Monday, October 29, 2007

Cottage Living inspiration

I just got my November Cottage Living, and I was so thrilled to see an brief article on forcing bulbs indoors for Christmas, and topping them with succelents. I have been obsessed with succulents lately, and have been bringing my potted ones indoors to save them from the freeze that is sure to come. I also just planted my Christmas paperwhites last week, and my Amaryllis is well on it's way to blooming. I was bummed the pots looked so empty with just the little bulb heads poking out of the plain dirt. How much better do they look with these brightly colored sedum Angelina, Blue Spruce, Elizabeth, and Hens and Chicks on top? When they all fill in, it will look even better.

This is the center of my dining room table right now, happy little plants, including my orchids from California, Agapanthus from my grandma's front yard, bulbs and sedums... oh, and my Halloween Candelabra.
If you want to give this a try, sedums need full sun (8-10 hours a day). You'll need a south facing window, and the plant should be front and center to the sun. Bulbs will need sun until they blooming, but moving them from the sun when the blooms open can extend the bloomtime, the sedums won't mind less sun temporarily. I plan on just pulling the shades half shut, and 5-6 weeks from now, when these bulbs bloom, my Christmas Tree will block some of the sun then, too. Don't over water these guys, it will cause both the bulbs and the sedums to rot. Sedums store water in their leaves, so they can go a long long time without. Also, make sure you have a well draining pot, and it wouldn't hurt to mix in some rocks or gravel with the soil. After the bulbs bloom, pull them out, and repot them in some empty dirt or peat moss and store in the basement until spring, then bring them back outside for a second show. I've had my amaryllis for years, and it comes back religiously following this method.

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