Tropical Bulbs in Pebbles, Water, and Gin

Yesterday, because I insist on having fragrant blooms in time for the December holidays, I grabbed my old soup tureen, several jardinieres, and some tacky whimsical Santa mugs, and planted them with tropical narcissus bulbs. Would you like to see the fun procedure? Read more »

How I Plant, Grow, Harvest, and Store Garlic

Shall we plant some garlic today? For the best harvest, I always plant the crop in autumn, several weeks before the first frost. The bulbs need time to make roots before the ground freezes solidly. Once rooted, garlic can survive sub-zero temperatures. Read more »

Bulbs I’m Planting for Spring Color and Perfume

Yes, I know it’s only September. But I’m thinking ahead towards spring! For color and perfume in April and May, I recently ordered some gorgeous tulips and daffodils. Here’s a look at these autumn-planted beauties, along with a couple of bulb buying-and-planting tips: Read more »

First Aid for Non-Blooming Daffodils

THE TIMELY TOPIC OF DAFFODILS CAME UP THIS WEEK, when a reader asked "Why don't my daffodils have flowers?" Actually, these Narcissi have a number of requirements. If their needs are not met, the bulbs will deny us their bright bouquets. And here is my list of causes and cures for poor- or non-flowering daffodils: Read more »

Now in Bloom: Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)

My winter window garden looks like April today, thanks to the hardy bulbs I potted, vased, and "bowled" last autumn. In bloom now is Muscari armeniacum -- the common "grape hyacinth." Here are some pictures of its scented blue bells, along with my easy forcing-directions: Read more »

Window Garden Fun: Scilla Madeirensis

One of the prettiest plants in my window garden just now is Scilla Madeirensis. I planted 3 bulbs of this "Giant Squill" in early October, and six weeks later they greeted me with spectacular clusters of celestial-blue: Read more »

Forcing Hardy Bulbs

Why do I bother to pot hardy "Dutch" bulbs in October? Well, because they introduce spring to my home when the outside world is covered in snow. They provide terrific decoration, too. A bowl of blue Muscari (above) makes a stunning centerpiece for a February dinner party. And finally, because bulb-forcing is fun, fun, fun! Read more »