Ooh la la! Naked Ladies indeed. A flower so naughtily named that it is almost too embarrassing for me to utter its racy sobriquet in the presence of my mother, honestly. I pretended their name was in fact Dancing Ladies for the longest time.
The Amaryllis belladonna are flowering in several, different parts of the vineyard right now, remnants from the former custodians of this bucolic corner of the Napa Valley, prior to the arrival of Vinomaker. Each year I intend to relocate the Ladies to a new spot where they will be safe from the odd, marauding tractor or two, only to be distracted, and then reminded of my dereliction, with their reappearance twelve months hence.
These flowers have a very strange life cycle. Dark green, strap-like leaves appear in the spring and then die off, long before a single bloom appears. In mid-summer, the 18-24 inch stalks rise from the seemingly barren earth, each crowned with a cluster of 4 - 10 fragrant trumpet shaped, rosy pink blooms...heralding the run up to harvest here in Vinoland.
It's not just me, the Syrah vines alongside this clump of unclothed madams are blushing too. Of course, the demure vines would call this veraison.