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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..

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
Videix:
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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