Albert’s blooming bulb
Appeal Staff Writer
Albert Porter has a bulb that he’s raving about.
He invites his neighbors over to gaze at it and take its picture. He meets new people about town and tells them about his bulb.
“It always blooms on my birthday. All my neighbors have been over to see it.”
And this is one consistent amaryllis. Every year on his birthday – Porter turned 87 on Tuesday – the 3-foot-tall bulb plant breaks open its breathtaking deep red petals.
Just like its owner, the amaryllis isn’t slowing down.
The plant is 15 years old. It was bought by his wife, Josephine, who died of lung disease about three years ago.
Porter is a spry man who spent the afternoon of his birthday playing and winning bingo.
“I went to Carson Station and I played bingo and I hit the bingo in the first game, at exactly 12 o’clock. I won $50.”
Porter wears two hearing aids and a blue hat from the Topaz Lodge, a place he would go for the fishing and the gambling. He retired from Kaiser Steel after 15 years as a pipe fitter. Before that he was a boilermaker and a foundry worker, not necessarily careers a person would associate with horticulture.
“The (bulbs) are 7 inches across. I measured them,” he said.
The amaryllis has a hearty green stalk and has been in the same pot for 15 years.
Porter lives with Tippy, a mixed Labrador, and, of course, the amaryllis.
“I let it bloom in the in front of the window in the sun, facing east. I give it a little less than a glass of water a week. And only a little bit of fertilizer.”
That’s advice gardeners can take to heart.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.
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