Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The slow months


In spite of their generally crappy weather, November and December fly by; you have the holidays, their accompanying social events, and possible travel. You’re busy.

No, the months we tend to dread in the Northeast are the slow months of January, February, and part of March. Other holidays and travel possibilities surface in March and by April we’ve begun to believe that outdoor gardening is once again possible.

One of my ways to get through these months is to force bulbs, lots and lots of bulbs: narcissus, hyacinths, tulips, amaryllis. But even the bulbs sometimes seem too slow. This year, I have decided to check for myself if a watched hyacinth will bloom, by bringing 6 of my hyacinth vases to the office (top), where I will be looking at them many, many times each weekday. This doesn’t happen at home; the bulbs are in rooms that get sun, while we spend most of our time in the warm, cosy den, which has permanently drawn shades (the windows face another building).


I don’t see much of a difference since the last time I posted about hyacinths, except that the tips are greener. Even the specialty narcissus are taking their time, though some are emerging. These are the Grand Primo, from Old House Gardens. I am not sure what is so urgently pushing to be released in the buds, below. Could it be the Golden Rains? Time will tell. They will definitely be out by next GBBD. Notice how short these stems are—surely the result of the lights in the plant room.

7 comments:

Carol said...

My narcissus bulbs are taking their sweet time, too. This is a definitely a slow time, and this slow time has just begun. Can we make it until spring?

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lynn said...

Hmm, another seasoned upstater saying Feb is going to be a doozy. It will be my first full winter here, but can't say I wasn't warned. January seemed like it was flying until I realized today we're barely cresting the first week...I will enjoy your bulbs since the paperwhites I tried last year smelled too weird to do again. BTW, what's in the cloche/cake stand thingy? It's cool!

EAL said...

Lynn, it is a terrarium. Fogged up in this post, but today was crystal clear. Various succulents.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is a slow time. UGH... Looking forward to seeing your bulbs blooming.

Dr.Rutledge said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I'm an academic physician (formerly at Harvard and Stanford) who found your blog while looking for the best health writers. I think your writing is great! I would like to feature you in the Gardening Community on Wellsphere, a top 10 health website that has well over 2 million visitors monthly.

If you would like to learn more, just drop me an email to Dr.Rutledge@wellsphere.com

Annie in Austin said...

One of our nuns in HS used to claim we girls were "as slow as molasses in January", which in Illinois would be really slow. That array of bulbs in their lovely vases should help you make it through the Molasses Months, EAL!

Down here we grow 'Grand Primo' and amaryllis outside, where they bloom but are attacked by squirrels, cold snaps, falling branches, and insects.

This year I bought a new amaryllis and potted a few
'Grand Primo' bulbs. I want to watch them grow on the windowsill, close-up and uneaten.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

We dread those months too. Sometimes, in February, I find myself searching the box stores for the random cut flower arrangement just to have "something." I like all of your bulbs. I have a few, but I think, next year, I will have more.~~Dee