Friday, March 08, 2013

Clivia Haibun

The format for this post is "Haibun", which is a series of haiku wrapped in story. I've added photos from my Flickr set Clivia

Several years ago my dad gave me a Clivia plant that was a young offshoot from the plant my aunt had given my folks. I didn't know anything about Clivia but I like new plants. I just put it in the back of the porch all summer and under the window in the fall/winter. It grew long, dark green leaves kind of like an Amaryllis. After a couple quiet years it suddenly put out a flower bud. It happened to be the winter I was recovering from cancer surgery so I had a lot of time to sit in the winter sun and watch the bud cluster slowly ripen.

clivia; first buds emerging

winter sun
pools around grammie's afghan
surprising blossoms

I was amazed and thrilled to find such stunning flowers on my typically subdued leafy plant. The weak wintery sun coming in the window just lit up that orange.

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It bloomed again several times, last summer most recently. Apparently you ought to leave them out for a cold, dormant period in the fall in order to time the blooms for late winter.

She basks in the glow
of winter Clivia blooms;
a draught of strong tea

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I got Harold Koopowitz' book Clivias out of the library to read up on their cultivation and history. It's a fascinating read for someone who has had the plant for years and never knew much about it.

This year my plant is just green; but has two offshoot baby plants growing up next to the parent plant. I've read that Clivia plants can be passed down through the generations and considered a family hierloom. Grandbaby Clivias!

My seven year old son Puck is a garden lover. He adores messing about with dirt and pots and seeds. I encouraged him to help me transplant our Clivia family into three separate pots. We are entering our youngest shoots into the Longwood Gardens Clivia show this weekend. How exciting! They are going to have a Junior class (kid's plants) created just because I asked them to allow my son to show his plant. They do have a classification for "foliage plants" that are not in bloom, so we will not be the only "greenies" entering.

that arch of green
just so; arms flung above
the bend of his head

I am looking forward to seeing all the other Clivia in bloom. The best part is that we get a weekend pass to Longwood just for being part of the show. I love that place!

And I just have to mention that in googling Clivia to study up on its habits I happened to find a lot of sites that recommend one should keep the soil damp as "a wrung sponge". Ha! Perfect!

The Friday Poetry round up is over at Heidi's blog My Juicy Little Universe. Enjoy!


jama said...

Yes, a wrung sponge is the perfect place for nurturing these plants. First I've heard of clivia, very interesting. What a lovely plant with gorgeous blooms. Enjoyed your haibun. :)

Bridget Magee said...

Learned a lot about clivia in your post - I'd not heard of them before. Thanks for sharing your haibun and photos. Beautiful. =)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Interesting format, AndI...and your story was so beautifully explained throughout the photographs. I've seen this lovely plant in our local garden center hothouse, now I know so much more about it. Thanks!

Cathy said...

I've never heard of "haibun", but I find it very interesting. I like the way the haiku is, as you said, found wrapped in the story. It makes the haiku more understandable to tell the story behind it. Of course, haiku itself is full of beautiful language and yours is no exception. Thanks for sharing the wonderful story of your Clivia.

Mary Lee said...

Love your spongey connection to this plant!

Ruth said...

I learn something new every week in Poetry Friday. I didn't know about haibun before. Very interesting!

GatheringBooks said...

Like Jama, this is the first time I've heard of clivia as well, the way that you so lovingly describe it - with much tenderness and those beautiful beautiful verse really show me your care and compassion for these living greens - and the photographs are gorgeous.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Very interesting indeed, but my favorite part is how the plant is now carrying meaning and experience and history that you'll be able to pass down. Nice post!