Christmas decor, a tale of two minds

When it comes to decorating for Advent and Christmas, I’m of two minds. On the one hand, I live in a log cabin, which just begs for natural decorations and flowers forced inside. I’m also a garden writer, so, in winter, I surround myself with green and growing plants. Otherwise, I might lose my ever-loving mind….

Hyacinth vases

I began forcing hyacinths in vases several years ago. I became enamored of the process, and it’s now a ritual to take out the vases, wash all of them in soapy water and get them ready for their hyacinth bulbs. They spend most of the year in a broom closet in our kitchen on shelves Bill…

Growing plants in the greenhouse

Have you ever wanted a greenhouse? Most obsessive gardeners do, and who could blame them? Growing plants in a greenhouse is one of those exquisite pleasures Victorian gardeners understood. A greenhouse or sunroom full of plants gets a gardener through the cold, dark days of winter. This is the third winter for our greenhouse, and we’ve figured out…

How to force bulbs indoors

I was recently with a friend, Emma Jeffery from Hello Beautiful, and we started talking about how to force bulbs. Emma is originally from England, and she said, “Oh yes, Mum always did that. I did too.” She seemed genuinely surprised that in America we aren’t as likely to force bulbs. I told her I…

Bulb forcing experiments

Yes, I know, it’s mid-fall, and here I am talking about forcing bulbs indoors. Well, now is the time. All bulbs except the Narcissus tazetta class and Hippeastrum (amaryllis) must be chilled for approximately twelve weeks, give or take, before you can force them on vase or in bowls–or any other container you’d like. Last…