Forcing, etc.: The Indoor Gardener's Guide to Bringing Bulbs, Branches and Houseplants into Bloom

Overview


Exploring the world of paperwhites, potted hyacinths, and more, award-winning writer Katherine Whiteside combines hands-on how-to with a flower lover's enthusiasm in a forcing primer that's as complete as it is glorious.

Organized by plant type, FORCING, ETC covers dozens of common and exotic plants that are readily available and easily growable for the indoor gardener. Here are step-by--step instructions demystifying the techniques of forcing bulb into bloom by simulating ...

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Overview


Exploring the world of paperwhites, potted hyacinths, and more, award-winning writer Katherine Whiteside combines hands-on how-to with a flower lover's enthusiasm in a forcing primer that's as complete as it is glorious.

Organized by plant type, FORCING, ETC covers dozens of common and exotic plants that are readily available and easily growable for the indoor gardener. Here are step-by--step instructions demystifying the techniques of forcing bulb into bloom by simulating autumn, deep winter, and early spring in an accelerated time frame. Of tricking bare branches and twigs to blossom in the house--weeks or even months before their scheduled time. Of potting up and water forcing. And of raising and propagating--favorite indoor plants. There are unexpected ideas for choosing the right containers throughout, and an appendix offering a mail-order listing of sources for both plants and unusual ornamental materials.

FEATURING:

--Hardy Bulbs. Crocus, narcissus, tulip, and other cold-loving flowers of a spring garden.

--Tender Bulbs. Exotics from the other side of the world, such as bowiea, amaryllis, clivia, and calla lily.

--Houseplants. The classic houseplants--ficus, coleus, scented geranium, jasmine, begonia.

--Twigs & Branches.

Forsythia, quince, witch hazel, and others already in your garden, waiting to be transformed as if by magic.

Plant-by-plant instructions on prechilling, potting up, putting away, and water forcing. Choosing unexpected containers. Creating tripods, trellises, and tuteurs. Extensive mail-order source list for plants and materials.

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  • Katherine Whiteside
    Katherine Whiteside  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761129707
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author


Katherine Whiteside is an award-winning freelance garden writer whose articles have appeared in Elle Decor, House & Garden, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, Vogue, Garden Design, Metropolitan Home, and many foreign publications. Her first book, Antique Flowers, won two Awards of Merit from the Garden Writers of America. Her second, Classic Bulbs, was a Main Selection of the Garden Book Club. Ms. Whiteside lives in Garrison, New York.

Richard Felber is a leading garden and landscape photographer who regularly contributes to major publications and books.

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Read an Excerpt


BULB PRIMER--Hyacinth

One of the reasons hyacinths have had such a long uninterrupted heyday is that they're very simple to grow. A few gardeners forgo them because of their reputation for top-heaviness and occasionally overpowering perfumes, but this is like always forgoing vacations because you had one that was bad. Properly chosen hyacinths are delicately formed, pleasantly scented, and come in colors from pale apricot to blackish-purple. Adding hyacinths to your indoor garden provides a little glimpse of heaven in February.

SOIL FORCING:

For forcing in soil, hyacinths should be potted up by mid-October. Use ordinary potting medium and, for best effect, place bulbs close together, but not touching. The pointy tops of the bulbs should be about half an inch above the soil line. Water them thoroughly and place the pots in a cold (35 to 48 degree F), dark location for at least 13 weeks. If the bulbs start to push out of the soil during rooting, add a layer of gravel on top to weigh them down a bit, taking care not to cover the bulb's pointed nose. Keep them watered and in the dark until bulb shoots reach one inch tall. At this point, move the pot to a cool (55 degree F), bright location (a north-facing window is perfect). Soon, the shoots will turn green and buds will appear. Once in flower (about two weeks) keep the hyacinths cool and well watered.

WATER FORCING:

Water forcing hyacinths is even simpler than growing them in soil. Place the bulbs in brown paper bags in a dark, cool (50 to 55 degree F) location for 12 weeks. After this period, place the dormant bulbs in forcing vases filled with water to a level just barely touching the bottoms of the bulbs. Keep them cool and dark until the roots are two inches long (about three weeks), then bring them into the light. Blooms should appear in about two weeks. If your forcing vase doesn't offer enough support to prevent the flowers from leaning, prop the bulb with pretty twigs to prevent diving hyacinths.

Excerpted from Forcing, Etc. by Katherine Whiteside. Copyright (c) 1999. Reprinted with permission by Workman Publishing.

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Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION

indoors: bulbs, blossoms, and branches

AN AMATEUR'S GUIDE TO INDOOR PLANTS

WHAT YOU DON'T NEED

WHAT YOU DO NEED

EASY DOES IT

CHAPTER ONE

hardy bulbs: the forced

GETTING A HANDLE ON HARDY BULBS

THE GENTLE ART OF PERSUASION

PROVENANCE COUNTS

BEYOND THE BASICS

THE NARCISSUS QUESTION

POTTING-UP DAY

COURAGEOUS CHILLING METHODS

PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING

CHAPTER TWO

tender bulbs: the unforced

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS

SUMMER COMES TO THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

MAKING IT MOIST

WHEN DARKNESS FALLS

BREAKING DORMANCY

BACK TO SLEEP

HOW TO BUY TENDER BULBS

SUPPORT SYSTEMS

TENDERS IN THE SUMMER GARDEN

TILL NEXT YEAR

CHAPTER THREE

house plants: filling in the gaps

HOUSEPLANTS FOR HEDONISTS

THE RIGHT PLANT IN THE RIGHT PLACE

HOW TO PICK AND BE PICKY

TWO SUREFIRE WAYS TO KILL A PLANT

PETS IN POTS

CHAPTER FOUR

twigs & branches: also forced

BRANCHING OUT: FOLIAGE AND FLOWERS

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: GATHERING YOUR MATERIAL

SEE THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES

A GENTLE UNFURLING

BRANCHING OUT

CHAPTER FIVE

cuttings: new beginnings

MORE PLANTS FOR LESS MONEY

WHAT ROOTS WHEN, AND HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

THE ESSENTIALS OF CODDLING

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

APPENDIX

RESOURCE GUIDE

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