Today was market day in Revel. Part of the pleasure of going to the market, for me, is bringing home fresh flowers. They're so affordable and available, even here in our small market town of Revel.
When I lived in the center of Amsterdam a few years ago, in the Jordaan, I could buy flowers at the Noordermarket, the weekly bio market on Saturday, and, even on Sunday, choose from a wonderful seasonal variety of moderately priced flowers at the Bloemenmarkt.
Today I saw the first bunches of daffodils for sale here, probably come over by truck, train or plane from the Aalsmeer flower auction, near Schipol Airport, also in Holland.
Daffodils are an irresistible harbinger of Spring, for me and most people, I suspect. Just looking at them lifts my spirits. I picked up a bunch each of jonquilles and narcissus for the table.
On the opposite side of the market halle (the covered area of the market), the other big flower vendor had pots of forced Tête à Tête miniature daffodils for only 1.50€. I had to have two of those as well.
Back home, out at the well on the patio, I transferred the bulbs to a pedestal dish I have that fits on the ledge behind the sink.
Tomorrow I will walk the short circuit around the abbey grounds, along le Chemin du Tour du Parc, and pick up some moss to tuck over their roots. I love to watch the tiny daffodil flowers emerge over several weeks, the shape of the Lilliputian shadow they cast on the wall of the stairway that runs behind the ledge.
I got in the habit of bringing in flower bulbs while living in Germany and then Holland, both known for their long, dark winters, where bulbs are plentiful and cheap at this time of year. And, hey! What price sanity, I always say. Here's a good article online about forcing your own bulbs at home. You might be able to find paper whites on sale at this point, and they sprout the fastest.
At the web site I linked on forcing bulbs, they advise replacing some of the water in the bulb's container with whiskey, bourbon, vodka or even tequila! to slow the growth of the plants and keep them from falling over...Now that's kind of counter-intuitive...but they say it works. While you're at it, you could make yourself some "grog", which a local Dutch friend told me is just hot black tea, lemon, honey or sugar and a little whiskey. "Goes straight to your head." A light dose of that might be a good thing when you're havin another cold, gray Saturday.