Sunday, January 03, 2010

On such a winter’s day


As far as I can tell, it is brutal outside, though I’ve barely glanced out the window today. January is traditionally a time to look inward: to make resolutions, to clean out cupboards that have been ignored for months, and—for me—to focus on the indoor plant environment.

Early Pearl and Golden Rain tazettas are making their appearance (top), with Erlicheer soon to follow. Unlike their common brethren that come under the paperwhite category, you would need to get very close to these to even notice their scent, which is mild and sweet. The trade-off is that they do not flower as profusely as the others, but that’s fine with me. I still have 2 bags of various fancy tazettas to force yet.


Above you can see a stalwart of the GWI houseplant family: a pink cyclamen which will flower easily through April. These are just the first few blooms of the season. I believe it has done so well for the last ten years because I’ve kept it pretty pot-bound. When I visited Logee’s over the holidays, their second cardinal rule of houseplant success (as related to me by a staffer) was NO OVERPOTTING. I now have 4 two-inch plants from Logee's: a jasmine “Ann Clements,” a species gardenia (“Hardy”), a Ponderosa citrus, and an Osmanthus fragrans (sweet olive). They’ll stay two-inchers, though I may move them into some clay pots.


On the hyacinth front, I find that my purchase of the “Prince of Love” types (not shown here) may have been a mistake. They’re very strange, in spite of their huge size, which at first seemed a good sign. Two of the ones in vases did nothing and have been replaced by tazettas. The ones that are growing are growing from the top and bottom and aren’t as well rooting, unless they’re in dirt. Like most plants, hyacinths do prefer dirt, so I always do pots as well as vases (above).


The fun of forcing is in just such anomalies as this through—how sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s what keeps it interesting—a nice diversion on such a cold and snowy day.

14 comments:

mothernaturesgarden said...

I have been reorganizing my indoor plants as well.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This reminds me that my poor indoor plants need to be watered. They have been neglected over the holidays.

rambleonrose said...

January's terrible weather but lengthening days is definitely the best time for concentrating on indoor plants!

Cathybytheriver said...

Thanks for your indoor gardening inspiration.

The 2 amaryllis I potted on Nov 19 look like ladies in red dresses doing a pole dance. I moved them to a spot on the dining room table where I can keep on eye on them while we eat, drink tea, sip wine, read and write. And on the sideboard 2 orchids are sending up shoots that look like they may be developing buds~perhaps the next act.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Interesting that the hyacinths prefer dirt and yet there are these great forcing vases. I love all the blues vases you have.

Greensparrow said...

Good tips on the non-stinky tazettas... I have some "Ziva" flowering at the moment, and the smell... ugh! I was hoping I had mis-remembered how unpleasant they are, but no such luck. Next year I'll track down some of the ones you mention.

travelinbride said...

You're making me wish I'd planned ahead for some winter indoor bulbs, but I'll happily enjoy your photos. Haven't gone outside since we got back from vaca on Jan 1. The wind around Ithaca yesterday was brutal.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How funny that we both posted about our Paperwhites today, although I have only the one and it's a stinker. Next year I will follow your advice and get either 'Early Pearl' or 'Golden Rain.' Maybe both.

Kate said...

Hi;

Found you through Jodi, Bloomingwriter. So happy to find another tazetta fan. They keep me happy in winter, too. :) Stay warm!

fairegarden said...

Hi Elizabeth, it all looks very springlike and must smell terrific, the hyacinth is a fragrance much loved. The Osmanthus is a large outdoor shrub here, very fragrant from the tiniest of flowers. Does it require a lot of pruning to keep it small? It would make a lovely bonsai.
BTW, have I missed the date for the Spring Fling? Someone left a comment on my blog about seeing me in Buffalo in June? Just wondering, as we are planning the family beach trip for that month. I thought the fling was going to be later. :-)
Frances

Rose said...

I always thought that you shouldn't let a houseplant get rootbound and that it should be repotted every so often. No wonder I've never had much luck with them:) I'm really regretting not getting some hyacinths to force; I'll just enjoy yours vicariously.

Cindy McMorris Tournier said...

Since our weather's going to be more like yours the next few days, at least temperature wise, I'm glad I have a few amaryllis and paperwhites coming along inside. That may be the only green I have left after the weekend!

Darla said...

I dropped by from MMD place. So glad I did. What a wealth of info on your blog. I will return.

Matti said...

RE your cyclamen pic. I just figured out that the other plant is one we just learned today in our plant ID course..Is it a Hippeastrum hybrid?