The long quiet of Christmas spilled over into the New Year. While I normally find January rather invigorating, this year has been different – a long slow cozy. I had a long slow re-reading of last year’s discovery, The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge. One of the features of the country house is the conservatory. I have a small unintended collection of house plants, they could use such luxury! What they get is some light from the dining room windows. Being real here.
The pinky stem violet blooms magenta, the pale one, white. The Christmas cactus dropped all its bloom this year – I was using the dining room at night – too much light for bloom. The aloe was beautiful and now is suffering through winter. The amaryllis — who knows! And then there is the pot in the corner of ‘things’ that are ancient and love me in spite of my neglect.
Yes, I’m a very accidental window gardener. The thing that drives me is Winter. Drab, long, usually cold, winter. So, when I was offered a bulb vase, I said yes. How difficult could it be to buy a bulb and sit it over some water?
At the garden center, I couldn’t decide on color or bulb from the few remaining offerings. Hyacinths are more popular than I knew. I was reluctant to invest in another vase, and surely I could create something useful… so I bought two. I did some research and set my expectations on a shelf in the garage and promptly forgot them. Out of sight… and the fact that in my research I missed some key instructions, something about changing the water…
In spite of my ignorance of their needs, the great desire locked in their heart was to grow ‘at the scent of water’, and so they did. When I saw some foliage, I moved them to my “window garden” which proved a happy place for them to bloom.
Whether bulb or container, I cannot know, but the growth in the bulb vase was much better than my jar creation. The leaves remained short and the blooms rather stem-less but these are minor defects. See for yourself!
How I wish you could inhale the heady fragrance! Lush and full of the promise of spring, it became my favorite place to linger with tea.
- Obtain more vases.
- Shop early for pre-chilled bulbs.
- Make a plan – 3 weeks till the blooms appear.
- On schedule, Set the bulbs in the vases over lukewarm water and plan to change it out about twice a week.
- Put the vases in a cool, dark place (garage shelf for me) and monitor the water levels, root and foliage growth.
- When the roots are developed and the foliage is growing, move the vases to the “window garden”.
- Prepare the space with a cozy chair, pillow, throw and books.
- When the day comes for first fragrance, prepare tea* and settle in for deep breathing. Forget to open the books.
- Personally, I found Chai to be a good companion.
Yes, I added water to the top of the neck of the vase just after taking the photo.