Way, way back in the autumn I planted two amaryllis bulbs. One of them turned into our fabulous Double Dragon that fired its way through the Christmas season with a stunning array of seemingly never-ending blooms.
The other produced a very small stem, and a rather droopy flower. We decided that we had buried the bulb a smidgen too deep, and compounded the error by over watering and resolved to remember that for next year. Both bulb pots went out to the conservatory to wait for the foliage to die down, with some vague plan to try to save at least the Double Dragon to grow again next year.
And there they sat. Totally neglected until we came to relay the conservatory floor and found that out of the dried up bulb compost a beautiful strong straight pale celery stem had emerged. We moved it back to the sunny windowsill and made careful efforts not to water it unless strictly necessary.
On Wednesday as I got ready to go to work, the first petals were starting to stretch out:
And there was no stopping them:
This is Apple Blossom; and it does what it says on the tin.
I grew up with an apple orchard next to the house and this looks just like a giant blossom, with the grained amaryllis petals looking like the colour has been swirled across them.
And at the heart of each flower a chocolate lime.
I love the stiffness in the petals and the way that it looks as though the colour has been laid on with a brush, with the artist being so very careful to stay inside the edges.
It's only half the story really, because we have two blooms at present, in a perfect mirror image, and as you can see, the promise of another three along the way.
When we planted the two bulbs I had always mentally assigned the Dragon as H's flower and the Apple Blossom as mine, and it seemed rather a sting in the tail to have mine not grow properly after I'd put so much effort into looking after them.
Now I've got my second chance and with the spikes of green appearing in the flower beds and the crocuses rioting through the lawn (at least until we get the mower out), it appears that my trumpets may be heralding the arrival of Spring!