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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
Gardener on Sherlock Street
I love that you have bulbs tucked everywhere. I have one hyacinth in the frig chilling. So hoping it sprouts for me.
I have limited indoor exposure to sunlight in the winter, but I always try a few bulbs. You are the guru! I will be better prepared next fall. Thanks for the inspiration.
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!
Janet, The Queen of Seaford
I am still drooling over your vintage vases. I will have to keep my eyes open at any and every antique / junk stores. I have one Amaryllis just about to bloom– In the spring I will put it in the garden.
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.
Your bulbs are beautiful! I haven’t tried bulbs indoors in years. And I, too, love cardinals in winter!
Thank you so much Cynthia.
Donna@Gardens Eye View
Dee it is madness if we don’t plant indoors…I hope to have time to try forcing bulbs next winter.
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!
They’re all beautiful, Dee! I like to plant them outdoors later, too. Usually they come up nicely the next year. Happy GBBD!
Lisa at Greenbow
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.
Hey Lisa, I definitely fudge. Definitely. Happy Bloom Day!~~Dee
Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!
Thank you Lea. Happy Bloom Day to you too. Spring isn’t far away.
Great amaryllis. Good luck with forcing the rest of your bulbs!
Thanks Jason. I find the amaryllis the easiest of course because they’re tropical.
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!
Hi Sonia, I need that spring push to get me through the winter. Happy Bloom Day!
Hi, Dee, MARVELOUS! You are feeding your soul and the hearts and minds of your beloved family. Your home is bursting with beauty and creativity. Good for you! Kathryn xoxo
Thank you Kathryn. I’ve had much fun with it this year.
I’m waiting on delivery of pre-chilled hyacinths … I will take a cue from you & try forcing some inside!
I bought some too Cindy. I can hardly believe it. They are coming on strong though.
I am not sure I could handle the aroma of hyacinths blooming in the house, it would be too distracting. Happy GBBD!
Les, it is pretty distracting to be sure. Happy GBBD to you too!
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!
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.
Your house is truly filled with spring…how wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Garden Bloom Day!
Thank you so much Laura. It saves my bacon to have bulbs inside.
I love how you have used the various bowls and other containers as well. It’s a beautiful bloom day at your house!