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Decorate Your Winter Home with Bulbs and Flowers

Updated on October 5, 2013

Brighten Up Your Winter Home with Bulbs and Flowers

Is your winter home bursting with colour and the freshness of spring? Cheap and cheerful, winter bulbs and flowers will brighten up your home throughout the dark months.

Christmas is lovely, but, lets face it, after that the home in winter can be just that teeny bit dull. Now, you might think about redecorating you house or buying lots of fluffy cushions or something similar, but have you thought about decorating your home with winter bulbs, for a cheap and cheerful splash of colour?

Make your home into a warm and wonderful picture in winter with bulbs and fill the rooms with a fresh and natural perfume.

Buy your bulbs in containers ready to go, or put them into your own pots yourself. It's so easy!

If you choose the DIY option, you can be endlessly creative about planters and pots.

The cyclamen above took pride of place this Christmas on our dining table at Les Trois Chenes, our guest house in S W France. It was wonderfully festive and is still going, (or should I say growing?), strong in mid-January.


This work by Barbara Walton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Please note that all pictures, unless otherwise stated, are copyright of the author, Barbara Walton, and are not to be reproduced without written permission

Cyclamen

In the pink for breakfast

Our guest house has to look nice for Christmas as we welcome people into Les trois Chenes, our bed and breakfast over the festive season. It's especially important that the dining table looks attractive for breakfasts and dinners and I like to have fresh flowers on the table if at all possible.

Cyclamen come in all shades of white, pink and red are perfect for this during winter when there are few flowers to cut in the garden.

Buy in pots or grow your own - it's easy!

How to Grow Bulbs for Winter Colour

Easy step-by-step guide

  • Start in October for winter flowering bulbs and in September for Christmas flowering bulbs. Different bulbs will take different times
  • Hyacinths, tulips, crocus, daffodils, scillas, grape hyacinths, and lily of the valley can all be coaxed to flower in late winter and early spring
  • Use top quality and good-sized bulbs
  • If you mix varieties in the same container, remember that they might vary in their dates of flowering.
  • Plant with the tips of the bulb exposed
  • The bulbs must be kept in the dark at a cold temperature of 2 - 8 C for a minimum of 12-13 weeks, but don't allow to freeze
  • Label the pots with dates so that you know when to bring them into the house
  • Plant your tulip, crocus, daffodil or hyacinth bulbs in the garden after flowering

How to Force Bulbs for Christmas and Winter Decoration - Detailed, expert information

There is a great deal of expertise involved in forcing bulbs so if you want to know more, take a look at these sites.

And How To Plant Indoor Winter Bulbs - Cynthia Kling shows you just how easy it really is

Make a Splash with Tulips

Tulips

Worth their weight in gold?

The story of the tulip began in the Ottoman Empire during the period, 1718 - 1730, called The Tulip Era, and it could have arrived in Europe as early as around 1558. From then on the popularity of the tulip grew, especially in Holland, until at the height of 'Tulip mania' a single tulip bulb could be sold for more than ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.....

Read more and find out about the fascination of the mysterious Black Tulip : The Romance of the Black Tulip

Grow Hyacinth Bulbs in Your Own Containers

Forcing hyacinths in water

Hyacinths, crocus, and narcissus can be grown in water and will flower during winter. You can buy special glass hyacinth vases that support the bulb and allow the roots to develope and you to watch the progress, or you can find a jar and cobble your own together. The vases are cheap though, and you can use them year after year. I certainly remember them from my childhood and enjoyed seeing them grow.

Put your bulb in the top and fill the bottom part with water but don't leave the base of the bulb sitting in water. I think these are decorative from the word go. A row of them on the table looks lovely. Keep the bulb in a cool room and when it has a root system and a green shoot, you can put it in a bright window, where the plant soon will blossom. Hyacinths have a wonderful and powerful perfume as well as being beautiful to look at.

Bunch-flowering narcissus, such as Paper White (see below), can be grown in containers of water filled with crushed stones for support. Plant your bulbs deeply enough for the basal plate to be in contact with the water. Keep them in a coolroom out of sunlight until the roots grow, then put them in a sunny spot.

Growing in Soil

If you want to grow them in soil, half fill your container with soil and place the bulbs onto it. Top up so that about half the bulb is covered. I like to top mine off with a bit of moss to hide the soil. Water on planting and keep just moist.

Daffodils

White and yellow

"I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze."

