Saturday, March 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March '08

Here we are in the middle of the month again,
with still precious little to show for outside blooms.

These snowdrop buds were the closest I could come. They're not quite open, but it won't be long!

In the house some of our forced bulbs are blooming.


This was our first experience with forcing bulbs and the results were mixed.
We stored the potted bulbs (covered) in our unheated garage in early December, and brought 2 pots of tulips and one of hyacinths into the house in early February, placing them upstairs in a cool storeroom for several days. I checked them daily, wondering if mice would find them there and have them for dinner.

All was well for a while, but then I found the tops of the tulip bulbs had been eaten. Fortunately, I found that mice aren't fond of hyacinths, so they were still intact. I moved the pots then to a bedroom unpstairs, and left them for a few more days before bringing them downstairs where the temperature is warmer.

We had intended the bring the rest of the pots in gradually so as to stagger the blooms over several weeks and use them to decorate the church for Sunday Services, since I'm the flower lady, but after a few days the mice discovered those bulbs too and ate most of the tulips. Hungry little beasts! So we ended up bringing all the rest in at once and putting them in a bedroom upstairs, leaving them covered for another week.

These 'Carnegie' hyacinths did quite well, and that first pot I brought in were lovely too, but I forgot to take a photo of them (can you believe that?). They were a pretty pink.

These 'Splendid Cornelia' are stunted. The blue one was in the same bag but it's obviously a misfit.
My friend Marie told me the growth needs to be a couple of inches tall before they're brought in, and these weren't that tall. Next year I'll remember that, and I'll have to find somewhere to keep them inside and out where the mice can't get them. If you have any advise to add I'd certainly be glad if you'd share it.
Posted by Picasa

So far we've had a total of 4 tulip blooms out of 30 (10 pots), and 6 presentable hyacinths blooms out of 8 pots. Not a lot to show for our efforts!

But we're very glad to see the few tulips that survived the mice, and the hyacinths scent is heavenly.
This tulip was supposed to be pink but it looks more like red to me!
Never mind, we'll take it! Posted by Picasa

A few weeks ago we bought a pot of Primulas and a Cyclamen to brighten up the house. The Primulas have just a few blooms left now, but they sure were a pretty sight to see for several weeks.

I love that deep pink!

I used to buy Cylamens for Mom on Mother's Day, so they carry the added pleasure of reminding me of her.

The Cyclamen is still looking good, even though the blooms are fewer. These cheery daffodils were given to us by a dear friend last week after brightening our church service. I put them out on the covered side porch during this week, where we could still see them, but where they would be able stay cool. They're still looking beautiful, and will go back to church tomorrow to be enjoyed for a second Sunday :) Posted by Picasa

We do have the promise of spring in our garden, with these and many more daffodils poking through the ground. It won't be too long before we can gaze upon a sea of yellow once again. I can't wait! Posted by Picasa
You can find other GBBD posts over at

40 comments:

Pam/Digging said...[Reply]

Even if you didn't get many blooms for your efforts, the ones you did get sure are pretty.

Carol said...[Reply]

I am impressed by all the bulbs you forced inside. Those mixed containers are tricky to get to bloom all at once. Yours are very pretty.

And those snowdrops and daffodils do show a lot of promise.

A very colorful post for bloom day!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

Wow Kerri, you may be disappointed in the amount of blooms you have but I think they are particularly beautiful. I don't have any. I haven't had luck with forcing bulbs in the past. Seeing your luck I might give it a go next winter.

Apple said...[Reply]

That settles it! I'm moving south of the Thruway. I'm not even into mud season yet :(

I will have to try forcing bulbs next year but I'll probably have trouble with mice too so I'll be watching for any suggestions you get. Perhaps instead of storing them in the garage you could put them in the milk house. Of course I don't know how you'd get one of the kitties to remain on guard duty at all times!

jodi said...[Reply]

You have a nice burst of indoor colour, Kerri, and sure enough, the promise of spring is upon us. The latest snowtantrum missed us, and today is clear and cold. We'll get there, eventually.

Sandy said...[Reply]

I was wondering how people got flowers to bloom out of season and now I know. Even though you had problems with little critters feasting on your bulbs for dinner you still had some beautiful flowers as shown in your pictures.

Katarina i Kullavik said...[Reply]

So many flowering bulbs inside your house! -Must be a pretty sight...
And your snowdrops are starting to bloom - that means Spring, doesn't it? :-)
/Katarina (Roses and stuff)

WiseAcre said...[Reply]

This is a year I wish I had forced some bulbs. There's still a couple of feet of snow outside and the few 40F days haven't put a dent in it.

