This lush looking soil will soon be a background to slim, bright green stems topped with fluffy, fragrant white flowers. Paperwhites, so easy to plant. Why not create a meadow in your home??
The process of “forcing” bulbs into beliving it is Springtime and therefore time to bloom allows one to bring a breath of freshness indoors during the depths of winter, when we need it most. The bulbs need to go through a cold dark period before being brought into a warm bright setting (your home).
Any bulbs can be forced to bloom indoors, but most Paperwhites and Amaryllis available in the garden stores now are prepared to bloom indoors during the winter holidays. More on Amaryllis to come. When choosing paperwhite bulbs (available in bulk or in kits in garden and hardware stores) look for bulbs that look healthy and smooth (not shrivelled); also those that have a little stems emerging are your best bets for quick and healthy growth.
We like to fill this antique tub full of bulbs to create the look of a meadow, right next to the fireplace. Smaller containers of bulbs are nice to have for mantles, powderooms or entry ways.
Because bulbs contain everything the flower needs to bloom and grow, any supportive medium can be used. We’ve used coco fiber, but one could use potting soil, marbles or stones (this looks pretty in a clear glass container).
Our vessel is sort of a rusty old thing, with holes in the bottom. We’ve lined it with a sheet of mylar. Household foil would also work well if you don’t want to have something beneath to capture the drainage or just want to protect the container. Once the bulbs are planted, they need to stay lightly watered, but you don’t want to flood the container (especially if it doesn’t have drainage, like ours). To achieve this, invest in a mister (under $5 at the hardware store or supermarket). Lightly mist the bulbs daily. Or, just scatter a few ice cubes on top of the bulbs every couple of days.
After lining our pot, we filled it about 3/4’s full with coco fibre. Next we packed in the bulbs, clustering them together thickly, roots down, stems up. We packed some moistened moss around the perimiter of the pot to cover the mylar lining. In the photo above there is moss to the left, mylar to the right.
A few sprigs of greens were tucked in with the bulbs, along with some glittered pinecones to create a more natural feeling.
In anticipation of things to come, some branches painted white (a part of our overall holiday theme, natural branches would be wonderful too) were inserted in the soil. When the stems and flowers emerge, we’ll gently tie them to the white branches so they will stay upright. If not tied up the weight of the flowers may cause them to fall over.
Let the grow, let them grow, let them grow…
pssst… would you like to do some time travel?? Click on Paperwhite to see what these arrangements will look like in a month.