Daffodils immortalised by William Wordsworth, and what could be more cheerful and inviting than these sunny harbingers of spring? Technically they are all called Narcissus, (plural is Narcissi), and they come in many colours, from greenish to white, yellow and orange.

Paper White Daffodils in Birch Bark

What are Paper Whites?

The latin name of the Paper White is Narcissus papyraceus, a sub-species of Narcissus tazettaand they are favourite indoor bulbs for the winter home because while other narcissus need to be chilled in order to flower early, paper whites don't. Just plant and go! You'll get fragrant flowers too about six weeks from the time they are started..

Amaryllis Flowers are Extravagant and Exotic Looking - But they're easy to grow

How to Grow Amaryllis

Pot your Amaryllis bulb up in potting compost using a pot that is only slightly larger than the bulb. You should have just one or two inches around it. As with hyacinths, leave the top half of the bulb above the soil. Water well at first then let the soil dry out a bit before the next water. Place your bulb in a warm, sunny possition until the flower buds emerge and you should then move it out of direct sunlight.

Dead-head after flowers so the seeds are not produced, put back into a sunny position and when frosts are over it can go outside. Feed it up and do remember to bring it in again before the first frost.

Amaryllis and Dried Flowers - This mixture looks nice.

You can use dried flowers to decorate your home and ring the changes with winter bulbs. I think this mixture looks nice on our dining room table. Later I'll transfer it to the mantlepiece.

Containers Filled with Spring Bulbs Will Bring Joy to Your Home - Just what you want in winter!

This Amaryllis is Brilliant - Literally!

These Are Pretty Pots of Plants

But I couldn't find many so you might just want to create your own!

Eucharis is part of the family Amaryllidaceae, a native to Central America and South America from Guatemala south to Bolivia.

It grows from a bulb which, like it's flower, is very similar to a daffodil. It's leaves, though, are more like an aspidistra. Because they are rain forest plants they're well adapted to the low light conditions which makes them good house plants. On the other hand they must be kept warm - a temperature of 18 to 20C during the night, and rising to 25C in the day is ideal.

Increase your plants by removing the offsets in spring and then put them separately into 15 cm pots filled with good loamy soilmixed with sand and water well. Repot your plants during the summer, lower the temperatures a bit to about 15C and give them less water for a time. Increase the heat and water again in winter to induce them into flower.

If you start them in succession, you can have plants in flower around your home, not just in winter, but all the year round.

Image: Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Eucharis flowers

Eucharis flowers
Eucharis flowers

Decorate Your Winter Home with Warm and Wonderful Planters

There are so many gorgeous containters for your bulbs

I can remember being thrilled to receive a little, single crocus grown in an egg cup from my grandmother when I must have been quite a small child. What a wonderful gift, and so cheap. All you need is a little time, (a very litttle time), and you can grow your own Christmas gifts as well as decorating your home.

You can buy pots and containers specifically designed for bulbs and plants, but you can also let your imagination run wild! Choose planters to fit in with the decoration of your house and to suite your taste. These are just a few that I've chosen to bring a little joy to the house.

Read more about my Granny, how I nearly cooked the goldfish and some pie recipes from my Grandmother's kitchen

Have You Seen These Teacup Herb Planters? - Pretty, quirky, fun.

Teacup herb planters are just a little different and so homely. They're called 'herb' planters but they would be just as good for bulbs, as you can see from this picture. Aren't they fun?

Like this one and want to see more? Teacup Herb Planters

Amaryllis in a Basket - Bulbs look pretty even when they're not in flower

Find Out More About Limoges Porcelain - You'll be amazed!

I live in Limousin, S W France, not far from Limoges. Now, our region is famous for two things, Limousin beef cattle and fine porcelain so I just had to include some Limoges porcelain containers that I think would make lovely planters for your winter bulbs. Limoges porcelain is not only tough, fine and translucent, but it's also highly collectable. Start collecting now and in the future you might well find that your porcelain has increased in value.

This is our Limoges porcelain coffee pot together with a cup, saucer and plate. I bought a whole set of this white porcelain with a relief decoration of fruits and flowers for our Bed and Breakfast in Videix, about fifty minutes drive from Limoges.

I bought them from a factory shop in Limoges and they were very reasonable indeed. I also had fun shopping for it; there were so many beautiful pieces of porcelain to see and you can even visit the factories at some of the outlets. Well worth booking a porcelain shopping holiday!

This photograph was taken in the gardens and looks onto our play area and peach orchard.

