In a vase on Monday: grape hyacinths

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On Saturday, I wandered around the downtown Stuttgart flower market admiring all the blooming spring bulbs — which were being sold both potted and as cut flowers (pictures below). I bought some cut tulips and then went to Butler’s for a vase and another container of seashell chips. On the way home, I stopped at a florist and bought a little pot of forced Muscari, or grape hyacinth, bulbs.

I think I should have set the bulbs lower in the vase, but I didn’t want to disturb their rootball, which I covered with the chips.

Click on any thumbnail in the gallery below to scroll through photos of the flower market.

To see what other gardeners have put in a vase today, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

In a vase on Monday: Fritillarias

21bb potted Fritillaria meleagris, Feb. 2016, StuttgartPotted Fritillaria meleagris in our living room this week.

Fritallarias in pots, late Feb. 2016, Stuttgart, enclos*ure

The plants are 13″ to 15″ tall.

29 potted Fritillaria meleagris, Feb. 2016, Stuttgart

I love the checkered pattern on the blooms.

31 potted Fritillaria meleagris, Feb. 2016, Stuttgart, enclos*ure
Right now, almost all the supermarkets and florists here are selling small plastic pots of three or four blooming or almost-blooming spring bulbs (about €3.30 each — cheaper than a lot of cut flowers).

Potted Fritillaria meleagris, Feb. 2016, Stuttgart, enclos*ure

I replanted these into two purple ceramic pots that I had from a previous plant purchase. Then, to catch the excess water, I also put them down in blue pottery teacups from Rwanda’s Gatagara Cooperative.

25 potted Fritillaria meleagris, Feb. 2016, Stuttgart

I covered the soil with seashell chips.

32 potted Fritillaria meleagris, Feb. 2016, Stuttgart, enclos*ure

The yellow-blue sake pitcher and cups in the photos above were made by American ceramics artist Hayne Bayless.  They were purchased years ago at the Smithsonian Craft Show — which will be held this year from April 21 to 24 at the National Building Museum* in Washington, D.C.  If you plan to be in the D.C. area that week, you can buy advance (discounted) tickets here.

To see what other gardeners have put in a vase today, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

*The Oehme/van Sweden exhibit will still be there.

The winter garden: Center Market

Center Market, Washington, D.C., February 18, 1915, via National ArchivesForced azaleas, forsythias, and bulbs at a flower stand, February 18, 1915, by U.S. Department of Agriculture, via U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

Center Market was located at 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., where the National Archives building now stands. The red brick German Renaissance Revival structure was built between 1872 and 1878 (replacing an 1801 market). It held over 700 vendors in its halls and courtyard and was possibly the country’s largest market building.

Center Market, Washington, D.C., February 18, 1915, via National Archives

The Market closed in 1931, a victim of the rise of community chain stores and increased availability of canned and frozen foods — as well as the McMillan Commission‘s vision for a white marble, neoclassical center for the capital city.

Center Market, Washington, D.C., February 18, 1915, via National Archives

There are more photos of Center Market here and a more complete history here.  Click on any photo above to enlarge it.