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Forcing Bulbs Indoors0

Think Spring!

In the throes of a double header, one-two punch of northeast snowstorms this week we’re resorting to projects that take our minds off the weather.


Paperwhites are easy bulbs for forcing indoors. They’re regulars on January/February windowsills around the house and a welcome sight for winter weary souls.

We put a few stones in the bottom of a vase, then the bulbs, a few more stones for support, and add water up to the base of the bulbs. In a few weeks those icy white flowers appear with their heady scent filling the house.

Over the recent semester break, we took on hyacinths for housemates. My daughter and I made welcome back gifts for her return to campus. As I pulled out extra vases to hold the lovely fat bulbs, she headed to the attic and returned with an armful of more appropriate co-ed containers – wacky mugs and pop art glassware.


Forcing bulbs and branches of early-blooming trees and shrubs are perfect antidotes for the mid-winter doldrums. Stems of forsythia and pussy willow can be picked in January with flowering cherry and quince in February, and lilacs in March.

And I’ve been getting text messages with photos of the hyacinths in crazy containers for the past week as I enjoy my bulbs on the kitchen window sill, their irresistible perfume a delight. Ah spring. 


photos and text by Ann D. Travers

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