Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is This the Way To Amaryllis?

Sometime well over 20 or so years ago I gave a present to my Gran; she lived in the same house as my parents and me. Indeed, originally it had been her marital home with Grandad Sid (whom I never met as he died several years before I hurtled into the world using the conventional route).

That present, bought with typical lack of any real thought, was a potted plant. I had no idea of what it was called or what it was meant to do, apart from seeing the bright red flower on the tag.

Gran dutifully looked grateful and the plant was plopped onto her window sill where it dutifully flowered and then didn't do much else and eventually got consigned to a little used shelf in the corrugated plastic lean-to monstrosity that my dad had built and which we laughingly called the conservatory.

I haven't got a digital photo of where I grew up; The Millbrooker-Sis and I sold the house after dad died nearly ten years ago when 35mm film was still all the rage - so this is a shot stolen from the interweb of the busy metropolis that saw the emergent Millbrooker learning to cycle and skateboard (our old house is out of shot about 100 yards up the road)It all looks rather grand and posh now, indeed it is in a very expensive area - the house on the left sold in 2003 for about £1,075,000; in my day it belonged to a local window cleaner and his part-time teacher wife - yes, really. When I was growing up, believe it or not, this wasn't a desirable area at all and most of the houses were tumbledown affairs being "tastefully" modernised as money permitted amongst the lower-salaried end of village society.

But I'm digressing - the point of all this is that when we emptied the old house of its contents, some things got picked up and taken along with us almost on a whim. Gran's plant present was one of those things.

It's sat doing nothing much except gracefully accepting an occasional watering from Mrs The Millbrooker ever since. So that's ten years of horticultural inactivity accounted for.

And's flowered again for the first time in perhaps twenty five years (Gran died in 1990 and it was certainly way before then that it last showed any colour other than green).

Rather spectacular and showy - as the title of this piece suggests it's an amaryllis and I'm glad that Mrs The Millbrooker insisted that we rescue it from an uncertain future in a soon-to-be gentrified 1760s wreck that we'd just sold to a builder. Once these two flower heads have given their show, perhaps it'll be another twenty odd years before we see another - but I think it might be worth the wait. Just for the nostalgia value.

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