Monday, 28 August 2017

Summer Surprises

Like every other summer our colony is decorated with splashes of colour. There are multi-coloured flowerbeds and a variety of pots on the lawns around the homes; each one showcasing the creativity and green thumb of the people who plant and tend them. Strolling around our colony, with so many gorgeous plants everywhere is like visiting a park. It makes me want to sing this beautiful Paul Gerhardt song:
Geh' aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud'
In dieser lieben Sommerzeit
An deines Gottes Gaben;
Schau an die schoenen Gaerten Zier
Und siehe wie sie mir und dir
Sich ausgeschuecket haben. 

Here's a very rough translation, (and of course not as poetic as the original), for those of you who don't know German:

Go out, my heart, and seek your joy
In this so beautiful summertime,
filled with gifts from God. 
Look at the beautiful garden  splendor
and see how they show their grander
just for you and me.  


Earlier this summer, I wrote about our first summer surprise: finding lady's slippers in our area. In connection with that, I bought a book, Wildflowers of Manitoba, and have enjoyed going for long walks and discovering some of these beauties in ditches and in wooded areas. My fascination with wildflowers started a few years ago, when I visited another colony and learned that my friend, Jennifer was a wildflower enthusiast. Apparently, it's catching, for I caught the bug, too. Read more about that summer, here

The most recent surprise has to do with an amaryllis. Yes, the plant you can buy around Christmas time. I had one in my classroom last Christmas. My students loved watching it grow, and especially once it started blooming. This picture was taken at that time. It had eight flowers when it was in full bloom. After it stopped blooming, I decided I wanted to keep it and see if I could get it to bloom again, next Christmas. I did a bit of research and learned how I could make that happen. I planted it in a shady spot in my flower bed, where I would be leaving it till fall. Then I'd bring it in, let the leaves dry back, place it in a dark cool place for a rest. Before Christmas, take it out, place it near a window and start watering it, in the hopes that it'll bloom at Christmas. 

As the shrubs and flowers in my garden grew and spread out over summer, the amaryllis was concealed, and I didn't check on it as often as I should have. I actually almost forgot about it.  A few weeks ago as I doing some much needed trimming and weeding, and was delighted to find that one of m flowers on my amaryllis was partially open already, as if to say, "Surprise! And here you thought you would not see me until Christmas". I took this picture yesterday; it seems the blooms are bigger than they were last December and the red is more striking. Or perhaps it's the sun that causes that. In any case, spending a few months outside obviously agreed with it. It has a few more buds, which will make it even more showy. Who says you can't have Christmas in August?
I'm wondering though, will keep it from blooming later on this year? I hope not. However, I will enjoy this spectacle as long as it lasts, and worry about what will happen later. If you've had an amaryllis blooming in mid summer, I'd love to hear from you.


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