Winter is a black & white season in this part of the Northern Hemisphere. I patiently await for the invention of suitable glasses that would project on my retina sunny, flowery images all day long.
Meanwhile, I use my indoor light stand as an indoor garden. It is bright and I get to wear sunglasses that adjust to my desired colour*. Today I have chosen pink for Incarvillea (various species, all commonly called Incarvillea or hardy gloxinia).
Hardy gloxinia species belong to the so called ‘warm germinators’ (will germinate at room temp.). They are also easy to grow indoors and, like many other tuberous species, will benefit from an early start, having more time to develop a good size tuber by late spring when they can be planted outside. Some may even flower in the first year, like it happened with I. delavayi. I have already grown from seeds I. delavayi and I. zhongdianensis.
This year I am happy to start two other species: I. mairei and I. younghusbandii. These are smaller species height-wise, the second a real dwarf, but with larger deep pink/magenta flowers; this combination gives them an even more exotic look for our Northern Hemisphere gardens.
Looking at the world through pink sunglasses in late January is pretty amazing!
Then, there will be days for yellows, blues in many shades, purple, orange…
I. younghusbandii – click for google images.
*Such sunglasses of course, do not exist; except in my imagination.
Here’s a very, very short list of others ‘warm germinators’ that can be started early and will grow well under lights indoors.
Oxytropis, Sanguisorba, Roscoea
Scabiosa, Hypericum, Physochlaina
Campanula*, Dianthus*, Lilium*
* not all