What brightens your spirits in the middle of winter? My secret pick-me-up is a stop by the supermarket floral department (Trader Joe’s is my absolute favorite). Flowers keep me happy when the sun is not shining and let’s be honest, a little bouquet of daisies or spray roses costs as much as a specialty coffee from corner shop and it lasts a whole lot longer.
My favorite treats are the mini potted individual bulbs of hyacinth, tulip, or daffodil. You can find them everywhere this time of year. I buy a few, pop them in my own white ceramic pots and “plant” them around the house for little bursts of happiness wherever I turn. **sigh** Spirits lifted.
To be fair, we’ve escaped the bitter chill of winter in Atlanta so far, and it is sunny and nearly fifty degrees as I write this, but still. There are a lot of gloomy gray days left in this season and I like to be prepared.
Back to the blooms … they don’t last forever but don’t be hasty and toss them in your trash. Now, I’m not suggesting you plant the bulbs in your yard. It’s a time for snuggling on the sofa, not digging in the dirt. Forced bulbs rarely bloom again, but they are a great treat for your compost pile. They may send up a few leaves, but I can almost guarantee that unless you’ve got a hardy daffodil that simply has to bloom, you’ll only get a few leaves in your garden as a reminder of your bulb’s former glory. Save yourself and feed your garden. Compost.
Here’s a look at the pretty hyacinths that scented my kitchen for two weeks.
Are here is a glimpse of the leaves & spent pink blossoms from two bunches of stock (that’s really the sad name of a pretty, fragrant flower) that I have in my living room and foyer. Remember, to help cut flowers last as long as possible, change the water and trim the stems every few days. I know that’s extra work, but it really helps extend bloom time.
You can also see butternut squash peels in the bucket. You can’t see the red onion skins, thyme stalks, dirty mushroom stems (ugh) and carrot peels but they are there. I roasted all those veggies and mixed them with some brown rice, fresh arugula and a quick vinaigrette for a simple, filling but not heavy, school night dinner.
Here’s to sunny skies and fresh blooms in your neck of the world …