There is nothing like winter blooms to brighten up your house during the cold winter months. I love having fresh flowers in the house. During the summer months I can cut fresh flowers from my garden, but during the winter it takes a little more planning. By forcing bulbs you can enjoy winter blooms during the darkest days of winter. Not only will you be able to enjoy the blooms yourself but you can give bulbs that you’ve started as presents. Who wouldn’t appreciate a gift of bulbs when the world is white with snow! Tulips, narcissus, hyacinths, crocus and lily of the valley can be forced into flower in late winter or early spring. A pot of tulips on your windowsill in February can brighten your spirits! Narcissus bulbs are very easy to force and I found some very healthy looking bulbs at my local garden center.
Buy a bag of white crushed gravel to use in your containers. Rinse the gravel to get rid of any dust. Fill each of your bowls with gravel about 2/3rds full.
Nestle the bulbs in the gravel ½ to 1 inch apart, placing the pointed side up.
Then fill in gravel around the bulbs, leaving the top halves exposed. Place them in good light and add water up to the base of the bulbs. Keep the water level at this height. Place the pots in a cool area. Within a few days roots will appear. When green shoots appear, move the pot to a cool, sunny spot. Keep the plants watered and in just a very short time you will have a profusion of blooms. Start a few each month and you will have beautiful winter blooms to enjoy through the dark days of winter!