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November 30, 2015

A $75 GIVEAWAY FROM JACKSON & PERKINS,WINNER!

Who doesn't love large, winter-blooming amaryllis bulbs? With this $75 dollar gift card to Jackson & Perkins, imagine what you could buy?
++++++ CONGRATULATIONS TO HEATHER ++++++
Heather, You won! (as number 7 who posted a comment). Please contact me at mmattus@charter.net with your contact info (just your email I think) it needs to be shared with the folks at J&P. Thanks for entering!  Matt.




I try not to do too many giveaways or partnerships. Only a couple this year, but this one is pretty good. A Holiday $75 gift card courtesy of the  Jackson & Perkins company. I don't know, maybe it's because it's the Holiday season? Most likely, it's just because I kind of liked the surprise element of them sending me something from their Holiday catalog--

"anything, really, I'm not fussy." I told them.
Can you tell that I accepted to do this out of pure selfishness? No one buys me Christmas gifts anymore, so I was desperate.

Two weeks ago it came.

I opened the box and guess what I got?

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A waxed amaryllis bulb.


I probably would have chased another color than this Star Wars silver, but it does match our kitchen.



Stop it!


 Look, I'm finding that growing it is kind of fun. Yes, this surprises me, because I needn't remind you that even thought I love me some nostalgia,  I even felt that forcing hyacinths in bulb vases was tacky (that changed after I had a 'talking-to' by my friend Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings ). Funny how I had to grow up to learn how to play like a kid again?

Two years ago these novelty hand-dipped in wax amaryllis bulbs began showing up at trade shows. My many plant-geek friends loved to joke about the on social media with snarky notes. Even Instagram photos of them with horrified faces in front of displays with waxed amaryllis.  I dismissed the idea as well, but really, out of everyone, I should have known better - - I work as an inventor and a futurist at a toy company - - a freaking toy company, which means that I am essentially like an elf, if not Santa himself - I should be all about play.

Honestly, I am having fun with it, even though I know that it won't be a fancy new variety, or one of the spider-flowered ones. Each morning it greets me as I make coffee, and I can see it's progress. Last year I grew about 20 large expensive amaryllis, and I can't say that I paid as much attention to them growing in their clay, Guy Wolff pots as I have watched this little guy. Maybe because there is only one, and it is the first week of December. For whatever reason, it's reminding me of the very first amaryllis I grew back in the early 1970's. I was so excited and proud when it bloomed. That won't happen here, but the process of watching it mysteriously grow has been fun again.

Get one of these for your kid - it may kick-start a love for plants.

Sure, it will die once it blooms, but who cares? I rarely save my amaryllis anyway. We all know that it's not a very horticulturally sound method (I mean, in a purist 1960's-force-a-colchicum-on-the-window-sill sort of way, (or even in a 2013-hotglue-a-airplant-anywhere-sort of way for that matter). Better than a Chia Pet but not as cool as Magic Rocks and not even close to a Fuzzy Wuzzy.

My wax coated amaryllis bulb is quickly growing - without water. It just sits on a wire ring, and is waterproof, even on our antique Arts & Crafts unfinished wood furniture.

Better yet, leave a message below and share this joy with a real kid - which this would be perfect for, or even better, with an elderly parent or neighbor (I am ordering a few for some of my neighbors who rarely get out anymore). Its more fool proof than a regular store-bought bulb, and it's cleaner.


The nice folks at Jackson & Perkins are offering up a terrific Holiday giveaway for my readers - a $75 gift card. To enter, just leave one message below (duplicates will be eliminated) and I will draw a winner using the randomizer web site on Thursday night at 9:00 PM EST. 

53 comments :

  1. I have not heard of the waxed bulb, looks kinda cool. Please going me in for the J&P give-away!

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  2. for me, forcing bulbs is better than decorating a tree during the winter months!!

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  3. possibly I am the only reader who has never heard of waxed amaryllis bulbs... but it seems like a clever short-term idea. Anyway, thanks for the chance to vie for a J&P gift card!

