Sunday, February 26, 2017

Winter Blooms - The Amaryllis

During the winter, there is that time when people who like to garden start missing flowers in their lives. That need to have something green and growing makes the winter seem shorter if you can grow inside. If you want some blooms back in your life, grow an Amaryllis. Around Christmas they are easy to find in the stores for gift giving and you can pick up some very good deals on them right after Christmas. Many people grow them and after they are done blooming, discard them. Keep that bulb for another year of enjoyment. Here is how you do it.
  1. After the bloom is gone you can remove the bloom stalk. Cut it within an inch of the bulb.
  2. Continue to grow the plant during the spring and summer. Fertilize it with a indoor liquid fertilizer on a regular bases. Your plant will make additional leaves during this time and it will be storing energy back into the bulb. I like to put my Amaryllis outside on the porch in indirect light for the summer.
  3. In late August, start cutting back on water. You will notice that the plants leaves will start turning yellow and die. The bulb will be just fine. Stop all watering. Remove the dead leaves.
  4. Store the dormant bulb in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks. Your bulb is now resting.
  5. Replant the bulb in fresh potting soil about 5 to 6 weeks from the time you would like to see it bloom again. I like my Amaryllis to bloom in January or February when I am getting tired of snow and cold weather and need some blooms in my life.

6. Start watering again. As the bloom stalk starts to grow you may need to stake it because of the weight of the blooms. Keep the plant in indirect light. As it grows, turn the container to keep the stalk growing straight and not towards the light. In 5 to 8 weeks you will be enjoying your blooms for another year.

If you enjoy growing Amaryllis, start a collection. There are many different bloom colors and types from double blooms to very unusual blooms.

Happy Gardening!


I have been out working in the garden and it is exciting to see life coming back to the garden. After last years drought it is nice to know that all that watering was worth it!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Life is Finally Slowing Down

The last time that I blogged was back in August 2016. With the move from Indiana to North Carolina, I have been busy remodeling the house, working on my North Carolina Master Gardener, volunteering, writing for the magazine and enlarging the garden. Everything has kept me very busy. I am now a North Carolina Master Gardener and I have completed the inside remodeling of the house and I hope that I do not see a paint brush for awhile.

The garden is now three times larger than it was and I have spent the winter doing all of the hardscape. Being from the north, the cold weather of 30 to 40 degrees is wonderful for moving gravel and mulch than the heat of the summer in North Carolina. My next big project is installing drip irrigation in the garden. Due to the summer heat and last years drought, my garden really could use drip irrigation and save me the time of dragging garden hoses around.

Other things that happened during the last few months was that I became a Rose Judge at Biltmore for the International Rose Trials. I really enjoyed myself and I felt very honored to have the opportunity to judge at Biltmore Estate. I will keep you updated on the 2017 Rose Trails. It should be exciting.

Another exciting event that happened in November and lasted nearly a month, was the Party Rock Fire here in Lake Lure, North Carolina. We had to leave our home for 11 days when the fires approached our neighborhood. It was very scary and I hope that I never see another fire again. The cost was 7.8 million to put it out and a month of smoke.

Here are a few pictures that I took of the fire.

Now that I have everything complete with the house, I can now enjoy gardening, volunteering and writing again. Check back for more at Garden Thyme with the Creative Gardener.

Happy Gardening!


'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...