Today I was reading Teresa Byington’s Garden Diary blog, and her post on Amaryllis bulbs.
She brought back memories of the winter windowsill plantings through the years, including some Amaryllis. As she mentions, this is really easy gardening and most people have great success with the kits that are offered. Amaryllis is one of the most showy, with their huge blossoms crowning the vertical stems.
I thought of the first experience I ever had with such plants. When I was only 18, my Aunt had given me a small planter filled with gravel that held paperwhite bulbs. This is another winter favorite and is available in kits, like the ones Teresa B. shows in her post.
Many of them come with everything you need, and stores will sometimes have them already started for you (although I think planting them is half the fun, and is really no work at all).
That long ago memory of the paperwhites shooting up and then blooming with such perfect flowers and sweet fragrance is one of those things that added to my fascination with growing things. It was a wonderful reminder of spring in that cold Chicago winter, I can tell you!
It is such a luxury to have beautiful blooms in the midst of winter’s hold.
The Years Since, Tulips, Crocus, Amaryllis
That green bonsai pot with the paperwhites later led to a Smith&Hawken kit with spring bulbs, a number of Amaryllis (they are a bit addicting) and more paperwhites in the ensuing years.
I am never less than enthralled with the process and the result.
Of course, like many of you, the windowsills and table somehow find room for herbs, and bright spots of potted plants (my Christmas rose, Hellborus niger, started in my garden from just such winter pots!)
One tip I picked up from Teresa is to soak my bulbs in “Moopoo” tea. I had never done that. I think I will try that this year. We are never too old to learn, and gardening is one body of knowledge that always keeps growing.
Do you force bulbs or grow winter plants? Which ones are your favorites?
My Favorite Winter Windowsill Plants
- Usually I buy rosemary plants, often the ones trimmed into Christmas tree shape. I have not yet kept one growing beyond the year purchased.
- I often purchase herb combinations. I just can’t resist.
- Amaryllis bulbs are festive and every few years I plant from a kit.
- Every year I get one of those big splashy poinsettias. Always in a bright Christmas red. I place it on a low table in from of the living room window.
- Not regularly, but that first time with Paperwhite bulbs is repeated every once in awhile. Their graceful blooms never cease to delight me.
No paperwhites for me! I tried once, but the fragrance was not a pleasant one for me. I do enjoy amaryllis bulbs, and you remind me that I haven’t yet purchased one. Better get on that!
Ilona Erwin says
I have heard that opinion from a number of people! Fragrance is very personally experienced. I know that I disagreed with more than one garden writer who said that a certain plant was fragrant when I would have said it had an unpleasant odor.