In the last couple of weeks, Jack Frost visited Oklahoma so the garden moved indoors. I find that growing bulbs indoors helps me endure winter’s darkest days. Although most of October and November were mild, we have many more cold days to come.
Hyacinth bulbs are cooling their heels in the garage refrigerator. In Oklahoma’s up-and-down climate, I must put the bulbs in the refrigerator most years to get that all-important, eight-week cold period. I see roots emerging from the bottoms of the bulbs so I know all is well. When I tried to force them in my kitchen broom closet last year–it is against an exterior wall and remains pretty cold, but not cold enough–I had some problems with rotting bulbs.
When the bulbs display growing 1/2-inch yellow tips at the top, I’ll bring them inside a few at a time to stagger the bloom. The photo, below, shows these bulbs from a previous year.
These fragrant blooms will keep me company in January and February when Christmas is over, and I’m antsy for spring.
For the holidays, I’ve planted Narcissus tazetta, paperwhites, ‘Nir’ and ‘Galilee.’ I also have many, many amaryllis bulbs. Three amaryllis bulbs from last year are sitting in an interior closet doing their dormancy period. They stayed outside in their pots all summer. They need about eight weeks to reset themselves and begin blooming again. I bought several red-blooming amaryllis bulbs and a double white. These should all bloom during the Christmas season. In recent years, I’ve started using red and white for Christmas decor. Of course, with greenery, there is also green!
In the greenhouse, things are not going so well. We’ve had some trouble with the batteries, and the vents didn’t open when they should. Also, we went out of town, and things got too dry. Some cuttings were fried, and my citrus trees are really sad. Several dropped their leaves completely. I’m hopeful I can bring them back from the brink yet again. The kumquats did ripen, but I doubt I’ll get any other citrus fruit again this year. I also lost my large Spanish lavender topiaries.
I’m sharing this with you because we all kill plants occasionally. It’s the nature of things, and it’s okay.
I also ordered lily of the valley pips to have indoors for January. I move the garden indoors to survive winter with happiness.
One more happy thing, Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens and I started our very own podcast, the Gardenangelists. Even better, you can subscribe to the Gardenangelists on iTunes. Carol and I have been great friends for years, and I hope you enjoy our weekly gardening adventures where we talk about flowers, veggies, and all the best dirt.
That’s all for now. Happy Advent!