A new year with new flowers

In nearly eighteen hours, a new year begins. Time to experiment with new flowers and other new plants. I’ve been practicing the art of forcing bulbs all winter because I need those bright blooms on cloudy days. Today is very cloudy, but I’m excited about the gloom. Because of changes made to my landscape over the years, I have color inside and out. The grass on the shady lawn is still a soft green, especially during this rainy day.

The green grass in our shady front lawn.
The green grass in our shady front lawn.

Yes, it rained! This makes for much excitement in OkieLand. I can’t remember the last time it truly rained. We did get a smidge of snow on Christmas Day, but this far north, not much fell. I heard that in Norman and further south, it truly was a white Christmas. As I told Bill, I’ll take moisture any way it comes these days.

Hyacinths I bought partially forced from Whole Foods. I took them out of the foil and plastic container and placed them in one of my terra cotta nursery pots. My hyacinths are still out in the fridge growing roots.

My forcing experiments are starting to take off. If you didn’t already coax bulbs, you can buy partially grown ones at Whole Foods. They have both hyacinths in purple and white, along with paperwhites. I did notice the paperwhites were ‘Ziva,’ and you know how I feel about her indoors. However, if you can put ‘Ziva’ in a large room, maybe you’ll enjoy her. I have paperwhites already bloomed, and some that are just starting.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) 'Elvas' and 'Apple Blossom'-imp
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Elvas’ and ‘Apple Blossom’-imp

The amaryllis, which aren’t technically forced because they’re tropical, have been simply stunning. I love their trumpet shapes. I gave two away and kept the rest, in various stages of bloom, for myself. Above is part of the amaryllis parade.

Most of my poinsettias remain nice. I threw two out starting to look ratty. I don’t try to keep them. It’s too much trouble without enough result. If you want to keep your amaryllis, Steve Bender from Southern Living magazine wrote a great post explaining care.

Poinsettia 'Glitter' has been a real joy the last couple of weeks.
Poinsettia ‘Glitter’ has been a real joy the last couple of weeks.

I hope all of you are well. I finally am over the Christmas Crud with only a small cough to remind me. May the new year shower you with new blooms, the best of friends and good health. Oh, and thank you for reading my blog. I am grateful from the bottom of my little Oklahoma heart.


51 Replies to “A new year with new flowers”

  1. Hello Dee, Love your ‘cheerful’ Adirondack chairs! I agree with you about poinsettias — don’t keep them when they are getting ratty. My garden is under a white blanket right now, so I wish I had forced some bulbs… Next year …
    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013! P. x

  2. As much as everyone told me an amaryllis was easy to grow, I still managed to kill mine last year. Why won’t anyone believe I have nary a single green thumb?

  3. A belated Happy New Year, Dee! Your amaryllis are beautiful! My amaryllis are growing like crazy, but no blooms yet. I’ve had this happen before where they never bloomed at all. Any suggestions?

    Glad you’re feeling better…I’ve come down with the New Year’s crud:(

  4. January gives us all the chance to start fresh in every way, and that even includes the garden. Dream, sketch, plan, and soon it will be spring again. Then we won’t have to depend on amaryllis and paperwhites to get us through!

  5. I always enjoy stopping here, especially now when I need a little jolt of color and cheer! SO pretty Dee. Amaryllis and hyacinth will be on my list next winter for sure!! Now… planning for springtime. We got a nice deep rain at our farm this weekend too. Hope you’re feeling tons better!! Happy New Year beautiful woman. xo

    1. Marie, the closer we get to Easter the more you’ll see some partially forced at the stores. Just buy them and put in another pretty container. It all costs about the same as ordering the bulbs and doing the chilling yourself. Have a lovely and beautiful new year yourself girlfriend.~~Dee

  6. Every year I say I’m going to force bulbs, then I forget. Yours are beautiful! I can only imagine how uplifting it must be to see those blooms at this time of year.

    1. Hi Holley, it’s exciting, but you can buy them partially forced and get the same thing. I’m so glad you stopped by to visit. Thanks!~~Dee

  7. I love your idea of having “forced bulbs” as a project for winter. You know I did do the zivas, and I guess because the kitchen is open on two ends the fragrance never was a problem. My daughter even leaned in at Christmas and said, “I love how these smell”! I just grinned. 🙂 I love your amaryllis. I must do more of those. Not too late…

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed your paperwhites Kathryn. I bet all that airflow helped ‘Ziva’ to really shine. Happy New Year my friend. Yes, I’m feeling a lot better.~~Dee

  8. Dee,
    Enjoy reading your posts. Happy New Year! I am excited because I have the most blooms I’ve had to date on my white Prunus mume. Not enough to impress most people but more than I have ever had and the promise of more next year!

