Meet Mark Cullen

Canada's best known gardening personality, Mark Cullen believes that Canadians of all ages need to play more - preferably in the dirt. A best-selling author with over 400,000 books in print, Mark reaches over one million Canadians every week through various media outlets. He is Home Hardware's horticultural spokesperson and regularly contributes to various magazines, gardening shows and newsletters. With a familiar style that people can relate to, he delivers a message that is compelling, fun, informative and inspirational - all based on his organic approach to gardening. In his spare time Mark enjoys driving his Ford Model A - and of course he loves to garden.

The Perfect Hostess Gift

~ December 21, 2011

I get a greater response from this idea as a hostess/house warming gift of all.

During this busy time of year it's very important to say 'thank you' to those who go out of their way to entertain or those who you simply want to acknowledge as being special!
Why not leave them with a gift which will bring colour and beauty to their home in the New Year.
The Mark's Choice Amaryllis Kit comes complete with a decorative ceramic planter. My amaryllis are guaranteed to bloom. The bulbs are 'super-sized' and 22% bigger than most of the amaryllis sold in Canada. This means bigger flowers and more of them. Available exclusively at participating Home Hardware stores across Canada. (item# 5029-303, red and # 5029-304, striped). Be sure to pick up an extra kit for yourself.

Amaryllis: What to do After Blooming

Once your Amaryllis has finished blooming it requires some attention. Cut the flower stalk back to about 2" in height. Allow the leaves to continue to grow and water when the soil feels dry. This will allow the leaves to produce energy which the bulb will store for future blooms.
In the spring plant your Amaryllis (and the pot) in your garden. Find a location with partial shade and water during periods of drought. Fertilize regularly with a high phosphate liquid plant fertilizer.
In late September bring the pot indoors and cut back the foliage. Dry the bulb for 2 weeks at 65 degrees F and then store for about 10 weeks in a cool, dry, dark place. At the end of this storage period you will need to repot your Amaryllis bulb in fresh potting mix and start the cycle again.

Whether your host chooses to re-bloom their amaryllis or not, they will enjoy it and think of you often.