With Christmas and New Year now behind us we all need something to cheer up our bare homes! Fortunately, spring flowering bulbs really come in to their own just now to spread colour and scent in an otherwise rather dull time of year.
Bulbs are easy to plant and care for and are also hardy enough to be left outside to make a colourful show although they look just as pretty displayed in the home.
Many spring bulbs are scented, narcissus and hyacinths in particular will fill a room with fragrance. For vibrant colour choose tulips and for something more subtle grape hyacinth (muscari) and snowdrops (galanthus) are delicate and pretty. All these bulbs are readily available from local florists or garden centres. They may be already planted for you to display, or you can have a go yourself and stamp your own individual style by creating your own colourful display.
A quick guide to planting bulbs
If possible use bulb fibre (available from garden centres) which will encourage root growth, if you can’t get hold of any multi-purpose compost is fine. Choose a bowl or low container without holes in the bottom to prevent any water leaks. Line the bottom of the bowl with broken crockery or polystyrene to help drainage. To maximise your display, put in as many bulbs as you can.
Small bulbs, such as muscari, should have their tops approximately 2cm (1”) below the top of the container, larger ones, like hyacinths, should have the top half of the bulb sticking out above.
Don’t worry about placing one bulb on top of the other, as long as the shoot can reach the surface, they’ll be fine. Once the bulbs are in place, top up the container with bulb fibre to within 2cm of the rim and water well. They won’t need watering again until the surface is quite dry.
Display somewhere bright but away from direct heat and don’t forget that once your bulbs have finished flowering, you can plant them outside and they will come up again next year.
If you are in a creative mood, here are two ways to create your own spring bulb display.
Make a miniature landscape of crocus and iris bulbs. Choose a low bowl and line the bottom with small stones to help drainage and add a layer of bulb fibre or compost. Arrange the bulbs in groups before finally securing them in place with moss adding small pieces of wood for texture and interest.
Serve up spring
A simpler and equally effective way to display your spring bulbs is to arrange them in individual pots on a tray. Give them a vintage look by choosing a range of containers in different styles and colours and if you can get a traditional wooden tray – even better!
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