  9. Thank you for the good new year wishes. I send them right back to you and hope your Christmas crud leaves completely, I am still dealing with mine.

    1. Jason, they had a few still left at Van Engelen’s. I saw them the other day and resisted. I still have two more in pots to go, and I can’t wait. I love amaryllis.~~Dee

  10. Happy New Year my dear and thank you for the info about Whole Foods…I will check for bulbs over there. They’re just what we need after days and days of gray skies. I am hoping that 2013 sees an end to the drought. xogail

    1. Gail, I saw even more bulbs at ours the other day. I think as we get closer to Easter we’ll see even more variety. I think they’re worth the extra color, and if we buy a few here and there we can time the blooming.~~Dee

  11. Happy New Year, dear Dee!

    I received some orchids just before Christmas – looks like I have lots of new flowers to learn about too for 2013 🙂

    1. Hey VP, I gave my mom an orchid today. She’s in the hospital with the flu. I love orchids, but my house isn’t conducive to their reblooming. I understand they need nighttime temperatures to be about ten degrees lower than daytime. Let me know what you discover.~~Dee

  12. The forced bulbs do help get one through the lean and less than green months of winter. I must get some hyacinths. Their fragrance is also a boost to the spirit. Happy New Year Dee.

    1. Aaah, Layanee, you bring up a good point . . . the fragrance. I must say it does boost my spirits indeed. I love the scent of hyacinths, and I like them better in pots than in ground.~~Dee

  13. Happy New Year! I’m spending it curled up with a good book and antibiotics for my own sinus crud. I’m not complaining. I could be ushering in 1813 and would be half dead by morning. Amaryllis won’t grow well for me. The tinting on my windows prevents enough light from coming in for them to bloom well. Yours are beauties! Hoping for more rain for you this year. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. If it were 1813, I’d have been dead many times. Gall bladder, asthma, crud, etc. I’d also have crossed eyes. Three surgeries in my youth cleared that up so I get what you’re saying. I’ve read a lot this break, and it’s been good to get away from the computer. Hope you feel better soon.~~Dee

  14. So good to hear that you are feeling well. Your forced bulbs show us promise of a blooming year coming. I too am looking forward to seeing the growing/blooming season of 2013. Here we are still buried under snow. The day after Christmas we got 12 inches then a couple of days later 8 inches. It has been cold enough that not a lot has melted. We are getting a measly 1-2 inches tonight. We will just have to see what tomorrow brings. Heck, right now I am looking forward to seeing grass. 🙂 Happy New Year.

    1. Lisa, you got a lot of snow! We only got a dusting twice. However, I’m glad for anything. Oklahoma is in such a drought. I hope all is better in 2013. Happy New Year!

  15. Happy New Year,Dee. Thank you for your blog. It is so full of heart, and it always strikes a chord in me. I’m in Fort Worth, so the climate issues are similar for us. This rain is a wonderful New Year’s gift!

    Your amaryllis are fabulous! I got a few Papilio Butterfly amaryllis last year to give as presents, and this year I’ve planted 8 for my home. They are red and cream with green streaks. They’re coming along slowly, and it’s hard to wait!

    I enjoyed your post about bulb containers. ha. All this makes for a very fun project! But where to store them all, later? oh, well.

    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for your sweet words. I grew ‘La Paz’ which looks a little like your amaryllis. As for the containers, where to put them is a good question. I guess I’ll put them in a spare closet until next year beckons.~~Dee

  16. I’m glad to see you address an antidote to the gloomy days of winter. I think a lot of us suffer from lack of green at this time of year. I’m still waiting on my amaryllis to take off.
    Take care.

  17. Living in southeast Oklahoma I was just wishing I had some flowers to look at. Thank you for sharing yours. Now I know what I’ll be doing next winter!

  18. Dee, I love your posts. It’s so interesting you are waiting for the sun to shine. We have not seen the sun for about two weeks. Today it tried to emerge for a few minutes, then…. Gone. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year. Happy Gardening.

  19. Glad to hear you are better…I had a 3 day bug at Christmas…I hope to force bulbs next year….Love my amaryllis and Christmas cactus at least…here’s to 2013. We have 3 feet of snow and cold windy days!

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