Forcing bulbs. Sometimes in the middle of the night you end up buying plants on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/EasytoGrow), or in this case, bulbs, and then they show up without instructions, and you’re not quite sure what to do with them.
BUT, since the listing didn’t say pre-chilled (some of them do), I’m reasonably sure that I’m supposed to give all of these early spring bulbs — mini daffodils, grape hyacinth / muscari, and crocuses — a couple of months chilling before trying to do anything else with them.
These actually arrived a few weeks ago; I stuck the box in the basement fridge (unheated basement or garage should also work) and crossed my fingers. In about mid-to-late-March, I’m planning to pull them out, pot them up, bring them into the warm, and ‘force’ them for mostly indoor display — although I went nuts enough with purchasing (it was very cold in early January, and my will was weak!) that I may end up planting some outdoors too, in hanging baskets, etc. We’ll see. And if there are any that I particularly like, maybe I’ll make a note to order more for fall planting out in the garden.
The most fun aspect of this is that I got to try a bunch of new varieties, including “Pipit,” which Monty Don raves about.
Speaking of which, if you’re not familiar with Monty, I highly recommend two shows of his:
- Big Dreams, Small Spaces — season 1 is available on Prime, seasons 2-3, you’d need to sign up for a 7-day free Inside Outside trial. There aren’t that many episodes per season, so you could totally watch all of season 2-3 in 7 days, if you were committed; just remember to cancel the trial at the end, unless you want to pay to watch a lot more home & garden TV. This particular show is really great for showing you how you can build something kind of spectacular in a surprisingly small garden.
- Gardener’s World — seasons 50-55 are available on BritBox (which you can order through Prime if you want, to keep it all organized), which is the streaming service I use most these days, because I am so addicted to British murder mysteries (highly recommend Vera, Shetland) and they are surprisingly good for getting you through a long, cold winter. This show starts at the beginning of the garden season and week-by-week you can follow Monty through, with tons of practical tips and loads of information.
Monty’s also just fun to watch, and oddly attractive, especially when he’s getting ‘stuck in’ with some tough garden work. He always inspires me to get off my butt and actually go do something in the garden.
Both shows have free episodes on YouTube, if you want to check them out there!