Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Second Flush And Other Tidbits

My Amaryllis 'Blossom Peacock' bulb that bloomed back in January is blooming again.  It is not in good shape.  I put the bulb in a tall glass vase, suspending it above the water by virtue of the curves of the glass and the size of the bulb.  I guess the energy used to put out the first flower stalk depleted the size of the bulb just enough to let it slip into the water.  I didn't see that is slipped at first so the bulb sat in the water, rotting.   

Once I saw it, I dumped the water to well below the bulb.  I was about to give it the old 'heave ho' after the first bloom was finished as the bulb didn't look very healthy.  When I was about to get rid of it I saw new leaves emerging from the soggy looking bulb.  I decided to wait and see what happened.   Perhaps in survival mode it put up two flower stalks!
I like the picture above as the sunlight shines through the window and illuminates the blooms.  Photographing this beauty is and was a challenge.  The first round of bloom I used a black apron as a backdrop to give a very plain background.   Great effect isn't it?

This round of blooms I tried the black apron again, but with two flower stalks it was too large of a space.  Well, if you can't use dark, use light.  I put the vase on the floor in the laundry room where there is a blank wall.  It was a great 'photo shoot'!!  Front --

A little off set --

Side by side-

Which is your favorite background, light or dark?  Amazing how differently it sets off the flower.

Around here spring is in the air, teasing us with one tiny bloom at a time.  The Loropetalum 'Ever Red' is just starting to bloom, its blooms are such a rich red color, I really enjoy this plant.

The crocuses I planted all over the yard are finally starting to bloom.  C. 'Advance' had bloomed starting weeks ago, the others were in suspended animation.   Here is Crocus chrysanthus 'Ladykiller' finally opened yesterday.  Hooray!!!

Another second flush is my Clivia miniata, who has been banished to the garage.  Why?  Apparently a nest of ants had taken up residence in the soil during the summer.  I thought I had gotten rid of the ants, but found a trail from the container to the dog's dish....ick.  The garage seems to be a good place for it. 

The Edgeworthia chrysantha is at its peak now, the blooms look like huge pompoms hanging on each branch.

Also in the backyard is/was a Farfugium japonica, old name Ligularia.  I bought it in October and it was quite happy in a semi-dry shady area... love the large green leaves.

This is what I found last week-- makes you want to cry doesn't it?  This hole is larger than an inch, so something other than a vole has eaten the majority of my plant.   Think a rat trap is in my future.

Before I end this I wanted to share a few more birds....
Dark-eyed Junco

Goldfinch and Downy Woodpecker 

Full house on the feeder
How is your garden shaping up for the beginning of spring?

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Fabulous photos as always! And a joy to see so much colour

  2. It's great to see all your flowers! I especially like that Crocus. What critters do to our gardens is so infuriating, isn't it?

  3. Things are really popping in your garden. Not so much here.
    The black background is way more dramatic, but the first photo, with the streaming light speaks to me. I guess it all depends upon what kind of effect you are after. The gray background feels elegant.

  4. So many beautiful flowers!
    I love all the amaryllis photos, but if I had to pick just one...the black background.
    Lovely bird photos, too!
    Lea's Menagerie

  5. I love the dark background -very dramatic!

  6. You have such good luck with houseplants. I've had a clivia for several years and it has never bloomed. I might need to banish mine. Lucky move on the Apple blossom. I like the lighter color best though they all look good. Wow on the edgeworthia!!!!

  7. Dear Dear Janet,
    the amaryllis looks so beautiful! And it is nice to see spring on your photos - we has one week of fine weather - now suddenly winter is back - with so much snow that some schools are closed (that happens very seldom in Germany). The rat or vole: disgusting beast. So sad to find the munched away your plants...

  8. The dark background is spectacular but I also like the last pic, because it apears the flowers are talking to each other. The lace in the first shot sets a mood. Interesting.

    Cute Junco.

  9. It's amazing how differently the blooms present depending on the background. Both are beautiful, but I love the drama of the black background. I continue to envy your edgeworthia--I just can't imagine my poor little bush that I bought at a plant sale ever looking like yours. Perhaps I need to buy a more established specimen and try it. Mine just looks so sad and tiny, with only one bloom. The bird photos are lovely and so cheerful! Every time I try to spend time photographing our birds, the dogs or kids get excited and chase them away. I need stealth photography classes (or less helpers!) Hope you have a great week!

  10. I love seeing your amaryllis--none of mine bloomed this year at all. Next year, though, I'll have to remember your tricks for background--your photos are terrific! The edgeworthia is a beauty; I was just admiring one in a catalog till I read further and realized it's not hardy in my zone. So nice to see all your spring blooms! We're in for some snow again.

