Friday, March 21, 2008

Red and White

Easter is a big flowering time in the garden. Ever since I can remember, we had Easter lilies (Hippeastrum) growing at home. Huge trumpets of red lilies and lovely succulent white ones. These gorgeous lilies bloom once a year, and only for a few days.



All lilies are really easy to care for, and they propagate like anything, if you take the trouble to separate bulb clusters and plant out the bulbs. We had a clump of them growing here when we moved into Moraghat -- in a little bed behind the bathrooms, at the back of the house! They were removed carefully and planted out in the front, and for the last eleven years, they've bloomed in thousands. No credit to anyone. They are hardy plants, and are just waiting for a chance to thrive.

My friend Lesley had another variety of Easter lily, Amaryllis, growing in her garden in Gandrapara. She gave us a few bulbs, and now there's a profusion of these, waiting to burst into bloom. These are pure white in colour and have a lovely fragrance. Up in Sikkim at Saramsa Park last weekend, I saw them in another colour. They were in beds as big as small lawns, and only one or two of those hundreds of plants had opened a few buds. They were in the colour that was called Crimson Lake in our school paintboxes. To think that that garden must be in full bloom now!



Over the last few years, our Easter lilies have bloomed and disappeared well before Easter. Sometimes, however, they bloom as late as April, in time for our Vishu Kani. Today is Good Friday, and they're just beginning to peep out. The red always bloom first, and when they have almost all wilted, the white ones come out. It's as if they're telling the story of the Passion (suffering) and the Resurrection of Christ.

P.S.Today is the first Sunday after Easter, and a number of white lilies are out in the garden.

3 comments:

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Beautiful lilies!
And only today Ma was saying that by now the lilies would be ready to bloom in Moraghat.

PentaTwo said...

It is a "White" Easter Sunday here in Chicago! Some goof was dreaming of a "White Easter" instead of a "White Christmas"!!!

Your analogy (red first and then the white lilies) to Christ is beautiful. Yesterday, I was talking about it to a devout christian, and he was all praise for your command of the language.

Gardenia said...

The red always bloom first, and when they have almost all wilted, the white ones come out. It's as if they're telling the story of the Passion (suffering) and the Resurrection of Christ.