Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pies, Puppy Love and Forcing Pretty Flower Bulbs

Trust me. You're gonna want to see these bright bloomers, indoors, come February.

Woke to the first truly cold winter morning, and since I have a partially house-trained puppy living with me, we were outdoors, in seconds flat, to prevent an accident that could ruin the day.

Loud crunch of ice beneath my feet. I soaked in the sunlight, dressed in a long coat and hat, to hide the fact that I'm still in my jammies.

And, I intend to stay in those jams for several more hours! Savor a cup of cowgirl coffee and gently ease into the day.

Which is just one more reason why I love winter. (Quiet season for this horse and flower lover.)

I guess if I died and came back as a flower, I'd be a Tulip. Because they only flourish after a prolonged deep freeze. And, I need winter to recharge my batteries.

Or, maybe not. Tulips are weak and I'm a survivor.

So, I'd probably be an Allium bulb.

Forcing Allium bulbs requires 12 weeks in your refrigerator.*

Critters don't eat Allium bulbs. They're aromatic members of the onion family.

Allium Schubertii is a favorite Allium bulb of mine. Though I prefer growing her indoors, where it's easier to appreciate her odd, delicate, flowers and stems.

Plus, my morning hair is almost as crazy looking as the Allium Schubertii bulb before I take a shower.

Well, here it is, a few days before Thanksgiving.

I've spent the week in my hand cast. [Having elected to break that hand by trying to fix the garage door.]

During which time I have not improved any left-hand writing or typing skills.

However! I have wrangled the dictation app on my computer into submission and I'm really enjoying the insanity of talking to my computer and seeing what it types. (As I am doing right now...)

Store Tulip bulbs in the crisper drawer of your 'frig for 8 weeks. They'll bloom indoors in a sunny window.

I'm assigned pies for the big Thanksgiving feast and I absolutely hate making pies. Because it always begins with perceived failure on my part. 

I have never been able to beat Pillsbury at the pie crust game. Their pie crust tastes better. So, no matter what type of pie I'm creating, it goes into a store bought crust and that, somehow, feels wrong when you're preparing for the ultimate, annual feast.

Paperwhites DO NOT require forcing: buy 'em, plant 'em, love 'em.
But, I did go buy the goodies for Maple Pecan, Sweet Potato, and a Sky High Apple Pie. That should teach the powers that be not to assign me Thanksgiving pies. Because nobody is getting pumpkin on my watch.

I've never actually tasted pumpkin pie. It's too brown and gushy, I'm pretty sure I would hate it. Whenever I admit that, some weirdo scoops up some pumpkin pie - onto their fork - shoves it in my face and says: Oh, give it a try.

Like I'm gonna do that. During flu season.

Hyacinth are the easiest bulbs to force and their fragrance is sooo delightful.

So, anyhoo back to those bodacious bulbs.
Now's a good time to tuck some away in your refrigerator.

Not to plant next to year. To enjoy in February when nobody - including me - has an ounce of love for the never-ending winter.

With any luck, the picked over remnants of autumn flower bulbs are marked down to a dollar a bag at your local Home Depot. [Or whatever big box store is near you.] So, buy a few and let's have some fun.

Tulip skin hats on these indoor coming attractions.

* If you get online you'll find a plethora of websites providing laborious detailed instructions on forcing flower bulbs.

Step One: Turn off your computer. Laborious instruction makes me crazy because it is very discouraging to new gardeners.

If you're nervous about forcing bulbs, plant these Mexican Shell Flowers. They do not need forcing and they'll make you look like an indoor gardening rock star!

I force bulbs every winter. Here's what I do and it works like a charm:
  • Store bulbs in a paper bag (keeps the light out) - in the crisper drawer of your freezer.
  • Remove any fruit from that crisper drawer.
  • Ignore those bulbs for 8-12 weeks. 
  • Haul 'em out. And, watch 'em go hog wild.
  • Easy peasy. 

Uh.. but just to be clear. Don't try forcing peas. :)

Hope you're all having a marvelous weekend!


Rilly said...

I'm waiting to see if my last years amaryllis blooms this year and if they do I just might try some other stuff. Hope your hand is better and you have a nice Thanksgiving.....pie or no pie. If it's makes you feel better....I failed at my mom's No Fail Pie Crust 60 yrs. and have used store bought crusts ever since. ;)

Matt said...

Those are great looking flowers. No wonder why my Mom is so fond of those kinds. Thanks for sharing! Well, that hyacinth caught me. :)

things man said...

great ideas .. that what i’m looking for . thank you