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12/29/2011 12:00

Contact: Margret Delves-Broughton
(860) 496-9624 x6220

Bulb Forcing is the Perfect Project for the Restless Gardener

The garden has been put to bed, the tools stored for winter, and the garage is so tidy it should be featured on the cover of a glossy gardening magazine. Gardeners relish the winter months as a time to rest and prepare for spring. But many of them can't stop gardening, or at least resist the temptation to get their hands dirty. They crave the anticipation of results, cherishing each day that brings hope in the form of a green tip emerging from dark soil.

As winter settles in, the question on every gardener's mind is what will they do during the long winter months. The gardeners at White Flower Farm have found indoor bulb forcing to be an ideal winter project for the restless gardener. Barb Pierson, Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm, suggests, "Even if you don't consider yourself a gardener, you can give this easy winter project a try. The only things you need are a sunny window, water, and the right bulbs."

Barb's top tip for success is to choose your bulbs carefully. "Not all bulbs are appropriate for forcing indoors. Many bulbs require a period of cold temperatures to produce blooms. If you are going to force bulbs indoors, be sure they are meant to be planted indoors and have been chilled for the appropriate amount of time before you start."

Here are Barb's three favorite bulbs to force indoors:

Paperwhite Narcissus
Paperwhites are the all-time favorite bulb for indoor forcing, and require little more than to be potted and watered to produce clusters of fragrant blooms in four to six weeks. They will grow happily and bloom with nothing more than water and stones in a glass vase, or they can be planted in potting mix. If you start your plantings at two- to four-week intervals, you can keep the show running all winter.

Amaryllis bulbs are as easy to grow as Paperwhites, requiring only room temperatures, regular watering, and bright light to deliver their spectacular performance. The process takes about eight to ten weeks and is great fun to watch. White Flower Farm offers an unrivaled selection of over 40 varieties of premium bulbs in a host of colors, ranging from pure white through salmon, peach, and pink to intense reds. These bulbs are the top size commercially available and contain everything they need, which makes them absolutely foolproof for home or office conditions.

Lily of the Valley
This handsome little plant, a staple of the shady border in northern gardens, is as reliable indoors as it is in the garden. White Flower Farm takes extra large pips and chills them for six weeks. When planted, they grow quickly and bloom in three weeks, transforming any room with their sweet scent. If kept growing through the winter, the pips may be transplanted to a shady spot in the garden in late spring and will repeat their sweet-scented performance for many years.

White Flower Farm's Web site provides an A-Z list of Growing Guides in the Gardening Help section so that customers can be successful with every plant they choose. Check out "Gardening Help" at

Barb Pierson, the nursery manager at White Flower Farm, is available for interviews upon request, as are other experts. Barb is also available for interviews upon request. Please contact Margret Delves-Broughton, (860) 496-9624, ext 6220,

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White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in northwest Connecticut. Since 1950, they have been gathering, evaluating, growing, and selling a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, bulbs, and houseplants representing the very best varieties from around the world. Plants shipped are true to name, free of disease, and in prime condition for growing. While in the area, stop by White Flower Farm with its five acres of display gardens, or visit, where you will also find helpful gardening information including a how-to video library. Join our E-mail list for gardening advice and tips, From the Farm quarterly newsletter, announcement of events at the White Flower Farm Store, and special offers not in our catalogues or on our Web site. White Flower Farm -- we make your garden grow.

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