BEAUTIFUL AMARYLLIS at ARTCENTRAL
The end of August I brought them in. The Amaryllis. I had purchased them last year in December at artCentral’s Holiday Boutique. After enjoying their blooming indoors through the holidays and into spring, I put them outside in the puppy yard’s fenced garden. Not too long ago I lifted their pots out of their summer home among the hastas. Pruned back their leaves. Carried them to the basement. Tucked them into a dark corner and covered them with David’s old plaid, flannel shirt, intending to have them resting there in dormancy until they were ready to re-bloom.
This week, “Did you know the Amaryllis are starting to show growth?” David asked me, when he came back up to the kitchen after checking the basement dehumidifier. “They’re early!” I said surprised. “I guess we better bring them into the light and start their watering.” He did. Freshened their home with a new blanket of Spanish moss and set them in his sunny studio window. They’ll be blooming again and showing off before we’re even ready to open our presents!
The dramatic beauty of scarlet Amaryllis will fill and brighten any home, modest or grand, with winter radiance and good cheer. I can’t imagine the holidays without them! Thankfully, artCentral’s Holiday Boutique Fundraiser (December 5, 6 and 7, 2019) is again offering robust and stunning scarlet Amaryllis bulbs cultivated to bloom through the holidays. They’re presented this year as solos and duets in chic, vintage-styled galvanized planters modestly priced ($25 for a single and $30 for two bulbs) ready for decorating homes and gift giving for your family and friends and business colleagues, too. You’ll want to purchase several. This year’s edition is limited, so put your order in soon to (417) 358-4404 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds are dedicated to artCentral’s work on behalf of the art and artists that enrich the cultural life of Carthage and our neighboring communities.
The genus name “Amaryllis” (Αμαρυλλίς) comes from the Greek word “amarysso”—an ancient female name that means “sparkling” or “to sparkle”. Greek mythology tells us that Amaryllis was a shepherdess who loved Alteo, a strong and handsome shepherd. He had a passion for flowers.
Many flowers and plants are believed to be symbolic. Looking into the symbolism of the Amaryllis we learn this flower signifies pastoral poetry. Also the Amaryllis is a flower of determination and exquisite beauty, as well as pride.
During the 18th century, Amaryllis bulbs were labeled as lilies, which may explain some of the common names in use today. The Amaryllis in South Africa is the March lily; this flower in the United Kingdom is the belladonna lily or the Jersey lily; in Italy the Amaryllis is called the Madonna lily. The Portuguese name for the Amaryllis means “St. Joseph’s Staff” in reference to the legend that the staff of St. Joseph burst into bloom as a sign of his selection as the spouse of the Virgin Mary.
The Amaryllis is said to be native to tropical regions of the Caribbean, Mexico and Cape Province in South Africa. Some botanists believe that the Portuguese probably first brought the Amaryllis bulb to Europe. Around the early 16th century explorers from Portugal, Spain and Italy traveled far and wide, returning home with new discoveries to please the wealthy patrons who paid for their expeditions.
The Amaryllis arrived in England around the early 18th century.
The German botanist Eduard Friedrich Poeppig (1798-1868) spent many years in Chile, where he discovered Amaryllis growing on a hillside in the course of a plant-hunting expedition in 1828. Today Holland is a major grower and exporter of the festively colored Amaryllis which is in especially high demand at Christmastime.
Before we begin our seasonal twirl, be sure to pause and give yourself pre-holidays treat! Visit Jodie Sutton’s ENCAUSTIC AUTUMN LANDSCAPES—continuing on view at Hyde House through November 17, 2019. Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The display of these 112 stunning paintings made with hot wax is generously underwritten by Sirloin Stockade. For more information call (417) 358-4404.