Step One: Choose your container, below are three of my favorites. Mason Jars, Glass Vase, Clay Pot, and Wood vessels.
Step Two: Add Potting Soil
Step Three: Split flowering bulbs and cat grass to fit the containers
Step Four: Fill in soil
Step Five: Brace/stake with curly willow
Step Six: Top with moss (sheet, Spanish or reindeer), Water and Enjoy
Step Seven: Add birch bark, mini birds, nests and or mini eggs
When I do this project, I go to Skillins Greenhouse (my local greenhouse) www.skillins.com and buy bulbs that are in bloom. If you are a true gardener you might want to plant and force your own bulbs.
Below I have the Step by Step directions from Better Homes & Gardens if you want to give it a try.
1. Plan ahead. In autumn, purchase bulbs from a garden center, nursery, or mail-order source. Plant bulbs of your choice in any type of pot with a drainage hole. Choose a pot that’s at least twice as deep as the bulbs to allow for proper root growth. Fill the pot half full of soilless potting mix.
Most bulbs will do well if grown in potting mix. Always start with clean pots and fresh mix.
2. Place as many bulbs as possible in the pot, without letting them touch. A 6-inch-wide pot holds up to six tulips, three narcissus (daffodils), or 15 minor bulbs, such as crocuses or grape hyacinths.
For a thick show, layer more than one kind of bulb in the same pot; place larger bulbs on the bottom and they’ll grow around the smaller ones. If the two bulbs you want to combine have different chilling and blooming schedules, plant them first in small plastic containers and combine them once they’re in bloom.
3. Cover the bulbs with potting mix, leaving their tips showing. Water the bulbs thoroughly. Label with name and date; loosely cover pot with a paper bag. Place in cool (35 to 45 degrees F), dark storage for chilling. See our bulb-forcing timetable for chilling time.
An unheated attic, basement, or attached garage makes a good chilling area, but monitor the temperature if the weather turns extremely cold. Another option is to set the pots outside in a 12-inch-deep trench, lined with pebbles to prevent the pots from freezing to the bottom. Cover the pots with 10 to 12 inches of soil, then 12 inches of dry leaves held in place with a plastic tarp.
4. Check moisture in pot periodically. Keep soil damp but not wet. When chilling is complete, you’ll see roots poking out of the bottom of the pot and green sprouts emerging at the bulb tips. It’s time to move the potted bulbs into a warm room.
5. When flower buds form, move potted bulbs into a sunny spot. Keep the soil damp. When flowers appear, move the pot out of direct sun to make the blooms last longer. After the blooms fade and wither, toss them (bulbs and all) into the compost. Most forced bulbs have used up their energy and won’t bloom again.
Growing in Water
Paperwhites and Soleil d’Or can be grown without soil. Plant them in pebble-filled containers with the base of the bulbs in contact with water at the bottom of the container. These bulbs don’t need chilling, but will benefit from a cool temperature (50 degrees F.) until the top shoot is a couple of inches long. At that point, you can move the plant into a warm, brightly lit area.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and it inspires you to bring spring into your home.
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Photos: By Liz Donnelly (isn’t she amazing?)