One White Cyclamen Makes a Statement!

Where in the World Am I?

A markerVideix -
Videix
get directions

Les Trois Chenes Dining Room Christmas 2012 - I love to have bowl of brightly coloured bulbs in the house in winter

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Very nice, I adore tulips and bulbs. Blessed.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Washington State

      Congratulations on a purple star for this gorgeous lens. I so love it.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Washington State

      Oh yea, I love these flowers in the winter time. Thanks for such a great lens on caring for them.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      It is such a treat to see the blooms from forcing bulbs in the middle of winter - great photos!

    • Niagara Ghosts profile image

      Niagara Ghosts 4 years ago

      I love flowers in winter. My amaryllis has just started to bloom.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      I've tried a few bulbs for indoor decor in the past. I so much love having a flowering plant in the house during the winter.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I always have fresh flowers in the house, even though I live in the tropics and have a garden full of flowers - sometimes I buy the indoor flowers from the market and sometimes they come from our own garden. Blessings.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      What a beautiful and inspiring lens! Thank you!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      We had Paper Whites growing at my childhood home, a memory that was lost to me until I saw them mixed in with the lovely flowers on this lens! Now I'm feeling freshly inspired to put some extra love into the bulbs and flowers portion of this year's garden... thank you!

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Love flowers in the house during the dreary winter months.

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 5 years ago from USA

      I love cyclamen - they're my favorite winter flowers. Amaryllis are a close second. Like you, I need flowers to cheer up my home in winter.

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      great flowers!

    • profile image

      myamya 5 years ago

      Very nice lens weel done! squidlikes!

    • SmartyGirlRenee profile image

      SmartyGirlRenee 5 years ago

      Thanks for including hyacinths in this lens. I love the smell of the pink hyacinth

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Wiinter flowers are such a nice pick me up, I love it.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      I love all of these flowers! I did receive an amaryllis once for Christmas and I thought it was one of the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. Sadly, I tend to kill house plants, but I do love having the bulbs in my yard away from the danger of my hands :)

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Many thanks, everyone, for your kind and interesting comments. I very much appreciate the time you've taken to leave a message.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @MelonyVaughan: I'm pleased to hear that the amaryllis might reflower, Melony. Thanks for leaving a message.

    • GODis4me profile image

      karen vance loudermilk 5 years ago from charleston wv

      I loved it, it answered some questions for me too.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      Great lens! Very useful tips. Thank you for sharing.

    • jimbarnes lm profile image

      jimbarnes lm 5 years ago

      wonderful lenses

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Lovely lens! I had an amaryllis in my first home that blossomed several times a year. It was stunning and exotic-looking and extremely low maintenance.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Your dining room is beautiful - especially with those pretty pots of flowering bulbs. Lovely.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Lovely! I love the idea of these pretty plants indoors to brighten a cold season.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Came back to *bless* your article!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      I still have to try growing cyclamens. Tulips are still my all-time favorites. Takes for the motivation.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 5 years ago from Covington, LA

      I enjoyed your lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      maggieats 5 years ago

      I loved this lens. Daffodils are my favorite. I always want them in my home as early as I can get them. Thanks!

    • profile image

      printabledolls 5 years ago

      i have my home full of cyclamens and bulbs! I LOVE THIS LENS

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Such a lovely and inviting presentation of using bulbs and flowers to bring the outdoors in and add such wonderful beauty and refreshment to our homes in the winter.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Wonderful decorating ideas ... makes me long for springtime.

    • textbookmommy profile image

      textbookmommy 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens and wonderful decorating ideas!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I loved this page. I had recently told my husband that I needed to get some Paperwhites to force bloom to make it through the winter. I just need something alive and blooming this time of year!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      What an amazing lens! Thank you for sharing! Squidlikes

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      Flowers just bring a room to life . . what a fabulous lens. Thank you for sharing. Sincerely, Rose

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      That amaryllis photo is really grand. Congrats on making the list!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      I love all of these flowers. It would be great to have a house full of them in the winter.

    • CherryTriggerCola profile image

      CherryTriggerCola 5 years ago

      This is a great article even though I am not a green thumb at all. Thanks for sharing and being part of the awesome Squidoo community. Articles like this are very inspiring to a noob like me.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Congratulations on being one of the best winter home decorating ideas on Squidoo. I always make up a few pots of bulbs for winter bloom. Your B & B looks like an iniviting place to stay.

