I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 28, 2019

Forcing Spring Bulbs

Hi~! A little late but it is time to start our paperwhite  narcissus and hyacinths for a tiny hint of spring.

I wasn't going to do paperwhites this year, being budget conscious and buying the small pot of hyacinths instead. And last year I was very disappointed in the supermarket bulbs I bought.  But the other day I saw the pw bulbs on sale on Amazon from my fave seller. And here they are! [Amazon/ Paperwhite Express/ 9.99]

Now what?
I wanted to put then in a tin farmhouse bucket, maybe this one,

but I was worried it would get rusty and/ or leak. The bulbs are grown in water, as you may recall. I found similar at Hobby Lobby, but maybe too big? (Oh that pink, yummy!).  HERE
White Rustic Oval Metal Feed Bucket

Pink Rustic Oval Metal Feed Bucket

A cupboard search reminded me that I wanted to try this large glass vase/ fish bowl. My friend used to bring me flowers left after weddings/ parties he'd planned, and I saved the interesting containers.

I also found this interesting and rusty star mold to stabilize the bowl and to add a rustic effect. The bowl alone---just too modern for me.

I found my big bag of faux seaglass, from Michael's. I use it every year---when the flowers are finished just soak in Clorox water  then rinse well, dry and save for reuse. Anything porous works, pebbles, gravel, seaglass, small sea shells, marbles. You need enough to fill the bottom of your container to about 2" deep.

Nestle the bulbs into the  base til they are stable.

You can see mine are raring to go and grow.

They look great, firm and  healthy with green shoots. The shoots will straighten out in a few days.

Add lukewarm water to just touch the bulbs bases. Pour the water in gently, don't just stick the bowl under the tap. The daffs drink a lot of water at first, check daily and keep adding water.

Do not drown the bulbs! Just their bottoms get wet,lol.

I am hoping the narrow opening of the bowl will help the shoots stay upright but they may need to b e staked and tied as they develop flowers and have heavy heads. I'll look for some nice winter-y branches during our walks. Pussy willow stems also make sweet stakes for spring bulbs.

Some people add rubbing alcohol or vodka to the water once the bulbs start growing. This supposedly stunts the growth so they don't get leggy and top heavy. I've never tried it, as far as I recall.

This area gets morning sun. The bowl can rest there for a couple days, up to a week, then I'll move them to a more prominent spot.

I  also got a 5" pot of very inexpensive hyacinths about ten days ago.

I put them in my big Staffordshire blue tureen, c.1890-ish. The tureen has a Scottish motif, with plaid edging and scenes of lochs and castles.

Hyacinths grow slowly and are fun to watch.

These are a gorgeous shade of blue. Note the hint of turquoise at the base of each floret.

The flowers are more spaced than usual, which to me gives them an old-fashioned charm [but prob is because the pot was only 2.99, cheap bulbs.]

The flowers have an odd sweet scent, not the usual hyacinth/ Easter/ spring scent. Strange, but nice.


And here is a final pic of my Christmas amaryllis. I just today trimmed the final giant bloom. It lasted so long and was so breathtakingly beautiful. I set the pot and bulb aside while I research how to save the bulb. This is definitely worth the effort.


And look! Who is peeking out? Mrs. Tiggywinkle and baby robin.

All ready for Groundhog Day!

A few little vignettes on the sideboard.

btw I'll be posting on Wednesday to join Lori's string quilt linky party, Month One, so be sure to stop back.
And what about that bread I was gonna bake? Something to share on Friday or Saturday, so stay tuned for a cooking post.
I hope you're enjoying these cold beautiful days. Look up at the diamond stars in the black winter sky. Breathe the wonderful clean air. Enjoy.



gone to the beach..............