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

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761129707
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/01/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 8.88(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author


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


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.

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.

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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