At first glance I thought the capcha spelled godawful (gzwful) Guess it's a reflection on my mood. Where is Spring?

Then the post didn't go through and I'm presented with 'kidyou'
(kjqzao) I swear there's a seasonal conspiracy going on here.

Nan Ondra said...[Reply]

Well done with the forced bulbs, Kerri! I'm glad you were able to save some from the critters. Having tulips and hyacinths indoors must be a great way to lift your sprits until spring arrives. Once the snowdrops are peeping up, can the rest be far behind? Wait, don't answer that! I think we know that winter may not be over quite yet, no matter what the calendar says.

Kathy said...[Reply]

Very nice, Kerri. I just hate it when mice get into the bulbs! I've tried covering pots with chicken wire, but it gets very tedious, and only the crocus can grow through.

Jane Marie said...[Reply]

Thanks for stopping by Kerri, Your kind words were greatly appreciated.
I think I need to follow your example with forced bulbs. It would be nice right about now to join in with the other gardeners and display some color. Next year, for sure!!

Gail said...[Reply]

What a lot of success you had with forcing bloom...I have never tried anything but a few forsythia branches...that is too easy! Looking forward to April's Bloom day at your garden.

Gail

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

I had no idea that mice would eat blooms like that!!! I'll bet that any blooms must look really good after the long winter and the smell of the hyacinths inside must just be heavenly. The church will be beautiful, I'm sure.

The photo are stunning. Thanks for posting them.

kate said...[Reply]

The Hyacinths are so pretty - it's too bad that the mice got to the tulips. The ones that did grow to bloom are beautiful. I wonder if there's some way to distract the mice so they eat something else. Probably not ...

I love the deep colour of the Cyclamens. They are beautiful and how wonderful it is to have flowers that remind us of people we have cherished.

LindaD said...[Reply]

How beautiful, Your house must smell so wonderful. I don't think anything beats the first fragrances of spring. I think my particular favorite photo is the last one... Used to LOVE those first promises of spring.

Alice said...[Reply]

You may not have a lot of blooms yet, but what you lack in quantity you certainly make up for in quality and colour (as usual).

Such a shame the wretched mice find the bulbs so attractive - could you perhaps cover them with birdnetting or something like that?
I'm sure you creative husband can come up with something.

The perfume from the hyacinths must be heavenly - just right for Church decoration ....lol.

Frances, said...[Reply]

Kerri, your blooms are wonderful and it's so nice that they are fragrant also. We have a mouse problem and even have two indoor cats! I have never tried the bulb forcing, but love your results. The primroses are for sale at such a needed time aren't they? I love them and put them out in the garden when it warms up a little, a lot of bang for the buck.
Frances at Faire Garden

Moi said...[Reply]

i would love to see the sea of yellow too :)
your "garden" of flowers never fail to delight me .....:)

judypatooote said...[Reply]

You need to make cards out of those photos....they are beautiful... I can't find one thing popping up....I did rake a couple of spots in my flower bed.. late falling leaves....but not tulips yet....the day before my husband died he planted over 100 bulbs....grape hyacinths, and crocus....I always look forward to them coming up, for it's almost like he is dropping by to say hi... the hyacinths in your picture, almost sends out a smell... I love all the spring flowers....by the looks of all the flowers, your weather must have gotten alot better.....well happy st. patricks day to you Kerri.... judy

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri! Oh I miss our snowdrops already--they've been gone about 2 weeks now. I hope your forsythis blooms beautifully for you this year. Our forsythia was planted by previous tenants. I've come to really love it. Today it was overcast but on a bright blue day the yellow of the forsythia against the blue sky is almost too intense to look at. Please do a post when your forsythia blooms! That raccoon in the can in your earlier post was too cute!

Elzie said...[Reply]

SO many lovely flowers. I can tell you that today it's snowing here!! Not something we're looking forward at this time of the year. My flowers in the garden have shown their "faces" now and I do hope they don't freeze.
Hope you have a good Easter.
Love Elzie

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

Animals are tough on bulbs aren't they, Kerri! Down here it's the squirrels, you have mice, and rabbits are awful in some places.

What you do have is lovely...could you just think of your bulbs as baseballs? Hitting 400 would be fabulous so you had a good score!
Carnagie is one I used to love in IL.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Seeing Anew said...[Reply]

Hi, Kerri! It's good to see your flowers back! Your forced bulbs were beautiful, and the lighting in your photos was exquisite! Our daffodils are up about 5" now -- a bit ahead of yours I think, but showing no signs of blooming yet. Our 15" of snow is almost melted -- the grass is visible, but there are still piles of snow along the road, where the plows had been.

