Spring Gifts: Potted Plants

Take a pot, old or new, fill it with potting mix and place a spring bulb – or a handful of wee ones – on top. If you wish, add a little moss as well. Hyacinths are dramatic and fragrant in bloom; a handful of dwarf daffodil or tulip bulbs is delightful, too. Tuck in a small envelope of bulb fertilizer and top it off with the pot saucer – tied in place with a beautiful ribbon. When the recipient opens this charming offering, all that awaits them is to tuck the bulb into the soil and add water.

Don’t forget that hardy bulbs need a cold treatment before they will bloom. Hyacinths are often sold pre-treated and ready to grow on a windowsill indoors. Untreated bulbs should have about eight weeks of cool before they can proceed into growth. They can then be left outside to bloom with other bulbs, or the pots can be brought indoors and forced into earlier bloom. Once the blooms have faded, give the plants some all-purpose fertilizer and transplant them into the garden when the danger of frost has passed. Forced bulbs may skip a year before blooming again.

STYLING: Heather Cameron