Sow There! 12-31-15, When pepper Christmas tree gets gobbled, try a Valentine’s Day tree

Hyacinth bulb vases are ideal for forcing bulbs inside, because you can watch the roots grow into the water. However, this little fish bowl is a close second. Just add pebbles. Heather Hacking – Enterprise-Record
Heather Hacking-Enterprise-Record O’ Valentine’s Day tree. I don’t think you can really call it a “Christmas” tree if it gets placed in the tree stand Dec. 30.

This is a tough time for gardening. Every time I have a day off I think about putting more bulbs in the ground. Then I realize its uncomfortably cold outside.

On those long, dark Sundays, I found better things to do, like bake holiday cookies.

Even my cat doesn’t really want to go outside. She’ll take a little dash outdoors when absolutely necessary. The rest of the time we can find her curled into the new animal-print kitty bed with a 4-watt warming coil at the bottom.

If she could talk she’d be musing, “Living the dream, living the dream.”

To satisfy my garden itch, the kitchen table is now overrun by hyacinth bulb vases. I love checking them each day, often in awe that so many roots could grow from such a compact bulb unit.

While visiting my friend Perrin recently, I noticed she had little glass bowls filled with pebbles and hyacinth bulbs.

I cruised down to my favorite thrift store and found a cute little fish bowl. This is about the size you would use for a guppy won by tossing dimes at the county fair. I happened to have a bag of clean pebbles on hand, in the cupboard with other staples like flour and rice.

So far, there are four hyacinth bulbs in various stages of growth on the kitchen table.

If I do this right, I can continue to add water-filled vessels and have a bouquet of hyacinth flowers ready for Valentine’s Day.

That will be about the time we take down the Christmas tree.


Yep, one of my Christmas presents from my handsome woodsman was a four-foot tree.

I know it was an impulse buy, because I doubt he would pay $26.95 for a silvertip tree on Christmas Eve. That was the price on the tag. I’m guessing he paid the guy five bucks.

It’s beautiful. I love it. I have an excuse to keep a tree in the middle of the living room for several weeks.

Both my mother and my stepmother keep fully decorated (fake) trees in their living rooms year-round.

Several weeks ago I bragged about our indoor pepper plant that made a perfect a Christmas tree. It looked great for about a week. Yet, my beau noticed some holes in the leaves.

I didn’t want to believe it was a big deal. Maybe the bugs ate the leaves when the plant was still outside.

However, more holes appeared and the leaves started to droop.

After another week we both agreed that the bugs had to go outside before something hatched and flew away with my ornaments.

I inspected the plant in the sunlight. There they were, the hungry larvae nibbling their way across the foliage, just as happened recently with the kale plants in the raised bed.

In this case, the larva were dark green, the exact same color as the pepper plants.

As the holiday got closer, I couldn’t wait to start giving my guy some gifts.

First there was the Snark guitar tuner, because he was going somewhere and needed to be well tuned. Then, I thought he would look good in that new pair of 501 jeans.

I gave him a few gifts each day, and one day he went to the stores to buy me a thing or two.

Waiting until the last minute, apparently, is a good bargain shopping strategy.

The Christmas tree was one of the final gifts. He couldn’t really wrap it, so he had it hidden in plain view in the yard.

Because the tree will be around until Valentine’s Day, I’m thinking I could even call it a Valentine’s Day tree.

My beau could start buying Valentine’s Day gifts now, and place the wrapped items under the tree.

I could even make Valentine’s Day ornaments out of thick red paper, like we did in fourth grade.

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