January 31, 2018
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Yo‘m glad you enjoyed my post on forcing lily-of-the-valley. What I didn’t tell you in that first post is that I had plans for those flowers. I intended them to be the centerpiece at my daughter-in-law’s baby shower. (Yes, I’m going to be a grandma!)
I wanted to transfer them from their clay pots to a pretty container. (I didn’t take any pictures of the transfer because it was the day of the party, and I was on a deadline, and I forgot.) It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. For one thing, the pips were really jammed in there. I had to run a knife along the inner edge of each pot, and poke through the drainage hole, several times before they loosened up. I was really afraid my grip would slip and the beautiful flowers would smash into the table, totally ruined. But that didn’t happen.
When they finally slipped out, I was surprised to see how dry the soil was at the bottom, where the roots were, even though it was moist at the top. The tureen I wanted to use wasn’t as deep as the clay pots they had been in, so I had to gently remove the potting mix from the roots, smoosh the pips into the tureen as carefully as I could, and then repack the mix around the roots all the while holding individual plants upright.
I was very pleased with how it all turned out. And I think my daughter-in-law was, too, since she enclosed her de ella thank-you note in this envelope:Since the tureen has no drainage hole, I’m going to have to be especially careful to water not too much and not too little. If the plants start looking poorly, I will repot them once again in a container even bigger than the clay pots, giving them as much room to grow roots as possible and better drainage. But as long as they seem happy, I’ll keep them where they are, and plant them outdoors this coming spring.
When dealing with frost it is always best to be paranoid. In the spring never think it is too late for one more frost to come. And in the fall never think it too early.