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  4. It's not quite the same as putting a colchicum to bloom on a windowsill, because after the colchicum is done blooming, you can plant it in the ground and it will send up leaves the following spring, and if it doesn't bloom next fall, it will the year after that. Been there, done that. (Sometimes inadvertently, sometimes not.) http://www.coldclimategardening.com/2011/10/01/colchicums-sprouting-in-the-bag-new-garden/

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  5. If you melt the wax off, could you save the plant for next year?
    (I feel the same way about color dyed phaleanopsis- ughh blue moth orchids?)

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  6. This seems to be only slightly less horrible than the succulents dipped in wax that they sell @ the big box stores like home depot. still horrible though. perhaps i wouldn't be so horrified if they had somehow left the bottom unwaxed so it could still be planted and the wax contributing a festive color to the bulb.

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  7. Amaryllis always remind me of my grandparents - they seemed to have them every winter. I'm not sure my grandpa would approve of the wax coating...

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations Heather, you won! Please contact me personally at mmattus@charter.net so I can get your contact info for the gift card. Thanks!

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  8. I am enjoying your posts and the amaryllis flowers are gorgeous. Thanks for your writing.

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  9. I had no idea you were an elf.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/detectivesteve/3085722509

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  10. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Have never heard of the waxed bulb, looks kinda cool...please enter me in the giveaway!

    jenarzo(@) yahoo (.) com

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  11. I was unaware of waxed bulbs. Thanks for always teaching me something! Please count me in with J & P.

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  12. I was unaware of waxed bulbs. Thanks so much for always teaching me something new. Please count me in for JP drawing.

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  13. I can't get excited about waxing Amaryllis bulbs, but I certainly enjoyed the Fuzzy Wuzzy commercial. I don't remember Fuzzy Wuzzy, although I was a child about then. And that is about when I started forcing Amaryllis bulbs according to all the plant books I was beginning to read. I would grow the foliage on in the pots all season, then dry the pots off to rebloom the bulb. I had some success with rebloom (I know you have said forced bulbs are never much good anymore), but I loved the experience. As I became older, I realized I could plant the bulbs outside (hardy in my Zone 8 area), and I often do that with the solid red ones. Amaryllis are not the easiest flower to find a proper space for in a perennial bed. Then I only had to put up with growing the foliage on until last frost. I am a lot older now, but I still love to grow Amaryllis and other bulbs. I would have a blast with that gift certificate.

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  14. nothing like flowers in the windowsill in the winter , and even better when you share them with others!

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  15. Oh I like this one... please enter me in the drawing!

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  16. i would totally do this! i am a professional landscape gardener- but almost never seem to do any seed starting or serious cutting or forcing of plants for my own home. in fact, this is the first fall i find a water jug full of my neighbor's begonia cuttings on a kitchen windowsill. (i didn't want them at first- not a terribly pretty or unique begonia- but convinced me when she said the plant was over 30 years old!) anyways, though i do have house plants, nothing that blooms mid winter. an amaryllis- or something equally lovely would be so great. Put me in for the drawing. cheers!

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  17. This will be a perfect gift for my son-in- law who treat everything new with a child's wonder and enthusiasm. Thanks for helping out on a difficult gift.

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  18. Anonymous4:16 PM

    I been seeing these on quite a few blogs lately. My feelings are neutral on this one. HMMM?
    Mel

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  19. I had not heard of a waxed amaryllis! I am impressed with flowers that emerge from unassuming bulbs or tubers!

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  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  21. I still like the look of hyacinths forced in hyacinth glasses but always put mine in pots anyways because I cannot bear just throwing them away and want to give them the best chance for successfully transitioning to the garden later on. This new amaryllis trend makes me a bit sad since that is not even an option; they are my grandmother's favorite flower and she does always painstakingly grow them on and flowers them again for at least a couple of years.

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  22. Your potted assortment of amaryllis is such a lovely affirmation of the season - the waxed bulb, not so much....

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  23. I love this idea, it's got just the right amount of holiday kitsch!

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  24. A waxed Amaryllis bulb??? Only a true plant dork would find it fun and entertaining! Oh wait...that's us!!

