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My Winter Bulbs

January 16, 2022
by the gentle author

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‘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

11 Responses leave one →
  1. Sheppard Morrison permalink
    January 16, 2022

    Thank you, Gentle Author, for this post. Each year this time of year post lifts my heart and gives me a push to keep going, continue appreciating the beauty around me. It’s been a very troublesome month so far. This post has helped. Thank you,

  2. david w whittaker permalink
    January 16, 2022



  3. Ann V permalink
    January 16, 2022

    Dear GA, your winter bulbs are simply beautiful, made even more beautiful seeing them in wonderful old pots. What a glorious sight to see first thing in the morning. Thank you.

  4. Christine permalink
    January 16, 2022

    Your plants look very happy, Spring seems to have sprung very early this year, shoots in the garden far ahead of where they should be, let’s hope it’s not all knocked back like last year.

  5. Janet Ellis permalink
    January 16, 2022

    Such a cheering thing to do. Great photos too. And lovely containers.

  6. January 16, 2022

    As lovely as ever, although I think there are more this year than last year. But again, I may be wrong. Have a good day, dear G.A.

  7. Carol Davies permalink
    January 16, 2022

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Thank you for such a cheering post, and for reminding me that spring is on its way.
    Due to illness I failed to plant some beautiful tulip bulbs when I should have and they are still in their bags. Will give them a chance and hope it’s not to late…

  8. karen tanguy permalink
    January 16, 2022

    Reading this and seeing your beautiful plants and containers felt as good as being there in person…..thank you.

  9. Dorothy Lindsay permalink
    January 16, 2022


  10. January 16, 2022

    I wish I could achieve such a miracle of blooming. Not even the lucky shamrock makes it out beyond January with me…

    Love & Peace

  11. mlaiuppa permalink
    January 18, 2022

    Those are wonderful. You really have a green thumb. You are so lucky to have such a variety and to be able to continue to grow them in your garden.

    Locally the climate just cannot support most bulb. I can force the few that I find but then they cannot be planted. I’m considering sending for some and planting them in pots and then using a small refrigerator to provide them with chill house in the winter and spring but don’t have a lot of experience with bulbs.

    Now when it comes to citrus trees, I’ve got limes, lemons and oranges. My roses bloom year round.

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