Back in early April I read an article about forcing spring flowering bulbs indoors accompanied by photos which made them look like the next trend in home accessories. At work I sit next to a north facing window (think south if you’re in the northern hemisphere) which seemed to me to be the perfect spot for such a project. With visions of me stunning my work colleagues with masses of flowering plants on the window sill I put in an order for some daffodil and tulip bulbs. When they arrived a couple of weeks later I put them in the fridge to chill for the allotted time frame – 8 weeks for the daffodils, and 12 for the tulips.
I’ve tried growing daffodils before with extremely limited success and only in the first season. I’ve never bothered to attempt tulips - they are nothing but a pipe dream with our warm winters. The successful bulbs that stay in the ground year round in my garden are Dutch iris (still to come) and the lovely delicate Snowflake (flowering now and strangely next to impossible to get a clear shot of).
Sometime, while the bulbs were chilling, I rethought my original plan of growing them in my office. There were a lot of bulbs for one thing. And even though I’d ordered up some miniature daffodils for the purpose of filling a pot that had been lying fallow next to my desk since the languishing plant in it had finally turned its toes up a couple of years ago, the bulbs weren’t actually smaller than normal. I resigned myself to the fact that my amazing home dec accessory was not going to happen.
Not to worry, I planted three straggling fronds of Boston fern I dug up from the garden into the planter on my desk and made fun of them before anyone else had a chance to. Fingers crossed they will thrive and prove my credentials as a gardener after all.
Traditional wisdom has that spring flowering bulbs should be planted in May. I fretted that the chill time would mean they would go in the ground too late to produce. I needn’t have worried. They grew like topsy and five weeks later they were flowering – superb!
In my daily inspection of their progress I note that these may be only a portion of the bulbs that were planted. There is actually another batch coming through now, so these are the early season varieties, the miniatures and the ‘Harbingers of Spring’, with the Langley daffodil still to come. I have only just planted the tulip bulbs but I note one has some growth poking up. Fingers crossed… although I’m not very confident of them – they were looking a little waxy by the time they were planted.
As a note: I highly recommend the miniature daffodils. They are prolific flowerers and would do really well as a part of your interior décor *wink*.