Kassi Martin's Blog
The Muscari Bulb Jailer
How are you? It's been so mild and my garden has daffodil shoots everywhere. Such bright, friendly flowers I always think.
Two Christmas's ago I was given an unusual plant gift from my Aunt which was very kind of her as I love flowers and plants. It was a very unusual process to undertake... 9 Muscari bulbs, a bag of stones, a cute glass planter and lots of instructions. Blimey!
Ok, I thought, let's give this a go. I followed the instructions Very carefully... tipping the many teeny weeny stones into the container., I added about an inch of water. Then gently placed the bulbs - apart - on top of the stones. They were not allowed to become wet at all.
Then I had to find a suitably warm, dark and dry space for them to live for about 16 weeks.
I hunted around our home trying to think where they would be safe so they wouldn't be knocked off a shelf in a dark cupboard. I eventually chose the pine dresser that is currently gold, red and teal as I'm experimenting with colours before we actually paint it.
Ok, all sorted.
I then diligently wrote in my diary 3 weeks ahead to remind myself to add more water and due to my menapausal mind, "where" I'd placed them!
I needn't have worried about forgetting them. The bulbs were in my mind. I felt concerned. No soil. No sunlight. No fresh air. No rain. I peaked in on them occasionally and carefully gave them a touch more water. I added a few small crystals and popped them back in the cupboard feeling like their Jailer.
I looked again a few weeks later and frowned with concern. Added more water. Spoke encouragingly to them - apparently our out-breath is good for plants. Things weren't looking good.
My Beloved suggested they should be chucked out. I almost clutched them to my breast protectively. My goodness how brutal, after all my love and worrying over their well-being and he was thinking of binning them.
As the year progressed, I brought them out of their Jail without Light and put them on the dining room table. A month passed and not much was happening so I tried the kitchen windowsill. I chatted Brightly to them, keen to see their pretty blue grape flowers appear... but no... nothing, not a hint of green bud or root in sight. Eventually I moved them to the lounge windowsill thinking of the Muscari that used to grow along the edge of the paths of my childhood home. I loved their gorgeous blue faces all sturdy and petite.
I googled to discover when they would usually flower - hmmm.... that was long gone then....
What happened next? The poor bulbs became more brittle, dried out, flaky and absolutely no sign of growth. More rumblings about "throw those things out.."
I felt so worried about their well being and kept seeing images in my mind of these flowers scattered everywhere, growing with abundance in the 1960's and 70's.
Then Christmas arrived again and I was given Another Muscari planting kit this time in a gorgeous old fashioned blue jug which looked cracked all over it. Shabby Chic - I loved that jug!
I hesitated as I read the instructions.... lots of complicated stones, tiny bit of water, dark warm dry place for months... do not wet the bulbs!
I struggled with my inner conflict. I wanted to give these bulbs the best chance and follow the instructions, but my previous experience with the previously dried out brittle bulbs made my heart sink.
I went to the first group of Muscari bulbs and gently handled the brittle, dried out bulbs and frowned. As I held them in my palm I could sense their DNA and everything that they needed to survive and thrive was all there inside them no matter how dried out and 'dead' they looked.
My Beloved looked cynically as I read the instructions again... "What are you going to do Kas?"
"I will let you know when I decide," I smiled back.
It's now almost the end of February. The gorgeous old fashioned blue jug for the Muscari bulbs is ensconced in my studio and filled with my favourite paint brushes. I love it!
And the Muscari bulbs? I opted for the simple, natural and I'm sure, optimum process of digging a hole in the soil and popping them all in (the previous lot and this latest lot) next to the miniature daffs by the garden gate. Not a single mention of cool, frosty, bright sunny days with rain showers and occasional snow on the instructions.
I feel certain all will be well this year.
You may be wondering why I felt compelled to share this story with you? Well recently somebody visited me and brought me a present. What can I say?!
If you were a visitor here, you would see on my downstairs loo windowsill, there are three odd looking glass containers - something between a test tube and the kind of container a man may be handed in a hospital bed to produce a 'wee' in! There is an inch of water in the bottom of each glass container and balanced on the'neck' of each glass is a Muscari bulb : (
I don't hold out much hope and do plan to plant these in the garden soon! When they all shoot up and produce flowers, I will send you a photograph :) The header image is of teeny Muscari peeping out of a glass container by freestocks.
Take care of your self