Spring Inside: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day February 2014

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

I have Matt Mattus to blame (and thank) for these primulas. I never would have looked for them at my local Wegmans if he hadn’t mentioned that’s where he found his. (Wegmans in Massachusetts? Who knew?) Since he brought it to my attention, when I saw them for 99 cents each I grabbed two. Finally, two pots of something to fill my chicken whatchamacallit, one of my few attempts at kitchen decor. Only thing is, my primroses don’t seem to be fragrant, so I wonder if they really are P. obconica?

About mid-January Living Gardens contacted me and offered to send me one of their pre-forced bulb arrangements. As someone who has promoted bulb forcing as a way for cold climate gardeners to keep their sanity during our long winter, how could I refuse? When the expertly-packaged box arrived, the bulbs were already peeking through.

Living Gardens forced daffodils arrival

This basket was a welcome sight in mid-January

That reassured me, because once they’ve gotten that far along there’s really no stopping them. Since I like my pleasures to last, I chose to keep them in one of the cooler rooms in the house. That way they’d take their sweet time to bloom, and the blooms would last longer. If I had wanted to speed things up, I could have kept this basket in a warmer room.
Forced daffodils on the verge of blooming

Any day now, those buds will burst forth into trumpets of sunshine!

Did I mention daffodils are one of my favorite flowers? One or two of the buds are just a day away from blooming, and I can hardly wait!

In other news, my confused amaryllis, the one I tried to induce dormancy in and then gave up on that when it was down to two leaves, that amaryllis has a bud emerging!

amaryllis bud

A bud!

This is, of course, the same time it would have put out a bud in any event. I think I am going to give up trying to induce anything and just pay attention to what the plant seems to want to do, and reconcile myself to the idea that I will never grow an amaryllis that behaves the way it’s supposed to.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Les February 20, 2014, 7:58 pm

The last time I forced anything it was some paperwhites, and I was politely asked not to do keep them in the house again. So I planted them outside, and every year, except for this one, they are a reliable early winter bloomer. This year the cold got them just as they were about to open.

Kathy Purdy February 20, 2014, 8:50 pm

Aw, shucks! Do you mean they are ruined for this year, or just set back a bit? There are other narcissus you can force that aren’t as strong. They are not as common but the better mail order bulb houses have a selection of them.

Amy February 18, 2014, 9:36 pm

Matt is a bad influence, but the primulas are beautiful!

Weedy February 18, 2014, 10:30 am

I have taken to standing in Wegman’s flower section looking at the tulips and the daffs and the primroses while my wife does the shopping. Neither she nor the clerks in the flower dept. are happy with me as I stand there scratching off my lottery tickets and hoping for Spring and money to buy some plants——I did buy three Hellabores though when they dropped the price down to 99 cents Ha! My wife thinks they are ugly but I think they will last until Spring and if they get more I will grab some. They are now under three feet or more of snow but I think surviving the winter—–if we do.———————Weedy

Kathy Purdy February 18, 2014, 3:38 pm

Hi, Weedy, thanks for taking the time to comment. I always take a minute or two in Wegmans floral department to sniff anything worth sniffing (They had stephanotis this week and last which I didn’t want to buy, but was happy to inhale) even if I don’t buy anything. They had Ice Breaker hellebore this week, but for $13 I couldn’t justify it. Now I see Ice Breaker is a series and I don’t know which Ice Breaker I was looking at, but it sounds like the series is supposed to bloom very early.

Jean February 18, 2014, 9:58 am

Amaryllis give us so much hope. I went on a buying spree a few years ago, and although I still have several varieties of pretty good-looking bulbs, the only one to bloom so far (with two blooming stems from one bulb) has been a variety called ‘Pavlova’.

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern February 17, 2014, 9:10 am

Wegmans! Best grocery store ever. I moved too far North in NY but always stop at Wegmans when I am in CNY. Hmmm, it might be worth the drive just to pick up some of those primroses! I just love them. Why didn’t I force bulbs this year? I never let my Amaryllis go dormant – maybe I’ll get a bud anyway – one can only hope.

Donna@Gardens Eye View February 16, 2014, 11:09 am

I have to pot up some bulbs to force and look for some other flowers to overwinter…only way to get through it. These all look grand.

AmyO February 16, 2014, 7:49 am

Lucky you to get those Primula! Usually that specie is not fragrant, so I’m not surprised that yours aren’t. I generally find the lemon yellow vulgaris types that show up in stores now can have a sweet fragrance. I wish there was a Wegman’s in Vermont!
Right now I have one of Matt’s P. malacoides seedlings in bloom, a Begonia, a Cyclamen persicum and an Oncidium orchid!

Evan February 15, 2014, 6:11 pm

I’ve never been able to grow an amaryllis “normally” either. I don’t think they’ve read all those books that say they need to go dormant. I gave up on them because at the time I was too stubborn to listen to the plants instead of the books. I’ll give them another try someday and just pay attention to what the plant wants to do, like you.

Kathy Purdy February 15, 2014, 10:31 pm

Evan, make sure you read Matt Mattus’ article on amaryllis before you give them another try. And I do think that in a northerly cold climate, they may not get the signals for dormancy that they need in the summer. Perhaps the sun never is strong enough or the temperatures hot enough.

Evan February 15, 2014, 11:57 pm

Thanks Kathy. If I do try them again, I think I’ll go for one of the Cybister types, or the more evergreen ones like papilio or reticulatum var striatifolium. That last one is a nice foliage plant with flowers as a bonus. The evergreen types are supposedly easier to rebloom.

Alana February 15, 2014, 3:40 pm

I love that chicken container! But then again, I love almost all things chicken. The primrose in my GBBD post of today is from Wegmans in Johnson City. They had reduced theirs to 99 cents after I bought mine and I was going to buy a couple of more, changed my mind, then changed my mind again but when I went back they were gone. I’m glad the ones I didn’t buy went to a good home, as I suspect you bought them. Laughing! Happy GBBD.

commonweeder February 15, 2014, 2:29 pm

I’ve given up on blooms for the rest of the winter – unless I saw a pot of something blooming at a store.

Jane Scorer February 15, 2014, 1:34 pm

Thank goodness for indoor gardening ! The daafs look lovely, and that basket looks as if it could be really useful in its next life too ! I love Amaryllis they are solo exotic !

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD February 15, 2014, 12:09 pm

Our local independent grocer has an incredible floral dept. and I always get Primulas at this time of year. They make Spring seem so much closer. I love them in your chicken pot.

Carol - May Dreams Gardens February 15, 2014, 11:53 am

Yes, indoor blooms are what we have to sustain us through this snowy winter. I will be buying something in bloom when I go to the grocery store this weekend. I must. I must. I must. Thanks for joining us for bloom day.

Gail February 15, 2014, 11:46 am

How exciting to have dafs so early especially with the snow you’ve had! Love the primulas…