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Synopses & Reviews
The amaryllis—elegant, tropical, and breathtakingly beautiful—is the most majestic of all the flowering bulbs. Its distinctive look, long-lasting blooms, and ease of cultivation have made it a favorite of plant lovers and a fixture in their homes around the world throughout the winter months. Now, award-winning photographer Starr Ockenga brings us Amaryllis, a comprehensive exploration of the beauty, history, and cultivation of this singular flower.
A unique photographic record of a diverse and alluring plant, Amaryllis is a document of the season that Ockenga spent growing more than ninety varieties in her upstate New York greenhouse. From the papery surface of the bulb to glorious flower to spent bloom, Ockenga’s remarkable photographs capture all the sensuality and drama of the amaryllis. Her images demonstrate the flower’s extraordinary range of color and form, from the iridescent velvety-red ‘Basuto’ to the brilliantly striped ‘Jaguar’ and the awkward grace of ‘Giraffe’s’ long stem and delicate flower.
More than a collection of stunning flower portraits, Amaryllis offers practical wisdom on growing these plants. Gardeners will appreciate Ockenga’s expert insights on storage, propagation, and hybridization, and new plant enthusiasts will learn how simple it is to grow amaryllis from the bulb or to display its cut flowers. With fascinating information on the historical background of the amaryllis, details on its horticultural requirements, and an illustrated glossary of almost 100 varieties, Amaryllis is the authoritative guide to the queen of flowering bulbs.
In gorgeous color photographs that call to mind the floral images of Georgia O'Keeffe, Starr Ockenga captures the beauty and diversity of the flower that has become a holiday-season favorite. Tending her potted plants in the greenhouse that allows her to keep earth on her hands when the ground outside is frozen, Ockenga grew 90 varieties of amaryllis. For six months she made a daily photographic record as the plants changed from highly textured bulb to audacious flower, and documented the growth, unique markings, and quirky habits of each stately bloom.
In the bestselling tradition of Tulips, Amaryllis combines Ockenga's personal observations and magnificent photographs with a look at the natural history of the amaryllis and authoritative advice on cultivation, storage, propagation, and hybridization.
Amaryllis is as beautiful and alluring as the flowers themselves, a gift gardeners and nongardeners alike will treasure.
About the Author
Starr Ockenga won national acclaim for her first book on gardens, Earth on Her Hands: The Amerian Woman in Her Garden, which received an American Horticultural Society Book Award for 1999. She continued to document American gardens with Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions, published in 2001. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Horticulture and Country Home. She received her master’s degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been granted fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. Her photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and abroad. Formerly an associate professor of photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she now divides her time between a studio in New York City and her garden in the Hudson River Valley.
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