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    The Amaryllis Rises Again

    About two years ago, a friend of mine brought me an amaryllis plant for our new house warming. If you are unfamiliar with the mighty amaryllis, know that it is a bulb with a single flower and leaves on either side about the size of a tulip but with a huge bloom.

    I didn’t know much about this flower, and so after the flower faded and there were only leaves and a stalk left, I didn’t know what to do with it. Here’s where Terry, my aide, comes in.

    First, you should know that Terry has a green thumb and I have a brown thumb. Even with her green thumb, Terry consulted her flower books and found that the amaryllis has to lie dormant a few months every year, as many bulb plants do, in order to bloom again. She therefore cut the stalk of the amaryllis at the base and put the sad looking plant in our laundry room to “vegetate” for most of the winter.

    When Terry put the plant back out in the sunlight and began to water it, I didn’t have much hope. Much to my amazement, it came back even better than before. There were weekends when it seemed to grow 3 or 4 inches over the weekend. And the flowering bloom was just gorgeous.

    As I write this, it is just about to bloom for the third time since I received this gift. You could say it is a gift that keeps on giving. I have to say thank you to Ahne and Sunny for this flower in my life. I also have to thank Terry for all her many talents and efforts on my behalf.

    You see, the amaryllis isn’t the only plant that Terry has nurtured in my home. She brought a cutting of an aloe plant that has become gargantuan. She brought a palm tree that grew from a branch to a lovely seven foot tall tree. And the other plants, rubber tree and cacti have all beautified my home.

    I bought some dieffenbachia plants several years ago and I’m happy to announce that she has kept them alive and well. I also hadn’t learned the mystery of getting my Christmas cactus to flower until Terry came along. It seems you have to place it in a cooler area so it knows the seasons are changing.

    So, from the amaryllis to the palm tree to everything else in between, I say this house has a definite green thumb touch. It isn’t my green thumb, but I get to appreciate it.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"