      Angel blessings.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      This is such a beautiful idea.. winter can feel dark and dismal at times so bringing in flowers.. ohhh fabulous! Angel blessed.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 5 years ago from Vancouver

      You inspired me to create a new board on Pinterest - I pinned this lens to Tips for House Plants.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Love your flower approach to winter decorating!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      I sure do appreciate all the lovely flowers. Gifted my mom with Paperwhites to grow inside for her home.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Beautifully done lens. I can almost smell the flowers! Blessed by the home decor squid angel and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," a tribute to some of the best lenses we've found since donning our wings.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 5 years ago

      I wish I could feel I could grow flowers from bulbs but not sure I can. Love flowers though.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Many thanks to everyone who has left me a message. I haven't been able to reply to each comment, but I would just like to say how lovely it is to receive these nice messsages. Much appreciated.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @MBradley McCauley: Thank you for your comments, Mary, and please do send on the info about our bed and breakfast, and our gite (holiday home, vacation rental). That's what all this is about really. It would be lovely to meet your sister here and we are only three hours by train away, (to Limoges or Angouleme Station).

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 5 years ago

      So glad you commented on my Super Foods lens it brought me here. I am very impressed with this lens and look forward to reading your others. I have a friend who lives in Paris six months of the year, ok if I send her the info on your B&B. It looks lovely.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Flowers are a great way to spruce up any living space and they can even help brighten your mood during those long winter nights!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Oh! I'm in love with all your beautiful winter decorating ideas with flowers. Your B&B is so lovely!

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 5 years ago

      Love flowers. Cyclamens are one of my favorites. I remember how my Mother use to be able to grow them. Thanks for a great lens.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I like the color of the red and pink cyclamen. It gives great color to a kitchen and the indoors in general.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 5 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      The cyclamens are so beautiful. What a nice lens, I love it.

    • profile image

      seedplanter 5 years ago

      I love this lens, and wish I'd seen it a few months ago. I love the idea of flowering bulbs indoors - in Winter, no less! Thank you for such great info!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      I was just thinking I need to start getting my things in order for planting. Good infor for indoor planting. Maybe I'll be ready for next year. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Shizuo_ 5 years ago

      Beautiful stuff! I sure like some colorful flowers in my home.

      Comments/likes always appreciated, will return the favor! :)

    • profile image

      Shizuo_ 5 years ago

      Beautiful stuff! I sure like some colorful flowers in my home.

      Comments/likes always appreciated, will return the favor! :)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

      I Love to do this! I adore having flowers in the home and I have a couple pots with bulbs in them at the moment just waiting for them to flower -hopefully soon:) Lovely page I enjoyed my visit here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A lot of really great ideas here and when you put the bulbs in a glass vase and put it on the coffee table or the side tables they look fantastic and are a great talking point when people come around

    • wlaudio profile image

      wlaudio 5 years ago

      Great article! I have always wanted to plant bulbs but was hesitant, now I will give this a try! ~Cheers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      bulbs really are so cool to look at, its one of those unique flowers that don't have to be planted all the way under dirt to grow, enjoyed your article this morning, thank you!

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 5 years ago from USA

      Beautiful!

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      Beautiful job! I love winter bulbs! They remind me that it will soon be spring! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much. I have always wanted to do this but didn't know where to get started. Awesome lens.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 5 years ago

      Great idea to have a lot of beautiful plants or flowers in the house in the winter months. They really brighten a room.

    • profile image

      hzwill 5 years ago

      Good.

      Sometimes, we should buy some for those who we loved.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      The flowers on this lens remind me of my mother. She loves to grow flowers.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • buttonhead lm profile image

      buttonhead lm 5 years ago

      This is wonderful! The winter is such a drab time, and this is just what I need to brighten things up. Thanks for the information. Great lens!!!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Such beautiful and vibrant flowers and pretty pots too!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Pretty! I love flowers.

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 5 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      Who doesn't love flowers to brighten up a winter home.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Beautiful lens. I really enjoyed it. I would love to go to France someday. I will keep Les Trois Chenes in mind, and I have bookmarked this lens for future reference.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Love this lens. I have never tried to grow these but I have always loved the flowers, especially the amaryllis. Very informative lens. Blessed! And congrats for being on Squidoo's front page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens - very colourful.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Guided Abundance 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      fresh flowers make the house pretty

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent tips for brightening up any home during the dreary winter time. Lovely flowers!