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Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Please feel free to make comments at the bottom of each post and tick the reactions boxes. If you have any gardening questions or want advice just post a comment (choose anonymous from the drop down) and I'll write about it. Regards JP.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm Partial to Naked Ladies

I discovered the Auckland Botanical Gardens at the beginning of the year when completing an assignment for a horticulture certificate I have been working. What an amazing place to discover new plants and get some ideas for you own garden.  It was there that I saw her.

Erect, void of a cloak, showing off her beautiful blooms stood the first naked lady I had ever seen in a public place.  I held my breath and could not break my constant stare.  It was like one of those moments when you know you have been gazing at something that you knew you shouldn’t.  I took out my camera and took some shots so I could continue my admiration in the privacy of my own home.  At the time I didn’t have a clue what the plant was, I just knew that what I saw was truly enchanting. 

At the beginning of winter this year I returned to the gardens to try and find the flower again and hopefully someone who could identify it for me.  I couldn’t believe it!  She was gone, my first true flower love had vanished without a trace, and in it’s place grew a bush of strap-like leaves.  I found a lone gardener tending to the perennial plants in the garden and poured out my heart to him, describing her distinguishing features.
“Ahhhh yes, Amaryllis Belladonna”, he began.  “She is still there, but will not be as noticeable, she covers up during winter, you will have to come back in summer once her cloak of leaves have died away and from her bulbs spring forth her impressive blooms”, said the knowledgeable gardener  (I’m taking poetic licence here).  Relieved yet left with a sense of longing I thanked him and turned to walk away. 
“Excuse me sir”, he called out.  “You may like to remember her for her common name”, he suggested.  “OK”, I replied.  “I’ll just get out a pen”.
“Oh, no… you wont forget it”, he was sure.  “Naked ladies”, he smirked.   
So, with baited breath I will await the summer, when again I will see her in all her glory, Amaryllis Belladonna.  My naked lady.

If you have any photos of Amaryllis Belladonna growing in your garden I would love to post them.  Please feel free to send them to thebloomingtales@xtra.co.nz with your tale of naked ladies.


  1. Wow..
    Naked ladies - How could one ever forget such a name. Its amazing to see these bloom, I had few bulbs for years and tried all sort of things until I got it bloom just very recently.
    Now, Im waiting and watching everyday to see the features of the flower.
    Im sure we all mesmerised by these beauties.

    BTW, Im dropping from Blotanical. You have a nice lovely garden blog.

  2. The Belladonna "beautiful lady" or naked lady are wonderful. I love this soft pink. I grow a white one and it flowers abundantly every summer.When it flowers I make a picture and send it to you; you have to be patient!

  3. You have a very nice blog. I am sure that I am going to enjoy reading it. I just love the picture of the "Big Cabbage"!!

    Thanks for following my blog. I hope that you enjoy it :)

  4. Hello Jeff, Even from far away, you have a nice garden(pics) and blog. I can't wait to move and hope to have a big garden.


  5. Hi Jeff

    My neighbor planted a row of Naked Ladies along our road's so called 'hellstrip' and they are blooming away... right now in Northern California.

    I, too, am dropping by from Blotanical. I'll be following you there.
    aka Alice's Garden Travel Buzz / Bay Area Tendrils

  6. I am teaching Hort at school--i was given these huge bulbs and the kids and i planted them and were very surprised and amused at the life cycle of these plants--Kids could'nt believe they had no leaves!!

  7. Well you got my attention with the "Naked Ladies" title lol. They say sex sells headlines hehehe. Yes, I still remember my first trip to the Auck bot gardens. Quite an eye opener isnt it !