HAVING FUN WITH SPRING BULBS
Just when we think that Spring will never arrive and the garden seems lifeless, the trees so stark and the perennials are nowhere to be seen, there is a way to hurry Spring along!
We all get desperate for signs of new life in the garden and unless we have planted bulbs, the wait for Spring and Summer can seem endless. The Southern Highlands has had a particularly cold winter this year and we have even had snow!! This has meant that the bulbs have been slower in making their cheery appearance in the garden.
I've always loved seeing photos of bulbs flowering in bowls indoors but I have never tried doing this myself.
The whole concept of 'forcing' bulbs rather terrified me and I wrongly believed that it is very difficult to get right! I was unsure about timing, whether or not to refrigerate or how to plan when they should flower! In the end, I simply planted them late. Those I wished to bring indoors were planted into plastic pots. I think the 'forcing' happens when they react to the warmth inside the home! Obviously good light is important indoors, or if not, a daily stint in the winter sunshine outside will do.
When I returned from my holiday, the bulbs planted in my garden pots had all popped up and some were flowering. Those planted in the plastic pots (for indoors) were behind, as they had been kept in the shade.
|Flowering bulbs in the sunshine|
|The bulbs planted in plastic pots. These were kept in the shade.|
On the 28th July, I transplanted lots of Paperwhites and a few tulips into bowls and small clay pots to bring indoors.
I then gave them a soft shower of water, mainly to clean up the pot.
The Paperwhites grew very tall indoors and I was careful to take them out most nights. This might have helped them to last longer. I didn't really water them much! We got to enjoy all the indoor bulbs for a period of 5 weeks. The Tulips are still going strong but the Paperwhites started toppling a few days ago! I enjoyed moving the bowls all over the house and I am already planning which bulbs to use next year. Imagine Crocus or Liriope in a small delicate container for the bedrooms...
|I placed all the containers on this bench overnight|
Below are photos of the various containers and the growth of the bulbs during the weeks spent inside.
I ordered red tulips with white edges to plant in a pretty red, blue and white bowl that I have. The Tulips were planted deeply in a wooden box at the same time as the others and were also kept in the shade. I dug these out and planted them into the bowl and brought them inside. The Tulips were in good light during the day, but I still took them outside occasionally for sunlight after they started peeking out of the soil. Once they started flowering, however, they have remained indoors and have flourished!!
I was amazed at how quickly they grew!
I have also been thinking of potting Violets or Lilly of the Valley to bring inside!
Happy gardening everyone and for us in the Southern Hemisphere, I think Spring has definitely arrived!