Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Gardening

It's November.  A November that doesn't feel like November.  It feels like mid-winter, except without the incipient I-haven't-been-outside-for-more-than-five-minutes-in-three-months depression and I'm-beginning-to-think-the-view-out-my-window-was-never-anything-but-white-snow delusions.  This whole being inside all the time thing is still relatively novel, but I can already feel myself heading for the doldrums that come from no running and no gardening.

The remedy to all this, clearly, is flowers.

Now.  Succulents are supposed to be these low-maintenance, fool-proof plants even those with brown thumbs can grow, but I have never had much luck with them, excepting my aloe vera plant, and I've decided that's because it's some kind of sick, masochistic creature that enjoys having me sever its limbs on a weekly basis to smear its insides all over imaginary hurts on our children.  Aside from that disturbing windowsill dweller, I've discovered a real talent within myself for killing all manner of succulents.  I have a knack.  This does not stop me, of course, from buying a new succulent every year or so, not because I enjoy watching things die, but because I am apparently an optimist who sees no need to operate on the plane of reality.  Plus there's a nursery just down the highway with a huge stock of succulents, so many different kinds and sizes and shapes, which makes sense, I suppose; I don't know how else a nursery is supposed to stay in business through an Iowa winter.  

Anyway, I got that one a week and a half ago, and it's still alive, hopefully learning all kinds of interesting things from its perch above the toilet.  I'm trying not to get too attached.

These, however; these, I have high hopes for.

The wonderful things about paperwhites are as follows:

  • Pretty.  Soooo pretty.  
  • I'm told they smell good.  I can never smell them.
  • Inexpensive.  I bought a bag with nine bulbs for $4 at Wal-Mart.  
  • Easy.  Can you fill a bowl with rocks?  Can you nestle some bulbs on top of those rocks?  Can you then fill the bowl with water until it just covers the bottom of the bulbs?  Then you can force paperwhites indoors this winter.  
  • If you're one of those super-moms, you can, like, teach your kids (or yourself!) stuff about plants and the growth cycle of a bulb (google can supply you with all kinds of handy dandy flow charts and visuals) and God's creation.  Just channel Neville Longbottom for five minutes, then have an extra brownie for your crazy awesome parenting skills.

Don't have a wide, shallow bowl?  Use mason jars instead, keep all the other steps the same.  Put them in your laundry room for an extra dose of life and decadence when you really need it.  I can't help you with the cute kid; he's all mine.  The sucker's an extra he charmed out of the doctor yesterday.  

If growing paperwhites just isn't going to happen for you this winter, don't you worry:  I'll be keeping you overly informed on the progress and status of ours for the next several weeks.  Rest easy, dear friends.

1 comment:

  1. Please do provide updates with photos! I think that is a fabulous idea, and those bulbs look full of promise.. But I can hardly grow flowers OUTside in the SUMMER, so I'm thinking I would have no luck with them INside in the WINTER.


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