Five ways with Amaryllis for winter floral designs

I only came across what are commonly know as Amaryllis a few years ago and instantly fell in love them for their striking form. Actually when I first saw them I thought they must be several different flowers cleverly wired together, with their stems wrapped in some kind of leaf, such is their strange design! Their tall height, thick, straight stems and multiple, lily-like flower heads make them eye-catching in their own right, but they also look wonderful in a variety of different floral arrangements too.

A bulbous plant, Amaryllis, or to quote their correct name, Hippeastrum, are winter flowers and very popular for Christmas, often being sold potted as they grow and flower well indoors. Usually first appearing in UK shops and flower markets around September,  they are available in a variety of colours well in to March as a cut flower and if bought in bulb form normally take about six to eight weeks to appear. But if you, like me, love this flower and fancy having a go at creating your own alternative Christmas flower arrangement with them at home, below are a couple of design ideas that I love.

Red and white Amaryllis with holly and pine sprigs in a rustic white jug, sat on a tray withfestive Christmas baubles

Red and white Amaryllis with holly and pine sprigs in a rustic white jug, sat on a tray with festive Christmas baubles, from Better Homes & Gardens http://www.bhg.com

White Amaryllis bulbs planted in large tin buckets topped with moss and pine cones, set on a metal tray filled with cones and wooden stars

White Amaryllis bulbs in large tin buckets topped with moss and pine cones, set on a metal tray filled with cones and wooden stars. From Vibeke Design http://www.vibekedesign.blogspot.com.br

A winter centerpiece with peach Amaryllis, garden roses, and ranunculus, gold and wine-coloured orchids, plus an unruly assortment of foliage, created by Joy Thigpen  and featured on www.oncewed.com/

A winter centerpiece with peach Amaryllis, garden roses, and ranunculus, gold and wine-coloured orchids, plus an unruly assortment of foliage, created by Joy Thigpen and featured on http://www.oncewed.com/

Red and white striped Amaryllis planted in a pretty wicker hamper

Red and white striped Amaryllis planted in a pretty wicker hamper, from http://www.jacksonandperkins.com

Modern white Amaryllis and fern arrangement

Modern white Amaryllis and fern arrangement by Sarah Winward http://www.sarahwinward.com

Hippeastrum originally come from Central and South America, so its no surprise (although it was at the time!) that I saw so many growing wild and in people’s front gardens when I went to Costa Rica a few years back. If you do fancy growing them as opposed to trying your hand at the above designs, you ideally should have planted them by now to have them flowering at Christmas, but the plus is that if you’ve missed this deadline, you can plant them in the New Year to enjoy them well in to Spring.

Here are some great tips from Monty Don on the MailOnline on how to plant Amaryllis bulbs you can enjoy in Spring.

What do you think? Do you love Hippeastrum as much as me, and will you be buying any this year?

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