Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: Indoor, winter, bulb gardens

Vintage hyacinth vases and a new garden cloche behind. There's something about the roots which just make me smile.

Vintage hyacinth vases and garden cloche. There’s something about the roots that makes me smile.

January in Oklahoma is shades of gray and brown with the occasional hint of red from a male Cardinal. What would we do without those gorgeous red birds every winter? Go mad? I don’t want to consider the possibilities. Carol is hosting the monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, and you might wonder what I could possibly offer in winter.

Crocus, paperwhites and succulents next to a wintry window. What could be nicer. Spring? Yes, but we must wait.

Crocus, paperwhites and succulents next to a wintry window. What could be nicer. Spring? Yes, but we must wait.

We often get ice storms this month and the occasional snow fall, but today, nothing but shivering cold. I work out indoors and drink hot tea as if my life depends upon it. I type and ponder the charms of April flowers, rain showers and skies.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) 'Naughty Lady' is jewel toned that is if jewels were ever tangerine.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Naughty Lady’ is jewel toned that is if jewels were ever tangerine.

I also garden. I always have a few houseplants, but it was Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant and Gardening While Intoxicated who encouraged me to grow more than just amaryllis indoors. I was inspired by her symphony of indoor and outdoor blooms, and this winter, I feel like I am gardening with plants to occasionally water, and an amaryllis, or six. In fact, I was just sent a gift of two amaryllis in the coolest crate by Longfield Gardens. Thank you. I potted them up and placed the crate near a sunny exposure. They should be growing soon too.

Cobalt blue forcing vases and milk glass bowls. You can also see the vintage green bowl with the crocus in back next to the agave.

Cobalt blue forcing vases and milk glass bowls. You can also see the vintage green bowl with more paperwhites in back next to the agave.

Crocus tommassinianus is finally showing green in a green forcing bowl, Iris reticulata, all sorts of narcissus, including ‘Erlicheer’ are tall and green, but not yet blooming. ‘Cheefulness’ sits in a window in a pink McCoy forcing bowl. ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ was planted in December in a fit of ordering madness. ‘Inbal’ paperwhites already bloomed and smelled lovely. Elizabeth says she will try any bulb, and I’ve even placed tulips in a sunny window after they sat in the fridge. Hyacinths are everywhere, in forcing vases and other vases I’ve commandeered as such.

Pink hyacinths from the grocery store.

Pink hyacinths from the grocery store.

Since I started late on the first group and then did a second, later planting, I had an blooming lull. So, I went to my local grocery store, Homeland, and bought some just as they were about to burst into bloom. These hyacinths and the tiniest daffodil sit near my writing desk where I can smell and look upon them in wonder. They join three different amaryllis and some crocus in their green coats waiting to burst forth.

Tiny narcissus from the grocery store.

Tiny narcissus from the grocery store.

It truly is like springtime throughout the house because I’ve placed them everywhere I sit and read. I will order even more bulbs this fall and plan to place tulips in pots in the garage for quick bloom outside too. Is it madness? Sure, but who cares?

  1. Those plants are not only helping your mental health, they are also helping your physical health. They help to add much needed moisture and oxygen into your indoor air which in winter is often very depleted. They also help to filter out indoor pollutants. It’s a win – win! Just watch for the pollen pitfall.

  2. Dee,
    I love your pictures..especially the little bulbs peeking through the soil. I am such a fan of forcing bulbs inside..I always do paperwhites..yours make me want to do more kinds of bulbs…pretty
    Mona

  3. I have forced paper whites for many years. I love the smell, some describe it as peppery, but it always reminds me of a greenhouse in winter. My then small children and now grown children always hated them. When they are over for the holidays, instead of on the coffee table or dining room table, I find them outdoors on the patio table.

  4. Good morning Dee! Love your vintage vases, and the cobalt blues too. Don’t know why I’ve never gotten into forcing bulbs, though I’ve often thought to do it. Spring beauty and fragrance, colorful, shapely glass ‘jewelry’ sparkling in sunny windows in January sure does tempt me though. Beautiful winter therapy!

  5. Oh, what beauty! Thank you so much, dear heart, for how to go about growing these bulbs indoors. I wonder if I could do it on my back porch. Well, surely I can find out! We’ve been so warm this winter that I doubt my hyacinths will bloom in the ground. And my amaryllis grow outside but have not bloomed since the first year.

  6. Your bulbs are beautiful! I haven’t tried bulbs indoors in years. And I, too, love cardinals in winter!

  7. Dee it is madness if we don’t plant indoors…I hope to have time to try forcing bulbs next winter.

  8. What a beautiful indoor Spring your’re having. Gives me a small measure of hope. Small only because we’re buried under a thick blanket of snow here. My bloom day isn’t quite as cheery as yours but it is rather unique!

  9. I have given up on this forcing business. My lighting is not bright enough to keep the plants upright. I do fudge from time to time by purchasing already started plants. They give me their best.

  10. Dee,
    I so need to get some indoors bulbs! The only living indoor plant I have is an ivy topiary and a left over poinsettia! I sure need some spring color..thanks for the inspiration. Your bulb vases are so fun and it looks springy at your house! Was so cold here in OKC today…can’t wait for warmer weather!
    Miss Bloomers

  11. I am not sure I could handle the aroma of hyacinths blooming in the house, it would be too distracting. Happy GBBD!

  12. Love your blogs! Those vintage vases are beautiful and wish I could find some. You have inspired me to force more bulbs inside as they are so Spring and add a lot. I am in Kansas so know the dark grays of winter too. Your blog helps!
    Happy Gardening!
    Debbie

    • Debbie, you made my day when you said my blog helps those dark days. Winter is so hard for many people, but especially for gardeners. I found all of those bulb vases on ebay. I just check periodically. Go check out the new Country Garden magazine. There’s a great article on forcing vases in the winter issue.