Note: This post has been archived from the front page of my website.
The first 8 months of Aurora Wild have been, well, wild. I've gone from thinking I would pick wildflowers as a quick-cash side-gig, to investing in a $7000 fridge and learning that wildflowers are almost all utterly useless once cut. I'm still here purely by virtue of the exact right mix of happy accidents, unwavering support by family and friends, and some raw, relentless perseverance on my part. One such happy accident was my discovery of amaryllis.
See, back in September my areas first frost date (September 15) was looming like a shadow over my tiny field of flowers. I actually had passable flowers much, much longer than I could have predicted (I did my last harvest in late October) but at the time I had no idea that would be the case. To make matters more pressing, the costly flower fridge I'd order months ago finally arrived and I was responsible for ensuring it was filled on a regular basis. I was staring down the nose of winter with no clear path to providing flowers to fill this fridge. That's when I stumbled upon amaryllis.
At the time it seemed like they seemed like my answer. Fast blooming flowers, supposedly easy to force, (grow indoor out of season) that had been traditional, though uncommon, Christmas flowers for at least 100 years. They had good vase life (14 days) and came in every variation of red or white a Christmas imp could imagine. What more could I want? I set my sights on them and didn't let go. Oh boy, I did not let go.
When I found out a single bulb that could be expected to produce one, maaaybe two, stems would cost as much as five already-grown-and-available-for-sale average flowers, I pivoted to imagining them as single-bulb arrangements. When I got set up with a proper account at a wholesale floral supplier thus negating my pressing need for an alternative source, I reimagined it as a side-project. When I found out the bulb wholesaler was completely sold out, I emailed asking to be waitlisted. When I realized the minimum order price would leave me with too many amaryllis to handle, I shifted to include paperwhites. When my inner creativity elf sprouted 6 design ideas from my original 1, I let it run wild. Today, as sales are underwhelming, I am diving head first into marketing, building a webstore, and getting ready to do my first real advertising.
I have two possible explanations for the tenacity this project sparked in me: I'm bad at giving up and art demands to be created. Having a vision for how I could bring you amaryllis (and later paperwhites) has been joyous, and very uncomfortable. Like a much less painful version of giving birth. Now I'm here, with arms full of flowers and so excited for you to take them home and enjoy. I'm practically effervescent with the desire to tell each of you one of you all about your particular flower, but I know that's not practical. Instead, I pared down the care information into a page about amaryllis, and a page about paperwhites.
This isn't where my amaryllis (and paperwhite) journey ends. I still have much more to share with youDid you know there's loads of conflicting information about whether your paperwhites or amaryllis can be helped to bloom again next year, or the year after that? When I set out on this project I really wanted to offer you all a way to keep your plants forever (or at least for longer than a season). As I experiment with what works and what doesn't I'll be sharing everything I learn with you, here. To keep tabs on my adventure, subscribe to my newsletter below.