At this time of year, the mind of every gardener turns to buying bulbs for spring next year, and I include myself in that! However, we shouldn’t forget that there’s a lot of life left in 2011 yet, and that we have the festive season just around the corner. At this time of year, we really focus on adorning our homes with beautiful decorations, and in my opinion there isn’t a better way to do that than with fresh flowers.
There’s something really special about fresh flowers in winter; it’s almost like getting a gift from the New Year – a little bit of spring come early. And speaking of gifts, a pot of home grown bulbs can also make a great Christmas present – especially for someone who has invited you to their home over the festive period. It demonstrates that you have put real thought and care into the present – a real antidote to the last minute ‘petrol station flowers’ that we sometimes have to rely on. Who could ask for more in a present?
If you like the idea though, you’ll have to get moving over the next week or so, both to ensure you get your pick of the bulbs, and that you have time to get them flowering for Christmas.
The other beautiful thing about planting bulbs for Christmas is that it takes care, attention, and time, but not a great deal of effort. See below for an easy step by step guide for beginners.
To get started, you will need:
A pot. You might wish to buy an ornamental pot or decorate a plain one with ribbons/tinsel etc later
Prepared flower bulbs (they will flower more quickly)
Potting compost or moist bulb fibre
Partly fill your pot of choice with your potting compost or moist bulb fibre
Place your bulbs in the pot – close but not touching – and cover them, but leave the tops exposed
Put the pot somewhere cool and, ideally, dim – the shed, a darker corner of the greenhouse, a cool cupboard etc.
Keep the plant here, and the earth moist, for 8-12 weeks. The plants will be ready to come into the light when the green shoots are approximately 5cm high
Bring the pot into a cool, well lit room and it should flower for Christmas
For some deliciously delicate and fragrant bulbs to plant for Christmas, go to “Bulbs for Christmas” on the MyGardenSchool website:http://www.my-garden-school.com/christmas-bulbs/