By Deb Walton
These beautiful flowers started as one that belonged to my husband’s mom. Before she passed, she said she wanted us to take her plants home with us to live on our property. Some survived and some did not. We have some cacti and these Amaryllis.
“Her name was Henrietta,” Mark said. “Everyone called her Keta. She lived in the same house on the south side of San Antonio where I grew up.”
An avid porch gardener, Keta had many health issues and was in a wheelchair. Mark built her a shelf, and that’s where all her plants were. That was her garden. They kept her busy and she was very proud of them!
Mark and I, and his sisters, nieces, and our sons, made a cactus garden and spread her ashes there; that’s also where we planted the lilies.
“We knew she would like to be with plants and in a garden,” Mark said. “That’s how we all decided to honor her. She’s with us always.”
According to online sources, plants of the genus Amaryllis are known as belladonna lily, Jersey lily, and naked lady. In Southern Australia, they’re called Easter lily, and March lily in South Africa, for when these plants tend to bloom in those climates.
Though known as “lilies,” they’re only a distant relative of the true lily, Lilium
Our flowers were “born” as one, which multiplied to 10. It only blooms once a year and each year this is around Easter.
Easter was early this year, and our sheep had happily crunched on them, so we didn’t know if they would still produce on time. But as sure as the sun rises and sets, a couple weeks before Easter we spotted the buds coming up! Although all of the blooms were not fully opened until the week after Easter, they stayed true to form.
Each year, they seem to grow stronger and stronger. This year, we planned to divide them to share with our family so each of them can have a little part of Grandma Keta with them at their home!
We encourage everyone who loves their garden flora to share a piece of yourselves with others. It’s wonderful to plant a garden of memories!
Deb Walton is a library aide at La Vernia Primary School. She and her husband, Mark, live in Adkins. Mark, a photographer, has contributed many photos through the years to the La Vernia News, from sports to wildlife, and stock shows to antiquing jaunts.