My original love for plant life likely began on my family farm. I grew all sorts of plants back then but it wasn't until I was a bit older that I really began to appreciate the flora world. I suppose I had two real plant passions-- bonsai and hippeastrums. I've always enjoyed trees of any shape, size and kind and so it was natural to really take to this most ancient art. However, my lifestyle did not lend well to their keep. Long periods of time away from home and frequent moving meant I had to give up many trees along the way. However, it is the hippeastrums that were able to stick with me. I'm fascinated by the idea of a bulb. In essence, it is a mass or stored energy. A means of continuing its life well beyond dry spells, floods, cold, heat, the bulb is capable of lasting through some of Nature's most inhospitable conditions.
My first hippeastrum was the typical and very common 'Red Lion,' which is a very large red
(slightly orange) red flower. Then I got 'Apple Blossom' (pictured here) and 'Minerva,' which
are the other two most common hippeastrums you'll often findin big box stores. And it was when I made my final move to Colorado that I unfortunately lost all of my bulbs save one, which is yet to be identified. You see, during the move, my wife and I got caught driving through a winter storm and were forced to stop overnight in Wyoming. During the night, the temps bottomed out well below 0°F. I lost all of my plants except for a pineapple top (I know, weird!) and one lone, unidentified (NOID) hippeastrum. That bulb lost all of its leaves and much of its layers, but the center and the basal plate managed to survive. I have, for nearly 5 years now, been trying to get it to bloom with no luck. I call it my Minus Twenty Fahrenheit bulb. When I finally got settled into my new Colorado home, however, I bought a bag of mystery bulbs and haven't looked back since. And thus begins my journey with plants.