I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bringing Spring Indoors

I have always loved "forcing vases".  Also called "bulb vases" or "hyacinth vases", I find them fascinating.  They allow us to bring spring inside during the colder months and follow the progress of the growing bulb. It is very interesting to watch and is a great lesson for small children.  Check with your local florist or nursery to purchase bulbs you can force.  You can find books on how to force bulbs (more specifically) at your local library.

Sometimes I order bulbs through the mail, but time got away from me this year and I never ordered any.  I found it difficult to find bulbs this winter and ended up with narcissus, which is fairly common, and amaryllis, which is often found around the holidays. 

I pick up these specialized "vases" whenever I can find them.  I particularly liked the color of these.  There was a third one, which was yellow.  I didn't buy it.  I should have!
From a page in an old Peter Henderson catalog.

The roots become quickly established.  I add water almost every morning.  The water should be up to the bottom of the bulb.  This one needs watering, however, if you submerge too much of the bulb in the water, it could become moldy. 

The amaryllis is my old stand-by.  This was a favorite color and had four blooms on one stem.
The Prudential Center in Boston a couple of years ago; amaryllis en mass.  Beautiful.

You saw the blue bottles in the post "Consignment Finds".  I love this color combination.

I wasn't sure what color this would be.

The red was perfect as it drew attention to the little bit of red in the painting.  After the amaryllis has finished blooming, I put the pot in the basement for the summer months.  It needs a cool and dark place.  Shortly before Thanksgiving, I bring it upstairs, trim the dead stalks off of it and begin watering it for the next blooming season.

The pink in the hyacinth matched the antique pitchers perfectly.

My sisters gave me this arangement last Christmas.  The sticks helped to hold up the narcissus when they became too tall to stand up on their own.  The aqua wash basin is an antique.  Don't you just love the color?


On a walk through Newport we came upon this shop window that used bulbs for the display.  Very creative and pretty.  A dose of spring on a chilly winter day.

Another lovely example of an amaryllis.  Scroll fast through the next few photos!

I like to set the bulbs near a window where it's cooler.  Dusk brings a different kind of beauty to the bulbs.

The windowsill looks out over the snowy garden.

The garden is reflected in the photo.  You'll notice that I use a hurricane candle to hold up the bulbs once they begin to get tall.

The blooms don't look real; they are so perfectly designed.

These bulbs were set in stones and the container is set in an artisan pottery bowl for added color.  Stones will anchor the bulbs. 
The tiny blooms up close.

Every day the bulbs reach for the sun.  I turn them so the stalks will grow straight up.  I always plant my narcissus bulbs in the garden once they're done blooming. 

This is one of my favorite bulb vases.  I love the etching in the glass.  Perhaps it's an older vase.

The result is simple and elegant.

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