Valley Gardening: Lights, music, amaryllis

And the weather continues to be awesome! Except for the fact that we all know we need snow, it sure is nice going outside without a coat. Folks still in shorts and flip flops is kind of silly—but it’s been that warm—to each his/her own.

As I look at the weather predictions it doesn’t show any snow until the 30th, so let’s everybody say some prayers for snow, and more snow. It’s getting scary. Especially when it’s the end of November and Larry (husband) is roto-tilling a bale of alfalfa into the garden. That’s pretty warm.

I was going to tell you about the Forest Service recipe for keeping your Christmas trees fresh, but with the holiday I failed to get a copy of it. I did however find a bottle of Keeps-It-Green under my kitchen sink at home. We sold this product a few years ago, and then I forgot about it—that happens more and more often. It actually is much easier and the product helps to extend tree life, retards needle drop and that reduces fire hazards. According to a 4-week test on preservatives, by Washington State University, this is the only one that worked better than water. It should be in next week. As will my Christmas trees. I don’t go overboard on trees, because we donate the money to the SLV Cancer Relief Fund so don’t wait too long if you want a tree from the Green Spot.

I’m awfully thankful for Russell Achatz and the Alamosa State Bank this week. Not only are they co-sponsoring the American Jem Xmas show at Society Hall, they will also be helping us get our own spotlights. I am so lucky to have friends like Russell. But I am also lucky to be connected to Society Hall. I can hardly wait until the first musical group comes forth and wants to record a live CD—it’s gonna happen and it’s gonna be so-o-o cool Can’t you see it now---“recorded LIVE at Society Hall in ALAMOSA, CO!”

Meanwhile, thanks again to the Alamosa State Bank! This concert is going to be on the 8th of December and already 52 tickets have been sold, so don’t wait too long to get yours. If you want to hear a bit of the American Jem Christmas CD come by the store, because we have been playing it over and over and over again. It’s my second favorite, next to Chuck Pyle (RIP). So beautiful.

I have been planting up some Amaryllis bulbs. This year I got in some of the hugest, ginormous bulbs ever! Even I am amazed. I actually bought a bulb from one of my competitors so I could truly compare sizes. There really is no comparison—come by and see for yourself. I’m not exaggerating.

When planting an amaryllis you need to get a clay/ceramic pot to use. It should be an inch or two bigger than the bulb as amaryllis like to be pretty snug. The heaviness of the clay pot will help to hold the plant up when they send up those huge flower stalks. The bulbs I have will probably bloom in 6-8 weeks. I love that they bloom after Xmas. I love when they bloom in January/February—hopefully it will be cold and snowy and dreary and you will need something bright and beautiful.

The bulb needs to be out of the soil about one inch. Water initially so that is soil is like a wrung-out dishrag. And then don’t water again until the green starts to show. 

I am going to be selfish and remind you all about the 6th annual Memories and Reflections party at the Green Spot. It will be on December 19th from 6 p.m. till everyone leaves. I honor my mom and my sister who have passed, after battling cancer. I honor my friends who have also passed. BUT, I also give strength and hope and courage to those who continue to fight. I do this by hosting this event, with my family, in thanks, for what we have! We will be joined this year by the owners of Woody’s Q Shack, the Kyle Woodward and Jose Ortega families. Kyle will be honoring his dad, Jeff, who passed away earlier this year and Jose will be honoring his mom, Priscilla, who also lost a battle with cancer in 2017. And Fred Hargrove is honing up his Christmas music, plus his country tunes for everyone to enjoy. More details next week, but put the date on your calendar now.

Oh…and all money raised from the lighting of the candles goes to the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund.  Neighbors helping neighbors. Friends helping friends. Just helping, just helping. We can all help.