1. If you can’t grow tulips in the ground because of critter problems—which seem to increase for everyone every year these days—this is your answer. Not the same but it’s all you might get.
2. Here is a form of indoor gardening where your inhospitable household conditions aren’t going to make a difference. Bulbs have the strength to make it for the short haul, even with dry central heating.
3. Bulbs that look kind of dorky in the ground—like hyacinths—look great forced in pots inside.
4. For many Southern gardeners, forcing is a way to grow bulbs that otherwise cannot be grown in their zones.
5. Some flowers are just meant to be forced and enjoyed inside. That is where they come into their own. I am thinking of the Erlicheer and Golden Rain tazettas. Or hippeastrum.
6. In these parts, it’s often simply too cold to really hang around and enjoy hyacinths or early tulips in their normal blooming period. Inside, no gusts of wind can blow them over or shrivel them up.
7. Madame Pompadour knew bulb forcing was cool; she had 200 hyacinths on glass at one point. In fact, it was quite commonplace right through the nineteenth century throughout Europe and Great Britain. What happened? Some customs are well worth reviving.
8. This is a part of gardening where you can feel free to experiment, break all the rules, and try things just for the heck of it, while you have the quiet time of the off season. Will iris force? Will scilla? If cut flower companies do it, maybe you can too.
9. Bulb forcing comes with cool accoutrements, like pretty hyacinth vases.
10. In January and February, you are watching flowers that you have planted come out of the dirt.
Posted by Elizabeth Licata on November 2, 2010 at 5:00 am, in the category Shut Up and Dig.