When it’s cold and damp outside there’s no better way to get a gardening fix, than by assembling some plants and arranging them on a windowsill where you can enjoy them everyday.
It’s not hard-work type of gardening, more a sort of collecting plants together that you like and arranging them in containers.
I use bulbs at this time of year, like little tete a tete daffodils, iris reticulata and hyacinths, almost any bulb is a good candidate.
Gently tip them out of their pots, they come out more easily if they’re watered an hour or so earlier, tease the roots apart and re-pot them into various containers, glass is good because you can see the roots as they grow.
A couple of tips:
- Bulbs can rot if they get too wet so keep the top half of them above the soil, it’s a balance between not submerging the bulb and keeping it stable.
- Use a big enough container to stop the bulb toppling over. Heavy flower stalks of hyacinths are prone to this kind of behaviour, tie the stalk to a small piece of cane, or barbecue kebab stick to keep it upright as it grows.
- Fill a quarter of the container with shingle or small pebbles to help drainage, then add soil on top. Bulbs don’t need any soil at this stage in their lives, all their nutrients for this growing season are stored in the bulb, so you could just use pebbles.
- water sparingly, especially if there aren’t any drainage holes in the base of the container.
Bulbs can be planted outside when they’ve finished flowering, in well-drained soil, add shingle to the base of the planting hole and avoid anywhere with too much shade. Feed them with a general fertiliser to build up the bulb for next year, let the foliage dry out naturally, and they’ll come up year after year, it’s all satisfyingly sustainable.
It’s good for the soul to have some greenery growing inside, even better if it has perfume too.
Find out more about growing house-plants here.
Happy gardening, Jill