Nekkid Ladies

The first rule of gardening is that you never turn down free plants from a neighbor.

Newbies always violate this one. They have some elaborate plan in their heads based on something they saw in a magazine, and "that plant doesn't fit." The simple fact is that gardens do not move easily. You can't take a garden plan from a magazine and expect to reproduce it with faithful perfection. Some things just won't grow where you are. So if a neighbor offers you a plant that does grow, so well they they can divide it and give you some, just take it and fit it in somewhere.

So it was with the amaryllis belladonna ("Naked Lady" or "Surprise Lily"). Earlier this week, Elaine offered me some amaryllis bulbs. I accepted immediately, for three reasons: 1) I'd been planning to plant some this season, anyway, and they cost a lot, 2) they're pink and so fit with the pink-n-purple colour scheme of the garden, and 3) Elaine is my source for bunny poo, so I like to make sure she doesn't have so much stuff in her garden that she needs all the poo for herself.

I figured I'd get a handful of bulbs, maybe 5-6, but with care and regular division, I could stretch that out to cover the whole area I wanted to fill with them.

Elaine handed me a large paper sack full of the suckers. Holy cow! I hurried home and eyed the first planned location for my nekkid ladies. Unfortunately, the foundation replacement is going to be ripping my front yard to SHREDS in the next few months, so planting them along the location of the work seemed ill advised. Since the other planned location for the bulbs is currently under eight inches of reinforced concrete driveway, I had to plant them in a provisional location.

Amaryllis belladonna do not take well to being transplanted, so I put them along the West fence, where they can stay until we've removed two-thirds of the parking lot we call a driveway and put in a nice side garden. (No pictures because they just look like a bunch of dug-up grass with bulb tops sticking out right now -- boring.) Since that's years from happening, the bulbs can settle in and multiple nicely on their own while I get a permanent home ready for them. Or heck, I could just transplant them into the foundation bed as soon as the foundation work is done. They do well being moved in the spring, after all.

posted by ayse on 10/30/04