Amaryllis belladonna, aka "Naked Ladies" or less correctly "Surprise Lilies" (they're not Lycoris), do not like to be messed with. If you mow their foliage, move them, water them during the summer, make snide comments about their ancestry, or even just look cross-eyed in their general direction, they will reward you by sulking underground and refusing to bloom. Maybe for a few years.

So it was a really wonderful surprise to come out into the garden and see these two bloom stalks rising along the side of the little cottage:

Amaryllia belladonna

These bulbs were planted the summer before the foundation work got started, and they spent the better part of a year under the storage container and then a pile of rubbish.

But the even bigger surprise was to see them popping up out front, where I didn't know they were planted. Those have never bloomed in the five years we've owned this house, perhaps because their foliage used to get mowed over regularly. And of course those bulbs spent a year under a huge pile of dirt and bricks.

Amaryllis belladonna in the front garden

(All the Naked Ladies are coming up early this year because of the dry winter; they usually bloom in August, but I've been seeing stalks coming up everywhere this week.)

Another pleasant surprise this week was that these guys (Costoluto Genovese) grew up as if out of nowhere:

Costoluto Genovese tomatoes

Mmm. And pretty much all the other tomatoes have fruit as well.

Work continues apace on the irrigation system, but it's dead boring at this point so I'll spare you endless photos of pipes and sprinklers.

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posted by ayse on 07/15/07