As the calendar turns to November, my Mother breathes a sigh of relief. She reminded me today that she was a Depression Era baby and so she never went out Trick or Treating. You would think a marauding gang was coming around; the gates are closed and locked, the shutters closed and the lights out. Yesterday she cut my potted Costco mums back as they had browned, and then hacked my corn stalk arch into the shape of a question mark while I was out walking the dogs. I mean, she really, really hates Halloween and most fall decor. For this reason, I bought mostly white pumpkins this year, as they are less antagonizing to Mom. Each week I have continued to buy gourds and Australian Blue (bottom left) and Fairytale pumpkins. This was my first real fall style at the Sunday market. I added in a few beans and carrots; this will be improved upon in the next few weeks as the focus moves to Thanksgiving from Halloween. For a first effort, everyone at the market loved it. I will show you more of this soon….
It seems incredible that we are eight weeks out from Christmas, but we are….and in my mind that means setting up Christmas bulbs. The nice thing about forcing bulbs is that you can enjoy them throughout their stages of growth. Whether they are blooming or not, they make a great decorative and natural item. I noticed some great terra cotta bulb dishes at Rogers Gardens locally, but they were $95 for the dish alone…Ouch! I got the same look with a terra cotta saucer planted with paper white bulbs on top of another overturned empty saucer~
I planted two honey-colored bushel baskets, also with paper whites. I am going to go heavily into paper whites for this holiday, for the fragrance and the simple beauty of these flowers. These will go to the markets and a farm to table dinner, as well as our extended holiday celebrations. Paperwhites are more reliable than amaryllis, it’s true, but you never know when they will be perfectly blooming…..six weeks? Four? Eight? The best thing is to stagger a series of them. Anyway, I set up these bushel baskets two weeks ago as my early blooms~
I force paper white bulbs every year. A long time ago in NYC, I used the traditional glass forcing vases. Now each year I like to use something different, copper pots or the like, This year I am going very neutral and white; I raided the china cupboard in the dining room, starting with the porcelain lion’s head bowls~
While I was in the cupboard, I grabbed some ironstone sauce boats~
I would call it a happy marriage, paperwhites and porcelain~
But why stop with white? I planted the cassoulet pot with paperwhites as well, and watered everything with rain barrel water carefully poured from a glass bottle I LOVE that a blogger friend gave me~
Even one mini, with three bulbs…..the roots of the bulbs will make the bulbs rise up a little; these will all all be finished with moss and such later, these are just the starts, which you must do about six weeks ahead of time~
I also set up a footed glass bowl, which will be pretty on the sideboard~
the sauceboats got just one bulb each….these will be pretty at the market or the farm to table….
And for a little bit of fun, I planted two English plate teapots found in Amsterdam with one bulb…these will be fun….I’ll show you the finished result in a few weeks…..
I like to plant paperwhites in several stages, so that I have blooms from late November into January. Use whatever you have on hand for vessels….next year I might go for all copper, but this year it’s white and neutral.