Cyclamen Is My Favorite Winter Flower

white cyclamenFor many years, I’ve favored cyclamen over poinsettias when choosing a flowering plant to brighten up the indoor landscape at this time of year. To my mind, cyclamen is so much more interactive than poinsettia. From the day you bring it home, a poinsettia begins a slow decline toward the compost heap. Its colorful bracts are already formed and no new ones will appear. Before long, it will begin dropping its bottom leaves and start to appear thin and frail. A cyclamen, on the other hand, will entertain you for many weeks with active growth. Continue reading

Forcing Bulbs: Tipsy Paperwhites Don’t Fall Over

Photo: Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center

A friend of mine always says it wouldn’t seem like Thanksgiving without a pot of paperwhite narcissus in bloom. There’s definitely something magical about flower bulbs in general, but at this time of year, paperwhites become almost staggeringly precious for their ability to grow and bloom indoors. Watching a pot of the bulbs progress from day to day is a deep, private pleasure – from the first plump white roots to the lengthening stems, fattening buds, and, finally, the creamy white blooms. A vase of cut flowers, no matter how beautiful, can’t captivate and engage its audience this way. Not even close. Continue reading