It usually coincides with the Christmas decorations coming down that I feel a sense of Spring just around the corner even when there’s thick snow on the ground. The light changes, the day’s get slightly longer and the birdsong becomes brighter and more cheerful. All this makes me want to bring Spring into the house. There’s nothing like fresh greens and white to bring light and cheer to a house bereft of the decorations and lights. When I was working in London, the flower market changed from an Aladdin’s cave of all things Christmas to a festival of Spring with large buckets of ‘Paper White’ narcissus, hyacinths and tulips filling the air with heady scents.
I know it’s nothing new to plant bulbs in vases or baskets for table decorations. Amaryllis bulbs are often given as Christmas decorative gifts to brighten a room through the darker winter days. But I’ve discovered a new way to re-use my old candle jars which usually sit in a cupboard with tiny scraps of wax clinging on to the bottom. So here are the simple instructions on how to use candle jars to plant Spring bulbs:
Scrape out the last bits of wax and set these aside along with other candle scraps to eventually be re-fashioned into a new candle.
Give the jar a wash and then cover the bottom with a bit of gravel for drainage. This allows the bulb to sit proud of the water at the bottom which will accumulate due to the lack of drainage holes.
Add a small amount of potting soil above the gravel and then rest the bulb above this.
Cover the top with a small amount of moss.
Water everyday with an egg cup of water.
Carefully tip the jar from time to time to empty the water.
The same rules can be applied to aluminium tins. Give them a wash to remove the labels and you have a wonderful silver container that looks wonderful filled with fresh colours of Spring.