  11. I like the black background. The Amaryllis is gorgeous! I've never tried to grow one.

  12. My last amaryllis just finished blooming...I love yours against the black...wonderful spring garden and the birds look happy...saw the first robin in the garden today...more snow coming but it will be short lived :)

  13. As usual I love all of your photos. Outstanding job!!!!

  14. I saw the Loropetalum and thought, Ah, witchhazel! I'll have to look up Loropetalum, I am unfamiliar with that plant. I also love the picture of the downy woodpecker and goldfinch, I've never seen them together in the same photo.

  15. Oh no, that poor lugularia. Surprisingly, I think I prefer the lighter background, though the black is wonderful too. The paler background complements the flowers better. The Edgeworthia is stunning, you will be glad to know I succumbed, a - currently rather small - edgeworthia is currently safely homed in the back garden. I am already looking forward to those wonderful leaves, and hopefully next year, some flowers.

  16. A friend gave me a clivia about a year ago. Mine, like Tina's, has not bloomed yet. The foliage is very nice though -- a nice contrast to the other houseplants.

  17. Wow! I can't tell that bulb was on its way out at all! Those are stunning (and now I really wish I'd gotten around to buying an amaryllis this year).

    Hey for birds, do you think an eastern phoebe would be friendly enough to follow me all around the garden this week? It kept landing almost at arm's length from me (and was swooping for worms from the beds I was digging).

  18. You had fun in your photo studio. The black apron is my favorite too.

  19. Like most commenters, I like the black apron background. It emphasizes the shape of the flower and is a dramatic contrast. I also love the first image. The sunlight, the flowers, the lace curtains- beautiful! To bad about the ligularia. Hopefully it will recover.

  20. Your Amaryllis blooms are just so pretty. I love the doubles. Oh those critters can be so destructive to our plants. Here it is mostly the deer.
    Sorry I have not been around but the Google Reader was messing ups so I got everyone's back postings all at once. I wondered where everyone was. LOL!
    I love your Daphne from the previous posting. I am jealous Janet of the blooms you have already. Have a lovely weekend.

  21. ugh, the downside of spring is finding some of the winter damage. That poor plant, that really is a big hole. Someone made a meal out of that all winter long it looks like. It's funny, in the first photo I thought the flowers were orange in tone but against the backgrounds I can see it's actually much more pink. I think the black background is much more striking to the eye and makes the flowers appear sharper.

  22. So sorry about your ligularia! I love the black background on the amaryllis!

  23. Spring had sprung for us a bit but it snowed last night so everything's on hold. But it also means I have a snow day so I'll take the trade off. :o) Rotten about your ligularia. I hope whatever ate it got a stomach ache. LOVE the amaryllis shots with the dark background. My windows are tinted to dim the afternoon light that blasts my house so bulbs often grow poorly for me, especially amaryllis.

  24. One sign of spring I saw yesterday, was the little fuzzy things ? ( yes, so scientific) on the Aspen buds.
    Your Amaryllis are so lovely! I regret not doing those this year. I can't believe how huge they get.
    Happy First day of spring, tomorrow,
    From Rosey.

  25. I love the first picture.. and your edgeworthia chrysantha but then I think I tell you that every time you post a picture of
    My Clivia won't be blooming for another week or so.. Azaleas, wisteria's and roses are showing off around here, hoping to get some pictures this weekend if the rain doesn't mess us up.. hugs and happy Friday, Cherry

  26. These photos are really nice, Janet! I'm glad the amaryllis rebounded for you...the resilience of bulbs is one reason I love them. Plants at my house need that quality!

  27. Dear fellow bloggers, seems as though all are favoring the darker background. It is funny how a background changes the look of the bloom. I do like having a blank background to try out with some blooms.
    And yes Les, damn voles or shrews or rats or whatever is eating my plants' roots.

  28. 'Peacock' is a gorgeous Amaryllis Janet. I haven't tried that one. Can you believe it?? I like the black background but that figures since it's dramatic!!!! Great job photographing it.
    I'm jealous your Clivia is blooming TWICE! I did not get mine to bloom even once over the winter. I think I didn't give it long enough in cold storage. Sometimes when that happens it blooms once I take it outdoors. Who knows when that will be this year with all the snow & winter temperatures.
    I always enjoy your bird photos too. Is that a gigantic thistle feeder or does it only appear that way??? I've hardly had a goldfinch this winter which is unusual. Maybe they knew it was going to be a bad one & flew to warmer "pastures?!!"

    Happy Spring & thank you for your supportive comments. I'm trying to make my way back....


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