Nature is simply bursting with natural intelligence. Many plants disappear into a state of “hibernation” as winter steals across the land. Some of them hold onto their built-up reserves all winter long, using this stored nutrition as a source of energy to emerge in full glory again in the springtime. Bulbs are a good example of this natural intelligence. Once the worst of winter is over, the first little green noses are once again poking their way above the ground. To sparkle in the spring, they make the most of nature’s cold during the winter months. Bulbs planted in pots and used inside as harbingers of spring are first treated to an artificial winter at the grower’s facilities. There, the pots are kept for several weeks in a dark cell before being allowed to see the light of day. With the help of technology, their biological clocks are being speeded up! These bulbs then have a head start on their cousins planted outside in the garden.
When winter seems to drag on forever, why not bring your own ray of sunshine inside. With bulbs in pots, anyone can enjoy that rush of springtime – even when it’s still chilly outside. In just a few simple steps, you can create colourful accents that might even make you think it’s summer.
Step 1: Shopping
Get going! It’s during January that many garden centres and florists are once again stocking up on pretty new décor items. Christmas has disappeared from the scene, and it’s time for new ideas, new challenges. Select light-coloured pots and other accessories. This winter, there’s a trend toward materials with the weathered look of the seashore. Clean, bright, but gently worn! From January into April (and with a peak in early March), bulbs in pots are widely available. Choose bulbs that will look pretty together. Even if the bulbs aren’t yet displaying signs of their future appearance, the label will often give you a good hint. Remember to consider the size of the pots you’re buying.
Step 2: Location
Once inside, bulbs in pots will usually flower within 7 to 14 days. Naturally, the kind of plants you’ve chosen and the temperature in your home will be factors in this. Do remember, though, that bulbs like winter! If temperatures are warmer than 20°C, their aim is to shoot up, flower and wither as fast as possible. But you can delay this natural reaction by placing them where they will stay in the best condition so you can enjoy them longer. Not too warm!
Step 3: Planting
Some bulbs such as grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum), narcissi and crocuses are better transplanted as a whole cluster of bulbs. But bulbs such as hyacinths and tulips can be transplanted individually or can even be purchased as single bulbs in pots. Sometimes, it’s interesting to rinse off the roots and let the bulb grow over water alone. Since the bulbs have already stored all their nutrients under their tunic, all they need is water to turn this into growth energy.
Step 4: Enjoy!
The nice thing about bulbs in pots is that you can enjoy them for a couple o f weeks and then it will be time to create something new again. Time for more fun! Time to enjoy another pleasant little task involving making something special for your home.
Bulbs in pots: instant green fingers!