HELEN LANG: It’s never too early to dream of a new spring

A gift of a huge amaryllis bulb requires plenty of light and water — and something to keep it upright.

Another simply wonderful day again today.

Winter seems to have missed the boat this year and we are going to escape the snow and ice, so many of the rest of this beautiful country are experiencing.

I did ‘touch wood’ to prevent anything nasty happening as a result of my hasty remark above.

Mind you, we do have a couple of months to go before we can safely expect spring, but it is the beginning of another year and new beginnings are always an exciting  mystery.

Yet, we can hope for crocus and snow drops by mid-February and exciting flowers by March, so the winter that wasn’t may still be a possibility.

There is always El Nino y’know, but don’t hold your breath, waiting.

I’ve probably already mentioned potting up a lot of crocus in four-inch pots to give to the members of the so-called “writers group,” and maybe this is the time to hand them out.No buds yet, but  they are up and growing nicely out on the balcony. They are used to the outdoors and should require a minimum of care (maybe some water twice a week, or pray for rain).

It’s a lovely time of year, full of expectations of nice horticultural things to come!

Also nice things time-wise — every day is three minutes longer than it was yesterday. I did the math and that works out to an hour-and-a- half longer each month until June. (If I’m wrong please don’t tell me, it is so exciting  to dream of an early spring!).

I was given a huge amaryllis bulb as a delightful Christmas gift.

I must get it started by setting the bulb just over half its height, in soil.

The bulb seems to enjoy the light on its body (trying for an early sun-tan, do you think?).

Water it well and then at least once a week until it produces the tip of a leaf. From then on, once a week should still be enough — but keep the bulb in a sunny window and turn its pot regularly so it doesn’t develop a mad desire to lean in one direction and end up with its huge leaves lying flat on the window sill and it’s pot spilling dirt all over the new carpet.

It will almost certainly require a stake to keep it upright. And putting the stake in early will save forcing it down through growing roots.

It is a glorious sight when in bloom, so treat it well, please.

PS: It may need to be watered more often but you can judge that, I’m sure.


Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

Just Posted

Egg buyers given more information, options in Greater Victoria stores

Partnership with BC SPCA launched the project in 2011

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read