We planted a number of tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulbs, but there were many left, so I asked David's mom to pick up some bulb vases. The choke-necked vases allow bulbs to sit a few centimeters above water and grow roots and stem/flowers in the middle of the winter. I don't understand how they will exist only on water and sunlight, but they seem to be flourishing -- even the daffodils.
I had only five forcing vases, so I used other vases and glasses and jars to set up some more. I've gotten addicted!
David's mom wanted an amaryllis for Hannukah, and since they were on sale, I got for us too (and one for a friend). Meema, my dad's mom, used to get me an amaryllis every Christmas (and sometimes paperwhites, which smell like urine -- blech), so it was a nice reminder of her. Inexplicably, the amaryllis that is planted in the plastic container from Home Depot, and sitting in the semi-dark kitchen, is doing better than the one I replanted in a nice little pot. What gives?
Seeing the growth up close is a nice change from what happens in the spring outside: one day there is a riot of color. Now I can notice small changes, and I appreciate the green growth before the flowers even appear.
The tulip stems are blueish green, as opposed to the daffodils' (light washed-out green) and the amaryllis' (bright light green), something I would never have noticed when they nudge up through the soil outside. I put more bulbs in shallow glass dishes with soil on top, but I have no idea if that set up with prove fruitful. Um...we are now up to 21 bulbs inside! Desperate for some green amidst the grey of this winter, I think I've found my December hobby.
We bought Stephanie an orchid last year, a cheap pedestrian one from Home Depot, and (we all) loved it so much she returned the gift this year. The color is spectacular. I just repotted it today, not in the recommended orchid mix (which was $11 for a small bag), but with the cheap, pedestrian mix that cheap, pedestrian plants get. Stephanie's plant flourished on the stuff, so ours will be fine too.