely flower.
    Miss Rosemary looks very healthy. They are hard to overwinter. I have a rosemary that is hardy in my zone 5 garden. At least it has been for these past 10 years. I watch ech spring to see if she will return.
    The ice is beautiful but I know how damaging it can be. I have lost many trees to ice.
    Stay warm!

  27. What a great pity about the Amaryillis breaking like that. I really hope it continues to grow as it is a beautiful specimen.

    Nuts in May

  28. Poor Amaryllis, they can be rather unstable at the best of times but you have done a good repair job. The ice 'sculpture' is amazing, it must be horribly cold there, thankfully we are slightly milder here at the moment.

    Your Geranium and 'Dusty Rose' are very pretty.

  29. What a fun Bloom posting! I so would have thought of the duct tape bandage as well. I think you were smart to go with the painters bandage instead. Bad Sophie. I know plants and pets just don’t work around this house so we must keep the plants safe in the No No room for the winter. I get tired of cleaning up cat barf not to mention, they may be toxic to my girls. Oh well, the price one must pay to have their sweet fur babies. I love the color of the bloom and am glad your nursing paid off. Jacque sure did give you some beautiful art work there girl :-)

  30. Pretty post, Rose. Thankfully, my 2 pots of rosemary are hangin' in strong ... can't live without fresh rosemary :) Hit the nursery yesterday, hoping to shoot some of the flowers today ... good day to stay inside ... it's snowing! (happy for your happy news)

  31. Muhammad, the begonia and geranium are anything but exotic here:) Your blooms, on the other hand, certainly are!

    Lisa, A "broken neck" is the perfect way to describe it. I'm surprised it bloomed at all after that.

    Tina, I'm hoping the rosemary will be able to be transplanted back into the garden this spring.

    Monica, Last year my first amaryllis grew and grew but never bloomed. I hope yours doesn't do the same. I'll e-mail you about Chicago--planning on Monday, the 8th.

    Darla, yes, some people might think I'm a little nuts.

    Garden, Every winter I see all these indoor blooms I wish I had, too:)

    Gail, I can appreciate Jack's handiwork, but I'd love to see some green instead. Going to Phoenix in mid-March; there will be sure to be some green there!

    Rose, I was so upset when the stalk broke; I'm amazed it survived.

    Susie, So true! I didn't think my rosemary would be hardy here. I'm hoping it will make it till spring.

    Caroline, I should have left well enough alone:) I hope your orchid is okay.

    Marnie, I wonder if Chihuly observed ice sculptures? That's a neat idea.

    Di, I decided just to take the plunge on the MG program this year--I'm not getting any younger:)

    Kate, I love that begonia, and I'm amazed I've been able to keep it so long. They usually don't last all summer for me.

    Diane, Duct tape and a splint--I'll have to remember that one!

  32. Noelle, I'm sure you don't have any ice sculptures:) My mother is the expert at overwintering geraniums--she's kept some for years.

    Cheryl, After the accident, I couldn't bear to let the plant die; I'm just glad it survived. I agree, I'm ready for winter to end. We had another 2-3 inches of snow, though, Sunday evening.

    Nell Jean, Thanks for those great ideas. I hope, too, this doesn't happen again.

    Jean, After all the anticipation of blooms, I was sick when this happened.

    Donna, Most accidents here are usually caused by Toby the cat who resents my taking his favorite perches for plants. Thanks for your concern about my Dad--he's coming home today!

    Jo, I love the delicate colors of "Appleblossom", too.

    Anna, Mr. Frost has created some beauties around here, but I'm ready for him to leave.

    Sweet Bay, I think next year I'm going to try for several different colors of amaryllis.

    Carolyn Gail, I never thought of having to use a grow light. Mine are in a room with both western and southern sunshine.

    Wendy, The lengths we gardeners will go to:) This is my first year of seriously trying to over-winter plants.

    Beckie, I don't think my hubby has even noticed this first aid job:) Remind me this summer not to complain when it's so hot:)

    Sherry, I wasn't sure if this rosemary would be hardy or not, and I didn't want to take any chances on leaving it outside. So sad about tree damage--that happened to us last year, but so far this winter we've been lucky.

    Maggie May, The amaryllis has done surprisingly well in spite of its accident. Only one bloom lost, I think.

    ShySongbird, It's not that cold here--in the 20's F. Well, I guess that is cold, but not for Illinois:) We've just had so much snow this year.

    Skeeter, The spare bedroom where most of the plants are kept is off limit to the pets, too. Yes, I spend a lot of time cleaning up after all my fur babies:)

    Joey, I'm not the cook you are--would you believe I haven't used any of the rosemary for cooking? But my daughter in Arizona took some home--she's the culinary experimenter.

  33. Wow! Fab job Jack, so beautiful!!

    Poor old amaryllis, still very pretty though.


  34. How beautiful those photos are especially the first macro. I laughed so loud with your attempt at rescuing the flower stalk. Can you update us if you succeeded? How so tragic for a well waited bloom to come. sorry for that. other older posts are quite beautiful too, especially the blue flower hedges.

  35. Rose, I can't believe you taped that stem together! Blue tape no less - I think you need a Spring fix! Less than a month away?

    What we will do for a bloom, yes? I absolutely love that we are fortunately close to the end of Winter!

  36. Rose, you may not consider yourself artistic, but 'creative' beats 'artistic' by a mile;-) Your ingenuity is outdone only by your witiness! Love your remedy for apple blossom, she is grateful to you and to have put out more blooms shows just how much. She will come back next year with gusto, I'm sure. The only way to prevent these injuries, Rose, I would say is: don't have kitty around (!), but like me, that isn't an option--so, we have to keep our creative muscles working to cope with such mishaps! Isn't Jack Frost something?! His sculptures are definitely works of art. It is so nice to see them featured...we often just take those forgranted so I'm glad you added them here. Happy Bloom Day, to you, dear Rose! As great a sculpter as Jack is, I hope he will visit you less next month;-) Jan

  37. Your blue masking tape is probably better for the plant than the cellophane tape I would have reached for, Rose - and your Appleblossom looks like the real thing- such a delicate color.

    When it comes to February, Deja vu is better than no vu at all ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  38. Ohhhh Rose, your poor amaryllis! I've had my own share of accidents with those here. My first accident with one actually broke my camera because the pot fell on it. It just got top-heavy. Your solution to the problem looks to be very ingenious!
    And your bloom is really pretty. 'Apple Blossom' is one of my very favorite amaryllises.

  39. Oh, Rose! I would have been heartbroken to see that stem broken after so much anticipation. At least you were right there at the moment it happened to save the bloom from certain death. I love your artist-in-residence's ice sculptures. I'm happy to say he just pays us a brief visit early in the morning and then runs away when the sun comes out. Do you snip that rosemary for your soups and other recipes?

  40. Cute post, Rose. Clematis Frieze... great title! I think the ice sculptor is way beyond Jack Frost's abilities, though. Perhaps it's a brother or cousin? ;-)

  41. Love the painting of Jack Frost and darn it on the broken stem. How frustrating. I hope you enjoyed the blooms anyhow.

  42. Happy GBBD! The amaryllis is lovely. Too bad about the injury. We grow herbs inside too, both for cooking and greenery. Ha- clematis frieze!

  43. Nice save on the Amaryllis! I hope Jacques Frost takes a break soon or at least slows down his efforts in your garden.


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