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 Two of the ones in vases did nothing and have been replaced by tazettas.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.