My final blizzard advice


 Grow flowers inside. That is my favorite winter sport. Once
or twice a winter, I’ll bundle up and enjoy the barren, beautiful white
landscape, but it’s just not my thing. There are ways to enjoy the cold months
that don’t include actually needing to be outside.

 All this being said, I like winter sometimes. I’m actually
glad not to have the outside garden to worry about, and I think fireplace
inserts are among the most ingenious technological advances yet conceived by
man. Nonetheless, I need always to garden and feel that forcing bulbs is as
good as it gets in February.

The fun part is that hyacinth cultivars force so
differently, and that some tazetta 
cultivars are so close to the fresh scent of their narcissus relatives in
spring. Anyway, it’s gardening. 

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. You’re so right. Winter is well enjoyed from a comfortable chair looking out the window! Most years, this would be too early to cut branches for forcing, but we’ve had enough cold days that even our cherries ought to be vernalized; quince, forsythia, fragrant honeysuckle, and wintersweet are all ready to go here in the Nation’s Capitol.

  2. Yes, it is gardening, and you are so good at the indoor bulb thing. You’ve inspired me. I have more growing indoors than ever before. Oh, and now terrariums because of Tovah too. Flowers do look especially beautiful encased in glass. What next?~~Dee

  3. January I enjoy my blooming amaryllis,

    Feb. is the month my amorphophallus konjac come to life, grow 4 ft and bloom inside. It is a lot of fun.


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