Challenging myself to learn more about plants by trying new techniques and by researching and growing unfamiliar plants helps me grow as a gardener--and as a person. It's all about being a hardy soul and not letting winter get the best of me. Read what I've been up to the last month and let me know in the comments: What cabin-fever-fighting tricks do you have in your arsenal?
Bulb forcing has had its ups and downs this winter, but I continue to experiment. One day I'll figure out what works best, but in the meantime, come learn along with me!
Forcing paperwhites is supposed to cheer the gardener through the gloomy, dark days of winter. But this gardener is wailing and gnashing her teeth because the paperwhites aren't cooperating!
What do your houseplants teach you? Houseplants are the only plants blooming in November, but they are fascinating in their own way. Here's what I've learned from a few of mine.
Where do people get this silly idea that hardly anything blooms in autumn? I gave my colchicum presentation this week and one attendee remarked that I inspired her to have color in her fall garden. There's plenty of color in my fall garden, without even looking at the trees. Here's just a sampling of what I see as I stroll around.
Asters, black-eyed Susans, mums--are you tired of the same old autumn-blooming plants? Check out some of the more unusual ones growing in my garden. Maybe you'll find the perfect spot for one in your own garden. You'll never know unless you take a look!
A January thaw I expect. A thaw in February--however pleasant--makes me nervous. Last year we had a mild February--and three feet of snow in March. But whether or not I approve, it appears we are having a thaw. In February.
Move over, hyacinths. Stand back, amaryllis. It's time for lily-of-the-valley to take center stage. Yes, lily-of-the-valley! Did you know you could force lily-of-the-valley indoors during the winter? It's not too hard at all, if you buy specially prepared roots. And the fragrance is wonderful, not to mention the pleasure of actually watching plants grow while it's snowing outside.
November started out marvelously with highs in the 50s(F) and one day even hit 66°(19C). The second week the switch flipped and the real November showed up with a vengeance. Most nights have been in the teens, but we also got two nights that dipped into single digits (9F=-13C)--that's unseasonably low for November and was [...]
Visitors asked about two plants at my Colchicum Open Garden. The first one is readily available at garden centers or online. The second one is a little trickier to find--it helps if you know someone. But visitors were also surprised to see so much in bloom at the end of September. It helps if you know my special plants and (not so) secret techniques. Click over to my blog post and I'll share them with you!