Even though I take great glee hunting down bargains at the secondhand markets, there are occasionally times when I will - gasp - pay full price.
Case in point: for the past few years, in late fall I've bought an amaryllis bulb for indoor blooming at a time when the growing season for my own flowers has ended.
I've discovered that amaryllis bulbs seem to follow the maxim "you get what you pay for". Previously I've gotten the kits at discount stores, complete with pot and growing medium. Some bulbs have been duds, not sending up so much as a measly stalk. The ones that have bloomed were very pretty indeed, but only sent up one stalk.
Thus, I was intrigued when a local garden center, Jonker's, said that their amaryllis bulbs usually send up three stalks, each with four-six flowers. True, they cost $17.99 each, but as last year's amaryllis had been one of the duds that didn't send up a single stalk, I decided to splurge on a Jonker's bulb.
I made my purchase about about five weeks ago, and it's been blooming for a couple of weeks now (I picked out a bulb that already had a stalk up several inches). Have I gotten my money's worth? I'll let the pictures tell the story:
This is a big plant - the stalks are nearly 20" tall but haven't needed staking. Each flower is nearly 7" across and about the same number of inches in height. In short, this is one good-sized amaryllis plant! And as you can see, the bulb has, indeed, sent up three stalks.
Yes, I think I've gotten my money's worth!
(In case you were wondering, the amaryllis normally hangs out in our dining room; I took its picture outside where the light was better.)