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Winter Flowers

January 17, 2021
by the gentle author

‘No enemy but winter and rough weather…’ As You Like It

Every year at this low ebb of the season, I cultivate bulbs and winter-flowering plants in my collection of old pots from the market and arrange them upon the oak dresser, to observe their growth at close quarters and thereby gain solace and inspiration until my garden shows any convincing signs of new life.

Each morning, I drag myself from bed – coughing and wheezing from winter chills – and stumble to the dresser in my pyjamas like one in a holy order paying due reverence to an altar. When the grey gloom of morning feels unremitting, the musky scent of hyacinth or the delicate fragrance of the cyclamen is a tonic to my system, tangible evidence that the season of green leaves and abundant flowers will return. When plant life is scarce, my flowers in pots acquire a magical allure for me, an enchanted quality confirmed by the speed of their growth in the warmth of the house, and I delight to have this collection of diverse varieties in dishes to wonder at, as if each one were a unique specimen from an exotic land.

And once they have flowered, I place these plants in a cold corner of the house until I can replant them in the garden. As a consequence, my clumps of Hellebores and Snowdrops are expanding every year and thus I get to enjoy my plants at least twice over – at first on the dresser and in subsequent years growing in my garden.

Staffordshire figure of Orlando from As You Like It

25 Responses leave one →
  1. Dianne permalink
    January 17, 2021

    You obviously have very green thumbs GA 🙂 Well done – they look magnificent!

  2. Jean Formo permalink
    January 17, 2021

    Such lovely flowers, all wearing their leaves like tuxedoes and ball gowns, dancing together in their artful pots. This is the perfect thing for chilly morning wake-ups. I have a single cluster of small yellow blooms on an ivy in our sunroom. Winter in Minnesota is not a time for flowers, indoor or out, so I was surprised to see these little yellow flowers in December.

  3. January 17, 2021

    Beautiful in every way: I love your collection of dishes almost as much as the plants themselves. It has also triggered a memory of my grandmother’s shelf of African violets. Thank you.

  4. Greg T permalink
    January 17, 2021

    Getting Hellebores to flower in a pot is good going.
    For really spectacular & early Snowdrops, try a different species:
    Galanthus elwesii – in flower, outdoors, right now & bigger than “normal” snowdrops – also the wider leaves are blueish in colour

  5. Susan Jessen permalink
    January 17, 2021

    I do love primroses, such an underestimated plant.

  6. Joyce Hampton permalink
    January 17, 2021

    You are inspirational, I shall make this one of my belated New Year resolutions and from now on enjoy the sights and smells of spring early each year. Thank you for such a delightful post in this time of darkness.

  7. Ann V permalink
    January 17, 2021

    What a simply beautiful sight to be greeted by on a winter’s morning. The beautiful plants and lovely old pots are the perfect combination. Thank you.

  8. January 17, 2021

    Dear G.A., I envy you this floral splendour! Unfortunately, it is the case that I lack the “green thumb” that you seem to have…

    Love & Peace

  9. Nicola permalink
    January 17, 2021

    Beautiful. What a lovely display. Your old china pots are a delight as well as the flowers. Thank you for such a cheering post.

  10. January 17, 2021

    A joyous post…. reminding us all that out of the darkness, brightness comes once again.
    Thank you GA.

  11. Sonia Ritter permalink
    January 17, 2021

    Gentle author, your articles are a joy. How glad I am that I found this site whilst looking into street cries. This page is a feast. Do you just water little and often to prevent sogginess?! Warmest wishes, Sonia

  12. Kathy permalink
    January 17, 2021

    What a beautiful, cheerful collection of bulbs and pots! And these photos are precisely the medicine I needed today.
    Thank you, Gentle Author!

  13. Lizebeth permalink
    January 17, 2021

    I love the idea of the plants in old tea bowls and cups. Have collected quite a number of these myself in various flea markets there over the years, and will take your post as in inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. gkbowood permalink
    January 17, 2021

    I amamazed that your cat doesn’t chew the flowers or even move your pots! Mine would be on the floor in minutes!!

  15. Carol Walters permalink
    January 17, 2021

    Thank you for the enjoyable photos!

  16. Susan Marjorie Hoyal permalink
    January 17, 2021

    How absolutely lovely and so well selected. Thank you for the winter cheer and portents of spring.

  17. Christina Rosa permalink
    January 17, 2021

    Thank you for those lovely photos giving hope and joy at this time. I will now do the same!

  18. January 17, 2021

    What a lovely way to bring a breath of Spring to the cold weather! The pictures of the flowers
    are delightful and provide the impetus to nurture our current indoor plants to enjoy the outdoors!

    Best wishes for an early Spring,

  19. Carolynne Farrell permalink
    January 17, 2021

    What a delight to see your wonderful pots and flowers!
    Thanks you so very much.
    .When do you start the bulbs?I will try this next year.

  20. Pamela Traves permalink
    January 18, 2021

    These Flowers are Beautiful!! Thank You So Much!!????????

  21. Jill Wilson permalink
    January 18, 2021

    Lovely photos to give us hope for better times.

    I spotted the first flowering primrose in my garden yesterday – I just hope it isn’t being too ‘previous’, and survives the rest of the frosty weather.

  22. Marcus Setchell permalink
    January 18, 2021

    Such vibrant colours and luxuriant healthy leaves. You must give expert care; mine are less successful .
    Inspirational for next year!
    Perhaps you could write a page or two of tips for success.
    Thanks for lightening up the days in so many different ways.

  23. Cherub permalink
    January 19, 2021

    These are such pretty colours to wake up to in these difficult days. We’re on another lockdown here in Switzerland and all the non essential shops closed yesterday for another 5 weeks. One thing I’m glad of this time round – the florists have been allowed to remain open. The smallest of posies can brighten any dark day.

  24. January 21, 2021

    The language of flowers

  25. Linda Hird permalink
    January 22, 2021

    Thank you Gentle Author: you’ve inspired me to look out a suitable china bowl and to bring three Hyacinth bulbs indoors. Whilst I wait in anticipation for their delicious fragrance to perfume the living room I look on enviously at your beautiful display combined with such gloriously uplifting words!

    All blessings and joy,

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