Chinese Sacred Lily/A Giveaway

BLOOMING 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 »

The Poinsettia Has A Future

THE POINSETTIA which on December 1 offers us the merriest of season’s greetings is all too likely by January 1 to suggest only gruesome possibilities for the coming year. Yet this need not be so. Indeed, this Euphorbia pulcherrima can, with care, be an excellent year-round companion, one which is worth coaxing into bloom each winter. The following program has never failed me: Read more »

Narcissus ‘Winter Sun’

TALK 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)

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

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

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

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 »