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As gardeners, we spend a lot of time waiting!  We wait for seeds to sprout; we wait for tomatoes to ripen; we wait for rain to start; we wait for rain to stop; we wait for flowers to bloom . . .

Here are some of the things keeping me waiting this final week of January:

Three Hippeastrum (amaryllises) are working their way toward flowering.  ‘Elvas’, on the left in the picture below and new to me this year, should produce a showy, double bloom of frothy pink and white.  I hope it sends up a second bloom stalk; every other amaryllis I’ve bought from Scheepers has.  On the right, my ‘Apple Blossom’ bulb will bloom in delicate pink for its third consecutive year.  It looks like it may be in its full glory just in time for Valentine’s Day!042A friend gave me a boxed “Red Lion’ Amaryllis for Christmas.  I was dismayed to open the box and find this:002The poor thing had grown, budded, and bloomed, all within the dark, dry confines of its box!  I cut off the dead flower and planted the bulb nonetheless, in the hope that it would at least grow leaves and perhaps bloom next year.  It greened up quickly and did sprout some new leaves.  About a week later, I noticed a fatter shoot emerging. It looks like I’m going to see ‘Red Lion’ bloom this year after all!053Just yesterday, I potted four additional Hippeastrumall bulbs I’ve carried over from previous years.  I hope to be reporting on amaryllis blooms right through Easter!

Some other bulbs keeping me waiting are these Narcissus ‘Beautiful Eyes’:

062  I brought this pot out of cold storage up into the house about two weeks ago, and the bulb’s shoots seem to have stalled right where they are.  Perhaps they needed more cold and darkness before I exposed them to a false spring?  Perhaps I just need to remain patient and continue to wait before I see these gorgeous, sweetly scented flowers in my house:Narcissus 'Beautiful Eyes'Half of this pot of Paperwhites, Narcissus papyraceus ‘Ziva’, is keeping me waiting:064Two of the five bulbs grew quickly and are blooming nicely now, while the other three are taking their sweet time.  I have no explanation or guesses why.  At least it appears that the slower bulbs will indeed bloom . . . eventually!066I considered cutting the blooming stems for a Monday vase, but I think they last longer attached to their bulbs, and I was able to place the pot behind some geraniums to make an attractive arrangement:068

It looks like these Forsythia branches I cut and brought inside about ten days ago aren’t going to keep me waiting too much longer before they bloom:056058I’ve never tried to force Forsythia this early in the year, but when I saw that Donna from Garden’s Eye View had success with branches she clipped in December, I was encouraged to try it.  I suspect it will be the featured guest in next week’s In a Vase on Monday post!

About two weeks ago, I wrote about potting up some rooted clippings of Salvia greggi, Texas Sage.  They were suffering an infestation, possibly of spider mites.  Sadly, they took badly to the transplanting, dropping their leaves and leaving bare stems:018

021Now I am waiting to see whether any new, healthy shoots will spring up from the roots.  Keeping my fingers crossed and waiting . . .

Will this Walking Iris (Apostle Plant, Neomarica gracilis) bloom this year?  I keep looking for signs of a bud amidst its fronds, but I see no signs yet:081In the previous two years, by now I’ve seen evidence of flower stalks forming to eventually break forth into a beautiful, short-lived flower:Walking Iris openTwo final plants I am waiting for are my Phalaenopsis orchids, currently living in my bright, cool, and humid upstairs bathroom.  Just before Christmas, I spotted the mitten-like tips of new bloom stems on each of them: Tip of Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) flower stalk 033 Flower Stalk on Phalaenopsis (Moth) Orchid035This will be the third year of bloom for these plants.  I will have to place them out of the path of Bad Kitty!

Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .

Now here is an update on last week’s vase for Cathy’s weekly party at Rambling in the Garden:033I had created an arrangement of Pieris japonica from my Terrace Garden, and Frank from sorta like suburbia wondered whether the buds would bloom.  After a week in the vase, it looks like some just might open up soon:035Again, I am waiting, now to see how well and how many of these berry-like buds will bloom.

Mostly though, after being just barely brushed by the big Nor’easter of January 2015, I, like so many other northern gardeners, am just waiting for spring!  016

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