amaryllis-intokazi1?Amaryllis is the most perfect of all winter plants. For Christmas, I was given ?Amaryllis ‘Intokazi’ by my friend Mark Disero. It came with lots of good advice:

don’t bother with a small pot, use one that’s at least 10 inches wide and it will go outside in a larger pot during the summer; use a wire metal hoop from the dollar store because this one will get tall. ?

Well I was a bad kid, I did none of the above. The bulb sat in its bag for weeks, I stuck it in the only plastic pot available ?(4 inches) and packed it in mulch which is all I had around the house (always have a pail at the ready–you never know when it’s going to be useful). ?I watered it when I thought of it and this is how it rewarded me: ?stunning, absolutely gorgeous. I propped it up with some little twigs. That was useless. It toppled over and busted a really nice container I’d plunked the pot in for the holidays, and to keep water from dribbling all over the counter.?These bulbs are a miracle of nature: ?everything is there to be glorious. It had these huge pure white blooms with a pale green interior which grew on three foot stalks. ?Next time, I get a hoop.

We’re about to leave town to escape the snow and cold. Not to France as we have for the past twenty years. Nope, I thought California would be a nice inexpensive trip when the dollar was at par. But who can second guess anything to do with money. ?The area we’re going to is filled with botanical gardens so rain or shine, I will be among plants again. And not a minute too soon.

The midwinter e-letter will be ready to go out on Monday or Tuesday if you haven’t already signed up, please do.