Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Transitional Fall Style

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….

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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~

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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~ 

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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~

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While I was in the cupboard, I grabbed some ironstone sauce boats~

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I would call it a happy marriage, paperwhites and porcelain~

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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~

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Continuing on the white theme, I planted two giant clam shells, again with paperwhites.  These will be pretty in the living room next to the fireplace even while they are growing~october 2012 064

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~

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I also set up a footed glass bowl, which will be pretty on the sideboard~

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the sauceboats got just one bulb each….these will be pretty at the market or the farm to table….

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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…..

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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.

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  1. Andrea these will be gorgeous for the holidays!
    You make the most beautiful displays! I love the vessels you've chosen!

    I have a new artist Feature.....I think you will like it!

    Art by Karena

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE your bulb ideas!!! I think it is a lovely idea to have these up for Christmas time! :D And your placement is adorable!
    Also, you are invited to my Christmas giveaway! :)


  3. First, let me say that I laughed out loud at your description of your mom having the place on lock down.

    Second, your ghost stories freaked me out yesterday! So much so I could not leave a comment.

    And third, I am amazed at all of these bulbs. I have never forced a bulb but you have inspired me to try a few this year. I am looking forward to your ideas and progress.

    Thanks for the tips!

    I hope your parents are continuing to mend.


  4. Andrea!
    Beautiful, I can't wait until you show us at Christmas!

  5. Planting papperwhites are on my calendar for next week. I LOVE all the gorgeous containers you are using! Beautiful as always, Andrea!

  6. So funny about your mom and Halloween. I can just picture her out hacking down your corn stalks while you're dog-walking!

  7. I had a botanist friend who would always give his Christmas gifts in October. Each year it was a new selection of narcissus bulbs to plant for the holidays! He bought them in bulk and divided them amongst his friends. I miss him. Thank you for bringing back memories of a special man.

  8. Great idea. Your creative juices are definitely flowing!
    I stocked up on some wicked chocolate goodies for tick-or-treaters, but none arrived this year, so sadly I scoffed the whole stash over the next few days. Must stop anxiety eating!

  9. Thanks for all the fantastic ideas.
    I will pick up some bulbs today.
    That tureen with the lions I have
    think i'll use it..
    Time is flying,
    Thanksgiving is almost here.

  10. Sorry my comment didn't get here, doing too much at one time.
    I have a tureen just like yours with Lions, great ida, getting some bulbs today. yvonne