Flowering bulbs are the great harbingers of spring, beginning with small-but-mighty crocuses and snowdrops pushing through the last vestiges of snow, hinting at what’s to come. As the season progresses and the soil warms, muscari, hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips follow in their footsteps. I’ve spied the last three in local markets recently, all vying for the attention of shoppers seeking a shot of spring of color.
I am admittedly one of those shoppers who can’t resist adding them to my cart. Cut flowers always have a place in our home, but I love potted bulbs because they feel a stride closer to the outdoors. They also require no arranging or trimming—plunking them into a cachepot and an occasional watering are the only requisites. But sometimes I enjoy taking the extra step of planting them into vintage vessels, making use of the tureens, teapots, and one-off bowls that never seem to find their way to the dining table. It is a double dose of beauty.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR POTTING BULBS
- Gather the following: paper or a drop cloth for spreading on the counter, your favorite vintage vessel, potting mix, already blooming bulbs, twine, plant stakes, moss (optional), and a small brush for easy removal of potting mix from intricate edges and handles of the vessel.
- Scoop a thin layer of potting mix into your vessel. Pull the bulbs and their potting mix from the plastic pot and add to vessel, arranging them as desired. Fill in with extra potting mix until it just covers the bulbs (it’s okay if the bulb tops peek out a bit). Be sure to fill in well around the edges and in between bulbs to aid in keeping flowers upright.
- Cover with moss, if desired (though I rather enjoy seeing the soil in this case, as it looks like the bulbs have sprung from the earth!).
- If the flowers seem wobbly or top heavy, place two or three plant stakes around the perimeter of the bulbs, taking care not to pierce them. Loop twine around the stakes, creating a supportive circle.
- Water, keeping the potting mix evenly moist but not soggy.
- Place in a bright spot and enjoy!