Forcing Hyacinths for Winter Bloom

September 19, 2012
hyacinths picturesWHY WAIT until April to inhale the intoxicating air of hyacinths? Pot a few in early autumn, and then you can enjoy them -- just as I do -- when January blizzards blow. Bulbs can be forced in soil, in pebbles and water, or in special vases. I favor the vases because they are small enough to fit in narrow quarters, like the latch ledge of my parlor window (above). How to coax the bulbs into early bloom: Read more »

First Aid for Non-Blooming Daffodils

April 2, 2012
IMG_5177 - CopyTHE 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, February 2012

February 14, 2012
IMG_4609IN DEFIANCE OF WINTER, the plants in my music room window are singing a spring song. Would you like to meet these bloomers and perfumers? Say "hello" in this click-to-enlarge photo gallery (and I hope you'll tell me what's growing in your own window garden): Read more »

Chinese Sacred Lily/A Giveaway

January 11, 2012
IMG_4011BLOOMING NOW in the east window of my upstairs bath is the fabulous "Chinese Sacred Lily," Narcissus tazetta v. orientalis. What a welcome sight! The flowers are pure white, with a deep-tangerine cup. And the fragrance they emit -- a blend of honey, clove, and citrus -- is something to sing about. I'd like you to enjoy these perfumed blooms, too. And that's why I've purchased a package of 10 bulbs to give away in this month's random drawing. Read more »

Narcissus ‘Winter Sun’

November 27, 2011
img_2682TALK ABOUT IMPECCABLE TIMING. Narcissus 'Winter Sun' bloomed in my window garden this week, just when my soul cried out for something uplifting. And what could be more hopeful than a bulb which offers, only 4-6 weeks after planting, a bevy of brilliant buttery cups, snow-white petals, and a soothing April perfume? Read more »

Pickled Paperwhites (Narcissus grandiflora)

October 18, 2011
Pickled Paperwhites (Narcissus grandiflora)

WHO WANTS TO SPEND THE WINTER MONTHS without the colorful companionship of Narcissus grandiflora? Not me! These “paperwhites” make a cheerful display in the various window gardens here, and lend sweet fragrance among scentless cyclamens, ferns, and African violets. I force the bulbs in pebbles and water, and keep the flowering stems from falling over… Read more »

Photo Gallery: Dutch Bulbs for Winter Windows

September 30, 2011
Photo Gallery: Dutch Bulbs for Winter Windows

WANT TO FILL YOUR HOME WITH COLOR AND FRAGRANCE THIS WINTER? Then do what I do, and pot plenty of Dutch bulbs in early October. From tiny blue anemones and fragile white snowdrops to big, fabulously-perfumed hyacinths (that’s pink ‘Fondant’ pictured above), these beauties from Holland provide in the depths of winter all the essence… Read more »