Keeping me sane


IMG_2262As the winter winds to its possible close, here are some images of my indoor gardening efforts.

IMG_2134These Madame Sophie hyacinths have a looser flowering habit than others, but they’re quite charming.

IMG_2190Splendid Cornelia in forcing glasses


IMG_2194Vuurbank hyacinths

Strangely, non-tazetta narcissus take just as long to force as tulips, so I’m still waiting for those. No rant this week, just pictures! But don’t worry, I have plenty to say about worthless crap and horrible display gardens at home and garden shows—look for that soon.

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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. Hyacinths and other bulbs are a treat while waiting for Spring. Yours are beautiful.

    Do you plant out the bulbs once blooms are spent? They DO return in the garden despite what ‘experts’ say. At least mine do, even the ones I used to force in water.

    • I have heard that they will return, maybe skipping a season, but I don’t have enough space. I like to change my bulbs every year, and—most important—I don’t like the look of hyacinths outside. they tend to flop. The Spanish ones (hyacinthoides, I think?) are better; they naturalize and I do have those.

  2. A gray tree frog wandered into my life a few years ago. I won’t explain how. Let’s just say I have to feed her crickets, of course. Sometimes the pet store gives me crickets that are a bit too large (and they grow fast with the proper nutrition), so in the winter months, I give these large ones a nice terrarium. They chirp as I sleep and remind me of the warm summer nights when the agastache is fragrant and the evenings are still. (They don’t live long, but if they do, I will free them when it heats up outdoors.)

    It keeps me sane.

  3. I love it that you still have a banana that you over-winter. I thought I was one of the few that still kept those around. I adore hyacinths but I don’t force them. I’ll rescue them from the grocery and box stores on occasion. Nothing like them. Just the sight of them has cheered me up. Enjoy.

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