Pots of promises – planting for joy in the darkest months

Autumn is the time to plant bulbs for spring blooms, but have any of you tried forcing bulbs for indoor displays before? (Not sure I like the term forcing; encouraging perhaps?!)
I stumbled across these adorable little terracotta pots the other day and simply had to get some.

Then of course I had to think of some way of using them. I decided to try forcing snowdrops for flowers to cheer the darkness of January. I have been reading about it and apparently it is quite easy – you just have to convince the bulbs it’s a really cold winter for a while. For 15 weeks to be precise.

So tonight I nipped out into the garden before it got dark, made a free-draining potting mix (peat free multi purpose compost with added some perlite) and planted 5 little bulbs in each pot, covering them with a little more compost. I watered them well and let them drain for a few minutes, then brought each one inside, popped it into a bag to avoid unfortunate compost spillages, and tucked all three in the back of the fridge.

They’ll sit there until just after Christmas (if I can keep them safe until then!) before bringing them out into the warmer room with a bit of indirect sunlight and crossed fingers! Clay pots, some earth, and a handful of tiny brown bulbs – it’s hard to believe they’ll become anything beautiful.

At this time of year, I have learnt it’s important to plan ahead. Making use of five minutes of energy whilst I have it now, will bring a much needed lift and joy in the darkest part of the year. It’s also always good to try something new. I’ll keep you updated as to how they get on!

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