The only things blooming at RDR in January are those in my indoor garden: amaryllis, hyacinths, daffodils and lily of the valley, to name a few. This living menagerie is enough to get me through winter. As I wrote last week, blooming plants beat the winter blues. I started forcing hyacinths and milder scented paperwhites in September and October, the date dependent upon whether I wanted them for Christmas flowers or after. I try to time them for a continuous indoor garden from November through March. I also scour local nurseries and stores for other blooms too. The photo, above, although not blooming, is one of my favorites because there is so much promise of good things to come.
The hyacinths are just starting to peek out from behind their leaves with a few flowers opening. Before long, every room in the house will have a hyacinth or two. I never know how well they will bloom. It’s all about that cold period and timing. I will say this–I think that next year I will do the cold period on vase again. I think that worked better than throwing the bag into the refrigerator and only placing them on vase later. You can see how I forced bulbs in previous years by clicking on the link. I’m not sure there’s a foolproof way to do it, but that’s part of the charm. My climate is so variable that I can’t simply stick my bulbs up in my attic. I never know what winter will bring in Oklahoma. September through December was pretty warm. It’s been cooler in January, but we’ve also had warm days. Like life, gardening is sometimes complicated.
This year and last I even bought lily of the valley pips from White Flower Farm. They’re pricey, but I need those little bells, and oh, that fragrance! It’s priceless.
Then, there are the bouquets I buy here and there. This week I went to Whole Foods and bought several small bouquets to make one large one of screaming color. It was therapeutic to put together and made me feel like winter is nearly over. Two more months, and it will be. In the meantime, I’ll satisfy my flower addiction every other week or so. It’s about the same price as that coffee people wait in line for everyday.
If I drink coffee, I drink it at home for pennies on the dollar. I can’t grow flowers right now. I rest my case.
I chose stock in two colors for their fragrance. I love old-fashioned, scented flowers. What are flowers without scent? Boring. Still, try to keep your flowers to one major scent group at a time. Otherwise, you might be overwhelmed.
I’m not sure why, but I didn’t have good luck with my paperwhites and other narcissus this year. ‘Inbal’ performed well, but the others, not so much. I got a lot of greenery and very few blooms. This is aggravating. If anyone has an idea, please let me know.
A special thank you to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for all these months/years of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Head over to her blog and see what others are growing in this cold, cold month. Happy Bloom Day!