Monthly Archives: January 2015

Blooms From My Yard – Blackberry Lily

Welcome back for another post from Chasing the Blooms. This post is the first about the different varieties of plants in my yard and flower beds. We have a diverse mix of perennials and annuals, with the belief and wish to have blooms stretch the outdoor growing season to its limits. It is a bit harder now that I no longer have my greenhouse business which presented us with a unique opportunity to have an unlimited selection for our own use.

So what do you do when that kind of source goes by the boards? You accept the kindness of friends and family as well as the marked down carts at Lowes or home Depot. New varieties can be explored in this way and introduced into your floral plan. The origin story for this particular plant traces back to my uncle Charles, a former biology teacher. I saw it in a flower bed at his home during a family gathering,. expressed interest and was the recipient of a plant when the season drew to a close.

The "blackberries" or seed pods that developed after the seed pods ripened.

The “blackberries” or seed pods that developed after the seed pods ripened.

When I got my plant it looked like the photo above. The main difference was that I had a single plant where the photo shows the three that developed from it this past season. I talked with my aunt and she said there was two ways they knew to propagate the plant, by the root and using the seeds hidden within the “blackberries”. I don’t know about you, but my best intentions with seeds are a stack of unfulfilled promises, so i depended on the root route.

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The beginning of the blooming process. You will notice the bloom casings as they develop near the top of the plant.

My reward was the emergence of the first triangular leaves around the end of May. The plant developed in a fan-like form as it steadily grew larger. My excitement was palpable as i anticipated the gorgeous bloom, being a lily lover as I am.

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One of the less desirable qualities of the plant is the short bloom duration. Each bloom is . open for only one day. Thankfully I had three strong, healthy plants that sported multiple blooms.

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Eventually the blooms stop and the slow process of waiting for the “blackberries” to emerge begins. The seed pods slowly form and then develop over more than a month’s time. While i kept a watch and photographed the stages I was not as diligent with marking a calendar to judge the time frame.

 

 

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This fall I continued the tradition of passing along this beauty to another plant lover, giving one of the roots to a friend in a nearby town. She posts pictures to her Facebook account about as often as i do (OFTEN) and I knew she would enjoy this as much as I do. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Blackberry Lily and will come back for more posts on Chasing the Blooms.

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Amaryllis Blooms: A Family Affair

Ok, so just an FYI for those of you new to this blog: I LOVE BLOOMS! Blooms of all kinds. Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, I love the blooms that come during all seasons. What? You didn’t think anything blooms during Winter. Well I suppose in the cooler climates it does not, at least not outside. But inside We still have the redeemable cadre of houseplants to buoy our green thumbs and bloom-loving hearts.

The particular plant I want to share today is called an Amaryllis. I won’t go into the scientific and biological names because quite simply I do not know them and find that information kind of boring. Sorry Uncle Charles (former biology teacher for many years). What I feel you should know is this plant came from my Aunt Faye (wife of aforementioned Uncle Charles) and is thriving under our care.

EDIT : A picture of the Amaryllis when I first got it in October of 2013.

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Then, like hitting the lottery a second bloom stalk emerges.

Then, like hitting the lottery a second bloom stalk emerges.

The initial cause for celebration, a new bloom stalk.

The initial cause for celebration, a new bloom stalk.

The plant has bloomed once since I have had it and continues to grow larger. I am excited to report and show in the accompanying pictures that it is nearing another bloom cycle. Even more exciting is that there will be two bloom sets this time. The Amaryllis provides four blooms per cycle, so I will have a total of eight this round.

During the gloom of Winter such a sight is welcome to me. Going from several full greenhouses in 2007 to the meager (in comparison) stable we sport now I am always interested in any blooms. We are between blooms in all but one of our cadre of orchids, so the Amaryllis will get center stage.

spring Jan 16 Check back over the next few posts to see the Amaryllis in various stages of bloom.