A winter storm blew in yesterday, typical for January in Iowa. Tonight it will drop to 11 below zero, says the weather service. Ugh.
I took this photo looking south from my library. I planted the amaryllis bulb from Longfield on November 17 and it is finally shooting up.
Here are tips on forcing amaryllis bulbs:
1. Fill the container ¾ full with potting soil.
2. Place the bulb in the potting soil and cover with potting soil. Make sure to leave the tip of the bulb exposed. For amaryllis, there should be one bulb for a 6-inch pot. Cover with decorative moss (optional).
3. Water so that the soil is moist. Do not over-water. Place container in a sunny location in your home.
When growing bulbs indoors, choose a location that receives proper sun requirements. For example, full sun is 6 hours of filtered sunlight per day. Avoid cold drafts or hot, forced air near radiators or heaters.
On the Facebook page for Living the Country Life, I posted a photo of lilacs from my backyard last May and posed the question: "Should we just skip ahead to spring?" So far, the 1,600 comments were leaning yes, although some readers enjoy winter. What is certain -- you love lilacs. More than 23,000 people liked the photo.