I spent Saturday morning in the greenhouse at the arboretum and the rest of the weekend being a Plant Lady. I was there with my sister-in-law to learn about forcing bulbs, but the class let us wander around their giant working greenhouses afterwards and it inspired me to step up my care of the potted plants at home.

Bulbs ready to bloom… in about five months. (I don’t know why I thought forcing bulbs was fast, but now I know. And I got sources for heirloom paperwhites that don’t need the long cold period.)


The greenhouses were massive, big enough to devote a corner to water plants:


This lovely thing was called a snail vine and was growing on a 12-foot tuteur. It had just been moved in for the winter and the fragrance was astonishing:


Back at home, I topped off the houseplants with fresh soil and fertilizer and put some smaller orchids in fancy pots with moss. Then I moved outside and cleaned up the sad, heat-baked containers. (I had a pretty strong start with spring bulbs but the summer planters weren’t impressive.)

I’m trying again for fall though–I went to the wholesale nursery and got some ornamental kale and pansies, and will pick up some decorative gourds on the next Trader Joe’s trip.