Friday, February 28, 2014

Chill Time - Forcing Flower Bulbs

Ah... the bliss of an Indoor Garden...
 TGIF. Or, should I say TGIFE? Thank Goodness It's February's End. A short, not so sweet, month of odd weather. Dreary rain vs. welcome snow. More mud than imaginable. Ultra-warm days, teasing me into believing spring has arrived. (Seriously? Lilacs budding in February vs April?) It's messing with my gardener's mind...

Daffodils growing in the sunny window.
In spite of the wacky weather, I'm enjoying a fabulous Tulip Festival.... indoors.

Ever done something on impulse that turned out A-okay? Typically, it's the other way around for me. Impulse purchase = huge buyer's remorse. 

Hyacinths in the kitchen window. Their delightful fragrance makes doing dishes more enjoyable!
Well, last November, on a whim, I did something totally silly which turned out to be perfectly sane. (Surprise!) Wandering around Home Depot, I spied a bin of autumn flower bulbs, on sale, 75% off. Like I'm gonna pass that up.

I squeezed bulbs into existing potted plants, for happy color, while those flowering plants are dormant.
In late November, the ground is frozen, what to do? Turns out, you don't HAVE to do anything. They'll do it all by their lonesome.

IF you make the mistake I did, get online and look for instructions on how to force bulbs to bloom indoors, you will most likely give it up as a far too complicated idea. The laborious instructions on how to do it right made me roll my eyes.

But, I already had the bulbs. So, I decided to wing it. And, hey! It wasn't hard at all...

I forced over 100 bulbs this winter! A 100% success rate, I might add. They are smiling at me from every nook and cranny of this old house! And, I didn't do a whole lot to make that happen.
  • I left them in their store packaging, stuck them all in a brown paper bag. (The brown bag prevents the bulbs from receiving light when the 'frig door is open, which it pretty much always is... since I like to stand there, hoping something tasty will magically appear...)
  • Squished them into the veggie drawer of my refrigerator.
  • And, there they sat. Ignored until January.
When I rescued these goodies from their long, dark days in the refrigerator, half the bulbs had already sprouted. The other half joined the party days after I warmed them up.

Proof positive you can't keep a good plant down. :)

* How-to instructions provide very detailed chill times for various bulbs, between 12 and 15 weeks. But, in reality, it's like every situation in your garden. Not rocket science, by any means. Chill bulbs in the 'frig for a couple of months. At 8 weeks, mine were sprouting and screaming: Get me outta here!!

** TIP: If you store fruit in your refrigerator, it can mess with bulb production. But, these beauties survived that challenge, as well.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Bluebirds and Bad Dogs!

The Garden, Indoors.
We call them Bluebird Days because even though it's snowy up top, it's springtime down in the meadow. And, those skies.... those delightful turquoise skies...

Mr. Annoying.
And, this is my pesky Bad Dog, wondering why I would prefer watching t.v. on my laptop over throwing the ball to him.

For more {slightly} Wordless Wednesday participants, click here!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Forced Bulbs

* The cool thing about forcing bulb indoors is that the bloom times can be manipulated. Hyacinth, Tulips, and Daffies are all blooming together in the sunny window.

Friday, February 21, 2014


If you're willing to try your luck with any forced bulbs to be grown indoors, give it a go with Hyacinth. They're the easiest. Plus that delightful fragrance does a fine, fine job of chasing away the winter blues.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Not tough enough to handle any time outdoors in my harsh climate ~ too hot in the summer, too chilly on a summer's eve. So, she keeps me company in the office. Love that petal pink.

Tip: Don't give up on her when those pretty flowers disappear. She'll surprise you with new buds in about 3 months.

PS: Freesia gets very cranky if you overwater her.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Micro Mini Roses

Well, looky there. Discovered a surprise rose bud while doing the rounds of watering plants in the sunny window. IMHO, yellow is the prettiest color for roses of any size.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Just returned from warming my bones in the land of perpetual summer (AKA Phoenix.) Always worried when I get home.. are the plants dead?? No! Not dead at all, budding up a storm.

Do you grow these little cuties? They're happiest in a dry climate, such as Utah. Keep them in a sunny West-facing window. Water once a week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Heart of Stone

This is a little (about an inch in diameter) heart stone I found along my favorite hiking trail. And, since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd show it off. I didn't take it with me, I never do.

I brush it off, take a photo and then put it somewhere for the next hiker to easily find it.

Do you ever look for heart stones? IF you're looking for them, you'll see them quite often. If you're in Park City, UT you just might find one of mine. :-)

Happy Valentines!

"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." ~ Thich Nhat Hahn

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tunic Trouble

Forced Tulip bulbs are going bonkers in the sunny window. The paper-like covering (called tunics) decomposes very quickly when planted outdoors. Indoors, it just adds a bit of hilarity to the growing process.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chihuly in the Garden

 What could it be?

 Look close. :-) Spot that squiggly yellow? 

It's Chihuly Art Glass ~ bigger than life. These delightful blown-glass sculptures were 'planted' throughout the Desert Botanical Gardens of Phoenix.

Okay, so first off, if you've been on this blog before, you know I'm all snowed in this time of year. Living in a ski resort and pretending I'm happy with the concept of winter.

I do love winter but not so much this year. Typically our winters are mild with freshly fallen, white snow and bright blue skies. It's why we call them Bluebird Days. But, we've been sadly short of Bluebird Days, this winter. It's been grey, ugly... horribly depressing.

And, there's really only one thing to do when faced with such a terrible state of affairs...


So, I tossed Bad Dog in the car and we bee-lined it south. Out of the snow and the grey and the cold.

Into the land of perpetual summer. AKA Phoenix.

Be still my heart...

Where the Bougainvillea brightly blooms...

Could you be cuter?

Lantana adds cheery color to everybody's waterwise yards...

And, I get to kick back with friends in a kinder climate to plot and plan on how to make best use of these sunshine-y days.

On this particular day, we strolled along the paths of the Botanical Gardens. It's a magical place. Particularly magical for folks who are unfamiliar with all the life and beauty a desert landscape has to offer.

Made even more spectacular by the gigantic blown glass sculptures throughout the gardens. Without a doubt, this was the most enjoyable hike I'd ever done.

With a surprise around every turn of the sandy trail. I hope you enjoy the show...

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Famdamly

At last, arrived in sunny Mesa, Arizona, and was treated to fantastic BBQ with my two favorite gals.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Road Trippin'

"Where there is great love there are always miracles." A cool quote burned into the back side of a belt I've worn for years... and just noticed.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Quail Park Lodge

What a delightful find after a long, miserable drive in the snow and sleet! Utahns, if you're ever in Kanab, Utah, check out the Quail Park Lodge. It gets 5 stars for cuteness! Hip, happening, reasonably priced. AND, pet friendly. What's not to love?

Saturday, February 01, 2014

In Search of Some Sunshine

Yeah, yeah, looks hard to drive in but it is GREAT motivation to do so anyway... especially if you're heading south. Stay tuned...