Susie said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
Beautiful photos as always. I never thought of putting primroses inside, as mine bloom all year on the patio. They are so colorful though.
Hope you're warming up a bit? We're blessed with gorgeous weather here!!
xo

Jean said...[Reply]

Great forcing job! I believe you'll find the hyacinth stems will grow on up, in good light, before the flowers fade. Don't toss them -- plant them as deep as you dare, outside when the bloom is gone and let the foliage ripen. They may bloom next year, the next for sure.

White cyclamen are my favorite, because they are fragrant. The pink are beautiful.

HORIZON said...[Reply]

lt's amazing to think that our daffs are already out over here. Most of the time it seems like we are the ones so far behind. Even my father in law down south has his daffs out 3 weeks ahead!!
I'd never heard about forcing bulbs. Sorry that as many didn't come out as hoped for but keep trying- is lovely to see such colour this time of year and hyacinths are a favourite of mine :).
Brilliant picture of the raccoon below- smashing!
bests and hugs Kerri

Zoey said...[Reply]

It's a shame those darn rodents ate so many of your tulips!

The blooms you did get, do look pretty....extra pretty this time of the year.

It's still too cold here for any of mine to rise from the frozen ground. But as soon as they do, I will have to get there and spray them with something to keep the deer away. It sure takes a lot of work to get to see a tulip bloom!

John said...[Reply]

Kerri:

Great post of all your flowers, and plants. All the rich colors.

Naturegirl said...[Reply]

Before I left I filled the house with potted tulips and daffodils.Now that i am here in the sunny part of the world I continue to have vases filled throughout the house! Happy Spring to you and I thank you for commenting on my Arizona desert blossoms! I have more to show and lots of sun to pass around! sunkised NG xo

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...[Reply]

Don't give up on forcing - next year force Daffodils instead. No critters will touch them & some varities force extremely well (Tete-et-Tete). How awful to have to fight with hungry monsters in the house - is no where safe from plant predators?

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

That's a good idea from MMGD, Kerri! In IL if I put the forced Tete a Tete daffodils outside after frost with some time-release fertilizer they'd establish good-sized clumps fairly soon.
Sometimes for just a couple of dollars they can be found already forced and ready to bloom at grocery stores.

Annie

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

I have never had good results when trying to force blossoms inside. Yours are sure pretty and very colorful. I know how precious it is to have a few flowers in the house too.
I do winter over my geraniums, and also a Begonia tuber that I keep in my veggie drawer throughout the winter. It has survived for seven years and had wonderful flowers in the summer.
I w9onder if you were to winter your bulbs in a metal mesh type container if that would keep the mice out?
My daffodil's are blooming outside right now and the tulips are getting buds. I have had to use a lot of bloodmeal to keep the deer away from the tulips, but it works.

Amy said...[Reply]

Your photos are so lovely - the ones with the dark background are very striking.

I have a strong weakness for daffodils. I keep bring them home with my when I buy groceries :) I can't wait to see photos of your "sea of yellow".

Jeanette said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri.,I come to wish you a very Happy Easter.
ANd WOW!I see all your forced bulbs in Bloom they are beautiful bringing spring inside, I have never tryed growing Bulbs inside.Its a shame the mice had a feed of them.

Terri said...[Reply]

Happy Easter Kerri!

Di DeCaire said...[Reply]

Fellow Upstate New Yorker - an unusually cold March for us. Only the tips of bulb growth are showing. Hopefully next week the weather will break.

CountryGirl said...[Reply]

How wonderful to have all that color in March! I tried some hyacinths this year and I am enjoying the scent they give. Apple told me about the racoon incident, it's so fun to see the photos! The DSL was installed this morning and yours is the first blog I visited! All your photos came up, I am so excited! I think I'm back! I wonder if I can talk Ron into staying home for Easter instead of going to his Dads's so I can catch up with everyone. Probably not...LOL

Sonia said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri, I come to wish you and all your family a Very Happy Easter! Many hugs!

Wonderful photos as always!

Catherine said...[Reply]

Wow Kerri! Spring has sprung in your house! How beautiful , so many colors and different flowers..and excellent way to chase winter blues away! Wonderful job~you have been busy!! I have been catching up on your beautiful post...all of the beautiful bird captures, and the racoon, & the squirrels~I LOVE the shot of your cat glued to the window watching!
Each and every post~fantastic!
Wishing you a very Happy Spring!
Cat
How adorable!

Cris said...[Reply]

One of my memories of Spring there was the tulips coming out the ground, to me it really meant something, and I knew it was one moment in time, because here we do not see many changes throughout the year.