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  25. I have never heard of these wax bulbs. I kind of like them though as i always throw them away anyway. You don't have to water them? how does that work?

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  26. Waxed bulbs are new to me as well! But kind of intriguing in their own weird way.... I'm so excited to come home after work and maybe find another seed catalog in my mailbox I didn't even mind (too much) the slippery roads today. A gift card to spend in garden catalog would be amazing!

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  27. Svetla9:37 PM

    Cool and a bit freaky. My four year old would love it. We are growing amaryllis for the first time this year. We sprang for three extra large bulbs that are growing nicely on the window sill.

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  28. Waxed bulbs are totally new to me! My mom would love it.

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  29. Great idea for my son. He's a novice plant enthusiast. Thanks.

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  30. Hey Matt! Thanks for the link love. Did I really give you a talking-to? I do love forcing hyacinths and other bulbs. I'm still on the fence about those wax-covered amaryllis, but I can sure see how children or our inner children would love this. All that instant gratification. Knowing you is a gift because you've taught a lot about greenhouse gardening and growing indoors. You make me stretch my wings. Thank you! ~~Dee

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  31. Wow, please include me in your drawing! I'd never thought about wax bulb but they'd make great gifts for many of my friends.

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  32. Fuzzy Wuzz made my day ... just love your sense of humor .... and design!

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  33. Seems you've introduced a number of us to the waxed amaryllis. Never seen one!

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  34. Anonymous1:30 PM

    This is so interesting. I've never seen a waxed amaryllis before! Loved the potted bulbs in the pic at the beginning of the blog. Enter me in the drawing...love reading your blog, I've learned so many things.

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  35. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Hyacinths in forcing glasses "tacky"? I have about 3 dozen of them in the spare fridge rooting right now: they and their fragrance are two of the things that get me through the winter! No prob, we can disagree as gardeners but I wouldn't mind a gift certificate to J&P. Waxed amaryllis bulbs are also at Terrain in PA...Al J.

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  36. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Never heard of waxed bulbs, Fuzzy Wuzzy or Magic Rocks. Guess I need more "fun" in my life and a growing amaryllis again might be a good start.

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  37. I haven't bought any amaryllis yet this year (I've been feeling guilty after overindulging in chionadoxa, grape hyacinths and lilies) and seem to have luck with your giveaways so here goes nothing! :-)

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  38. I could never throw away an amaryllis bulb, i'm more apt to dig my neighbors out of her trash after Christmas!

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  39. Love, love, love having amaryllis blooming in my house in the winter months. We just had a dreadful ice storm that just decimated our 40 year old pecan trees and a lovely blooming amaryllis would be wonderful!! Patti @ llpajohnston@gmail.com

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  40. Love, love, love having amaryllis blooming in my house in the winter months. We just had a dreadful ice storm that just decimated our 40 year old pecan trees and a lovely blooming amaryllis would be wonderful!! Patti @ llpajohnston@gmail.com

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  41. Today I learned two things: existence of strange waxed bulbs and Fuzzy Wuzzy (will they make a coming back soon?). World is full of surprises! Thank you for this comic post.

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  42. nooooo. I just can't get on board with the waxed amaryllis, but love your picture of the potted ones.

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  43. I considered buying some of these but all ready spent WAY too much on Amaryllis! I bought the South African varieties and they are well on their way to blooming for Christmas and the New Year :]

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  44. I've never seen these waxed bulbs either. I enjoy the educational aspect of your blog. Would love to do some J&P shopping also!

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  45. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Waxed bulbs are new to me too. Perhaps they won't do for purists, but they seem a perfect solution for many a gardener, like my young, inexperienced but interested friend who managed to overwater & kill the regular one she tried this month. I always enjoy your post, Elf.

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  46. And to think, I was just ogling a few pretty things in their catalog!

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  47. Cool! I wonder if it will stay stable when blooms come out or if it will tip over.

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  48. The amaryllis is the plant of the season!

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  49. My daughter, the blooming gardener, would swoon over one of these! Thanks!

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