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 »

Now in Bloom: Double-Potted Hyacinths

March 24, 2011
Now in Bloom: Double-Potted Hyacinths

DO YOU REMEMBER the hyacinths I double-potted back in December? As you can see in the photo above, the upper level have bloomed. The lower bulbs, because they have farther to travel, won’t bloom for another 2-3 weeks. Meanwhile, the five presently-open stalks are emitting the most glorious scent in the world, one I can’t… Read more »

Apple Blossoms in February

February 9, 2011
Apple Blossoms in February

IF YOU CAN’T BEAR ANOTHER DAY OF WINTER — and who can blame you — then I suggest you run out and clip an armful of dormant crabapple branches. I did just that three weeks ago. As you can see from the photos I took this morning, the twigs have flowered without a hitch. It’s… Read more »

Forcing Crocus for Winter-Bloom Indoors

February 4, 2011
IMG_7665WHEN the bright stars of Crocus 'Golden Yellow' opened in my window garden this week, the frozen tundra outside seemed an illusion. The sunny blossoms look picture-perfect on the broad sill in my upstairs bath, nestled among a collection of ferns, vines, and pink and white cyclamens. Need a crocus forcing-tutorial? Here we go-go: Read more »

Instant Spring: Forcing Forsythia & Other Branches

January 5, 2011
Instant Spring: Forcing Forsythia & Other Branches

A VASE OF GLOWING, GOLDEN FORSYTHIA is just the thing to alleviate winter dullness in the house. You can cut the branches in late December or early January, and they will bloom for you just 2 or 3 weeks later. And other common garden shrubs can be forced as easily. Of course the branches will… Read more »

How to Double-Pot Bulbs for an Extra-Lavish Display

December 13, 2010
How to Double-Pot Bulbs for an Extra-Lavish Display

OKAY, it was probably crazy of me to accept such generosity, but when Calendar’s Nursery in Chatham, NY, offered me their unsold hyacinths yesterday, I couldn’t refuse. (Why look a gift-bulb in the mouth?) In order to save on space, I decided to double-pot the bulbs. Double-potting, which I learned from Thalassa Cruso (my childhood… Read more »