This is where the story begins.
Let's start at the beginning though, shall we?
Let's start with a pot and some rotting leaves and some bulbs and some seeds and some cuttings.
Forget that it is fall and the garden is being put to bed. Forget that ice will soon come and coat the forests.
Forget it all and let's still celebrate life indoors. Let's find a bright and sunny window, plop our pot in that light and get planting!
Step 1 -- We need something to get us through the loooong, cold winter. We start in the bottom of the pot with some clearanced fall bulbs. (PS, when I say fall bulbs, that means bulbs that are planted in the fall and bloom in the late winter/early spring.) NOW is the time to get them if you are planting a pot indoors. Outdoors, the ground might already be too cool, but for our indoor pots, cheaply priced bulbs are just fine! Thanks to Longfield Gardens for providing these sample bulbs to A Nest for All Seasons for editorial use. You can find the Tulip Van Eijk's right HERE (they are a pretty girly pink) and the classic Muscari Armeniacum right HERE. Think about the contrast between that deep purple and the light pink -- it is going to look SHARP this winter when everything else is sad and frozen!
The most important thing to remember whilst planting your bulbs is roots down, tips up!
Here are some planting combinations from Longfield for Muscari and tulips:
I went with a circle of tulips and then...
PLOP go the muscari! Tossed in all assunder around the tulip bulbs, roots flipped up and all.
I find it easier to toss them (gently!) into the pot and THEN...
...adjust any of those bulbs that need to be flipped roots down.
Step 2 for our winter pot is something to look at RIGHT NOW. A pot of bulbs is fantastic come winter, but the next few weeks will be spent staring at a pot of soil. Not fun. As a place holder, I like to take experimental cuttings and try to grow trees or shrubs. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but in the meantime there is some COLOR. This time, I snipped some Ginko tree cuttings and places them straight into the soil. Let me stop for just a minute to discuss this soil. This is NOT just any soil. This is leaf mold.
The blessing and the curse of moving into a property that has sat for four years is a lot of fallen trees, leaf litter and overgrown plants. The plants take a lot of work to whip into shape, but provide free cuttings. The fallen trees take a lot of work, but provide aged firewood. The leaves take a lot of work to clean up, but the leaf mold is like GOLD. My indoor pot starts with two buckets of leaf mold, a little potting soil, then the bulbs, more regular potting soil, the cuttings and the seeds. The roots of the bulbs and cuttings will immediately start basking in the wonder that is leaf mold. Onto the cutings...
Ginkos are notoriously difficult to root, so I don't have a lot of faith that I will succeed in creating new trees. However, they are quite beautiful righ now in the entryway and the leaves are lasting much longer than I anticipated (Weeks!).
Last but not least is Step 3 -- SEEDS. The cuttings will most likely fail and I STILL do not want to be staring at a pot of soil. Enter super quick seeds..preferably edible ones.
Thank you to Nest partner Burpee seeds for providing some quick growing loose-leaf lettuce for editorial purposes. You can find Burpee seeds on the shelves NOW! This Fordhook favorite mix started showing up within days of planting. Very fast little seedlings!
Once the pot is planted, here is your schedule:
A. Seedlings will emerge and the cuttings will look pretty for several weeks.
B. If the cuttings do not root, take them out of the pot. Finish harvesting the lettuce.
C. Stick your pot somewhere very cold like the garage for a chilling period.
D. After 12-13 weeks, bring the pot back into warmth and light, give it a little water and wait.
E. The bulbs should start emerging soon and OH what a show you will have on your hands!