December 15, 2010

Amaryllis Blooming & Igloo Building



The amaryllis (is the plural amarylli?) and the igloo have been the stars around here lately. Above is 'Zombie', a striking coral-pink double amaryllis from Van Engelen.



It has been so fun to watch the show on my kitchen windowsill. First one bloom opens, then more and more.



I shot pictures with the cloudy sky as a backdrop. I thought having three blooms on one stalk open all at once was beautiful . . . .



. . . and then a few days later a second stalk opened up three more just beneath the first.



One of the three bulbs the arrived in the mail is obviously not 'Zombie', but it doesn't look like anything else on the Van Engelen website, either.



I didn't mind getting a surprise, though. The stalk on this one is very short and the flowers are so sweet, don't you think?



Finally, here is a shot of the new garden structure that my husband built, with my son posing in front. It was tall enough for me to stand up inside, and my adventurous husband was planning to sleep inside one night (that's what people do around Spokane for fun in the winter, didn't you know?). Unfortunately warmer weather and rain began to melt the igloo immediately after it was finished, and now it's just a small pile of snow in the grass. R.I.P.

16 comments:

  1. I have to admit I was getting a little tired of reading posts about amaryllis and seeing photos of amaryllis. However, you have changed that with your unusually colored plants and unique way of photographing them. It is time for everyone to chuck those bright red varieties get stripes or picotee white--there's a whole amaryllis world out there. I would also love to know more about your photo technique. Carolyn

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  2. Thanks Carolyn! Your comment was very appreciated by this stay-at-home mom (someone's actually interested in my 'technique' - ooh!).
    First, I should confess that I bought an expensive lens (Canon 24-70mm F/2.8) and that helps a ton. Also, I use Photoshop elements - for these photos I had to add a lot of 'fill light' in pse because the flowers were backlit by the window and were very dark. For newbies to photo editing, I recomment downloading the free Picasa editing program. It's a great way to start tweaking your photos to make them better - especially try increasing the saturation and brightness and blacks a bit, plus sharpen - that will make your photos pop. I also try to get down to the level of the flowers when photographing, and shoot up close. I often shoot at f-stop 2.8, which is a narrow field of focus so the background is blurry. Try shooting in the lowest f-stop your camera allows (I use the setting that lets me change the f-stop but lets the camera calculate everything else). Hope that helps!

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  3. I agree with Carolyn~your amaryllis is lovely~Love the structure and too bad it didn't get to be slept in! gail

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  4. Oh, I love your Zoombie amaryllis. It is so beautiful! I have never saw that one. I like the double blooms so much. There was a lot of work in that igloo. Too bad it couldn't have stayed around all winter with snows adding to it.

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  5. What beautiful photos! Good thing you got a photo of the garden structure to remember since it didn't last too long. :) I bet they had fun!!

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  6. What a prolific bloom on your "Zombie" amaryllis. Maybe the white one is called "ghost." It's cool.

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  7. Your photos of 'Zombie' are so enchanting that you may be converting me to an appreciation of double hippeastrums. Not that the igloo shot isn't adorable ;-)

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  8. You made me very nervous with the igloo picture, I hate to admit I was glad to read it was melting.

    This is one of the first years in many that I'm not growing an Amaryllis, your beautiful photos have me regretting that.

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  9. Your unknown Amaryllis needs a name...maybe 'VW's White'? Both are lovely. Love the double stem.
    When I was in 6th, 7th and 8th grade we lived in NY. We had a snowfall one Christmas that was really deep. We built an igloo that was so neat. Hope your kids (big and small) have fun with your igloo.

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  10. Those flowers are amazing VW ! You almost have me thinking of trying again with this plant but .. hum .. I think I would rather just admire everyone else's ? LOl .. Ah yes .. rain after the snow thing .. been there done that on Vancouver Island .. no chance of sleeping in igloos there ! LOL
    Joy

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  11. Enjoyed seeing your igloo. Shame the hubby can't sleep in it.

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  12. VW, Love your amaryllis, but the photos are especially interesting with your white background. :-) The igloo was great - but it's a good think it melted BEFORE there were people sleeping in it!! ha. Hope you will be soon enjoying a wonderful Christmas celebration with family and friends!

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  13. The pictures are so pretty! I wondered how you made the flower almost translucent looking.
    I love the igloo! 2 years ago when we had so much snow my oldest and my husband built quite the fort.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. You must be very busy and I bet your kids are excited. My little one has had Christmas morning planned out for weeks.

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  14. Those amaryllis photos are amazing! Are the flowers really as translucent as they look here, or is that just an effect of the way you photographed them?

    I thought of you as I saw the image over and over on the news of all those cars sliding down an icy hill in Spokane and piling into one another at the bottom. I hope you are safe and warm inside enjoying your beautiful indoor garden. Happy holidays! -Jean

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  15. Beautiful pictures! Enjoyed seeing the blooms in winter.

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  16. This flower is very pretty and unique... liked it a lot..

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