For most weeks of the year, there is almost always a situation where it would be nice to send or give a little gift of some sort. A birthday, an anniversary, a friend at work celebrating a promotion, a thank you for a meal or gesture of a friend, a sick relative in hospital, a neighbor, etc. And it isn’t necessarily about the amount you spend, but the thought and care and uniqueness of the present that speaks most about you. When I used to work in a Manila office nearly 20 years ago, folks would often hit the “doodad’ shops and send a card or a stuffed animal or some little desk thingee and even then, spending PHP50-100 was not unusual. Worse, if you are courting someone, the flowers from a florist were outrageously expensive. My first go to gift of this sort is homemade food… some cookies, a jam, ensaimada, cupcakes, etc. But if I don’t have the time for that or nothing good in stock, I turn to plants and flowers. And here, some potted amaryllis almost always pleases and it doesn’t break the bank…
At plant shows, weekend markets, nurseries, etc. you can sometimes find these potted amaryllis, here sold in nice sturdy ceramic pots, and I paid just PHP120 each for them. Just cover the bulb and soil with some damp moss (PHP20 for a large bag that could cover 8 pots or more), change the sticks and ties with something more natural like raffia and add a ribbon and for PHP140 maximum, you have a wonderful gift. And it will last at least a week. Less calories and cheaper than a small box of candy or chocolate, natural, locally raised and higher value added, and totally biodegradable. Give three pots because you are feeling flush and they will terrific on a side table or even one’s dining table, for just PHP400 or so.
They come in a range of colors from white to pink to red. The more recent the bulbs have arrived from the source in holland, the larger the blooms. And eventually, we have some nearly totally native/localized versions that seem to have smaller but not less spectacular blooms. I have done posts on amaryllis before, here and here if you are interested.