Amaryllis flowering.

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My ‘Red Lion’ amaryllis bloomed this week…I don’t know why I thought it would be a deeper red colour, but I’m definitely not disappointed:  the hint of orange/salmon has a wonderful tropical appeal.  I am pleased that the bulb has produced a second flower stalk which should bloom very soon – this is the first time I’ve grown amaryllis that has sent up more than a single stalk.  (You can tell I’m not particularly serious about purchasing amaryllis.  I buy them on sale at the grocery store and not from specialty growers).  This particular plant seems nice and compact, as well – I’m not fighting with tall, heavy stems and flowers that threaten to topple the container.  A nice treat for the holiday season!

Do you grow amaryllis?  Have you ever saved them over and gotten them to rebloom (and if so, what did you do to accomplish it?). 

UPDATED JANUARY 6, 2015 – as Chloris has pointed out in the comments below, it seems that my amaryllis is not actually a ‘Red Lion’ cultivar as I was led to believe by the seller. That would definitely explain my confusion as to the colour of the blooms!  But…I don’t know which coral-striped type this is, so if anyone has any ideas, please feel free to chime in!

Book Brief: Holiday Cookies and Other Festive Treats.

Okay – let’s talk holiday baking! Cookie exchanges, gifts from the kitchen, and treats for yourself and your family and friends and co-workers – is baking a big part of your holiday traditions? What recipes are your standbys, and which ones are you trying for the first time this year? Is there a special meaning behind your very favourite recipes? Feel free to put up any links to posts (past and present) about what you like to create in the kitchen at this time of year…I’d love to hear about it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The Door is Ajar

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Holiday Cookies and Other Festive Treats – Linda Collister (2008, Ryland Peters & Small, London, New York)

If you’re planning to give cookies or other treats as gifts this holiday season (or hogging them all to yourself), this is the book for you.   The photographs are beautiful, the layout is organized and clean, and the recipes are designed for home bakers and seem very accessible.  Of course, I may not DECORATE the cookies as wonderfully as the photos show…I mean, if you get a box of cookies from me that look like they have big, strangely coloured icing blobs on them instead of delicate filigree stars or snowflakes, please don’t be offended – it’s not the fault of the author.  It’s all me.  But I’m sure they’ll still taste pretty darn good.

RECIPES I’M MAKING PRONTO:  Swedish Pepper Cookies, Gingerbread Mini-Muffins, Chocolate Brioches, and Pistachio Sables.  There’s also a recipe…

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Skeletons in the forest.

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It DOES have a bit of a spooky quality to it, doesn’t it?  On a hike a couple of years ago, my hubby and I came across this grove of dead trees in Sibbald Flats, Kananaskis.  The trees were originally planted in 1974 as part of a logging reclamation project.  Something tells me even more reclamation is in order….

Wishing you a safe and happy Hallowe’en!  Are you doing anything to celebrate?

Drifting, dreaming.

No way.

I’m not going to do it.

I’m not going to mention the fact that it’s been snowing on and off since September.

I’m not going to consider the notion that it will be another FIVE months until we can even think about getting back into the garden.

I’m not going to whine about the lack of tropical vacation in my immediate future.

Nosiree, I’m just going to take my mug of hot cocoa and browse over photographs from the summer. And here are some I thought I would share with you – I took these in August. The landscapers at this apartment complex in a neighbouring community really did a super job of these drift plantings of (mostly) petunias, didn’t they? I thought it was fabulous.

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Go ahead, make me jealous help me dream! Where did you travel to on your last vacation (tropical or otherwise)? What were the highlights of your stay? If you’re planning an upcoming vacation, where are you heading to?