Phlowers – Final Bow and Wow

These beautiful petals, and spring-like fragrance they emitted in their final days, were a pleasant surprise this week. They began their display in my home, a bit disappointing being a little shorter than expected. They finished off their flowering with a bang, wowing me with streaks of pinkish red and wide open bloom. The flowers above are yellow tulips.

When I look at the unfurled petals my first impulse is to grab my watercolors and brushes. Perhaps I will do just that this week if I find the time. The tulips are bordered by spider plantlets rooting in green glass. The chartreuse leaves behind the flowers are a newly acquired philodendron called, ‘Golden Goddess.’

The tulips are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day, Floral Friday, and Floral Fotos.

Plants – Forced Tulip Update

An update on the forced tulip bulbs: the gathering of bulbs bloomed in shades of red, pink and yellow; they bring joy into the house as they herald Spring.

The bulbs grew well in water, but those in sunlight are greener than the bunch on the kitchen table

Next year I plan to grow another package of forced bulbs in water, and when they begin to bloom transfer them to vases.

I found after blooming it was very easy to take the entire plant out of  water and place in a new receptacle. You are only limited by your imagination on how many unique places you can find to place these flowering bulbs.

The forced bulbs in potting soil grew best in a deep pot. The bulbs planted in shallow soil did very poorly, as the above photo demonstrates.

Will I force tulip bulbs in the bottom of my refrigerator again? Oh Yes!

You can read more on how to force Spring-blooming bulbs here: Bargains in the Clearance Aisle.

Phlowers – Tulips

It’s tulip time at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

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Tulips come in a wide array of colors and dazzle the eye in mass plantings in the Longwood garden beds.

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This bright purple perfectly displays the “Vivid Violet” of today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola Challenge.

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My favorites are the coral-pink variety.

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They are beautiful planted in abundance, but I prefer to zoom in on a smaller group and enjoy the beauty of the sun’s rays shimmering through each petal.

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Problem-solving – Two on Tuesday/Tulip Bulb Forcing-The Crash and Burn

Today is a “Two on Tuesday” post. First post-the bad news, my tulip bulb forcing project has crashed and burned.


I would much rather have left this admission out of the blog posts, BUT, on my “Hello” page I promised to post about the projects that “crash and burn” for me. I am not sure what went wrong with the bulbs. Should I have been more careful about the water level? Would forcing each bulb in a separate container be a better choice? In hindsight, I should have misted the foliage every day, maybe twice. Was the sunny window too hot and bright for the foliage? I didn’t take into account that the sun’s rays would be magnified through not only the windowpanes, but through the glass of the vase also. To be honest the last explanation seems the most feasible to me. I will try again next year…for sure!

Planting & Problem-Solving – Tulip Bulbs/Update

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On February 20th, I shared a post on how my grandsons and I placed pre-chilled tulip bulbs in a vase of pebbles and water in an attempt to bring them into bloom.

You can read the post here: Planting/Tulip Bulbs

We are watching their progress now. The bulbs have sprouted at different rates, some leafing out quickly, others plodding along, but all are showing signs of growth. A few days ago I noticed a problem that needed solving if I hoped to continue bringing the tulips into flower, yucky green mold thriving on a bulb where it touched the side of the vase.


I decided to give my trusty bottle of alcohol a try. Alcohol, safe and pure, is usually my first go-to solution for houseplant or gardening problems.

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A few swipes of the alcohol and “Voila,” goodbye pesky green mold.

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I realized another solution was keeping the bare portion of the bulbs away from the side of the vase and let the skin side protect the bulb from another bout of mold. I’m looking forward to showing my grandsons the progress of their tulips this week. Happy Gardening!

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Painting, Phlowers & People – Botanical Painting

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If you take a close look at the photograph above you will see a pot of tulips bookended by apple juice and a carton of buttermilk. The tulips were purchased last week. I intend to sketch them and paint a botanical portrait. Years ago I painted several botanicals and they are still on display in a row in my downstairs hallway. They have aged a bit. The watercolor paper has pulled in the humid air of our summers and there are slight ripples in the smoothness. I think it is time to try my hand at botanicals again.

I was also inspired to try botanical painting once more by an artist featured in an old Victoria magazine. In the March/April 2009 edition the paintings of Catherine Watters, a botanical artist, are showcased.  I searched for her work on Google and was happy to find her personal website. You can take a look at her work here: Catherine Watters

While browsing through Ms. Watter’s beautiful site, I came upon a word I never heard before: Florilegium. When I checked the Word Hippo website I found Florilegium is pronounced pretty much as it is written. Wikipedia defines Florilegium as a collection of botanically accurate paintings of plants, done by botanical illustrators from life.

Hopefully my pot of tulips will not languish in the fridge for much longer. I’ll update my progress…hopefully I will get to it before they live out their life and expire in their cold confinement.

Paintings – WetCanvas March Group Challenge


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Tulips – 8×8

I love taking part in the WetCanvas Watercolor Studio Group Challenges. Each month a new reference photo is chosen, and then it is so interesting to see everyone’s interpretation. I am sometimes disappointed by my paintings, because…well…they look like mine! Other painters would know exactly what I mean by that. The longer I paint it seems the more firmly ingrained my style.  No matter if I try new techniques…the watercolors shout out who painted them. I guess this can be considered a good thing, but I sure wish I could learn how to be looser and have a less heavy hand.

Check out all the beautiful paintings of the tulips at this link: WetCanvas March Challenge

The challenge does not close at the end of the month…try your hand at the tulips too.

The April challenge is proving harder for me…a landscape with beautiful rock formations in the foreground. You can see the reference photo here: WetCanvas April Challenge
Please pick up your watercolors and brushes and take part. It’s so much fun!

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Proverbs & Place – Conquering Winter Blues

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“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

Banishing wintertime blues and anxieties can be as easy as visiting a local garden, a nearby park or arboretum. Even a quick walk or bike ride around the neighborhood does me good in the winter. Saturday was a perfect day to visit one of my favorite gardens, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The sight of God’s beautiful flowers in the conservatory was the perfect prescription for my hunger for green.

Check back tomorrow for a slideshow of my favorite flowers in the Longwood Conservatory.

Plants – Tulips

The tulips I planted in the Fall are blooming. Planting them late in the season did not affect their size or the brightness of their petals. They were quite the bargain at 75% percent off. Waiting until late in the season was certainly good for my pocketbook, especially since tulip bulbs are not long-lasting, and usually bloom reliably for only a year or two.

Plants and Pleasures – It’s Tulip Time

It’s Tulip Time. These beauties, along with blue hydrangeas, were photographed in the Longwood Garden’s Conservatory in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Longwood is a great Easter Weekend destination for families and flower lovers of all types.

I also like the color combination in the photograph…periwinkle blue and white against beige.

Plants and Plans – Bargain Bulbs

This has been my week for bargains. I stopped in a local box store Friday and found bins of bulbs that had not sold. They were almost giving them away at 75 percent off. I bought several packs to force in the Spring.

FORCING THE BULBS is not difficult. There are several ways to do this. The bulbs can be shallowly planted and kept outdoors in a cold frame. Another way is to plant and keep the bulbs in the back of the fridge. I have had success with this in the past. This year I am hoping to force some of the tulips in this way.

FORCING BULBS IN WATER is another way to bring them into bloom. I have success with this technique using hyacinth bulbs. I have never tried with tulips, but this year will give it a go. I’ll update this post in the Spring.

My bulbs in brown lunch bags getting a shot of cold air in the crisper bin of my refridgerator.