how to transform a cheap potted plant

Sally Schneider

Every winter around this time, hyacinths appear at my corner market: three just-sprouting bulbs nestled in dirt in an ugly plastic pot wrapped in gaudy paper. I treat myself to them because, liberated from their tacky dressing, they offer a glimmer of spring for a few dollars.

Once home, I remove the shiny paper, hold the base of the green sprouts firmly in one hand and tip the pot upside-down. I pull the sprout gently and the entire molded form of dirt and roots comes out in one neat piece. Then I place it in a shallow bowl…

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

…watering as needed…

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

I’ll enjoy seeing roots and earth – a private little garden – as the closed buds slowly open, day by day, into full blooms…

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Related Post: D-I-Y Spring Blooms in Winter

8 Responses to how to transform a cheap potted plant

  1. Pam 01.14.2010 at 7:26am #

    You are so cool!

  2. Charlotte K 01.15.2010 at 7:09am #

    I don’t know the source of this poem (I’ve heard it’s a 13th c. Persian, but who knows). This post makes me think of it:

    If of thy mortal goods you are bereft,
    And but two loaves to you are left,
    Sell one, and with the dole
    Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

    Now I need to get a few. I saw them the other day and held back out of thrift. But that’s misplaced thrift.

  3. Dalewoman 01.15.2010 at 6:28pm #

    Sorry, it’s still not very attractive. I would go a little further, making a sweet bed of moss for it to sit on, mound it up a little, add a little potting angel or something spring-like to the earth.

  4. constance 01.16.2010 at 11:39am #

    ooooo. lovely. i agree with pam.

  5. Sally 01.16.2010 at 6:12pm #

    Charlotte, Thank you for that amazing poem. Yeah, I know what you mean about misplaced thrift…I do it too. But I know these potted hyacinths to be a BARGAIN, doe days of pleasure watching them unfold, and then their scent.

  6. Sally 01.17.2010 at 12:52pm #

    No sorry necessary. I’m glad to have your honesty and your ideas…BTW: What is a potting angel?

  7. Elaine 02.06.2010 at 10:54am #

    You inspired me, Sally! I did my own version and posted about it today on my blog at With credit to you for the brilliant idea, of course!

  8. Sally 02.06.2010 at 11:06am #

    Elaine, I’m thrilled to see your great improvisation, using an African violet. Really charming!

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