Winter Blossoms

It was a happy thought to bring
To the dark season's frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
This dream of summertime.
- John Greenleaf Whittier 

Hyacinths bulbs are the earliest-blooming bulbs and the easiest to grow. These here are shooting up in search for light and in no time will offer a showy display of pink, blue and white.

A rare mauve colored colchicum has soft pink to pale purple flowers.  The delicate blooms reach for glimpses of the sun on dark winter days.

On days when rain and snow make the days seem dreary,many a gardener wistfully thinks of time spend under the sun, taking in the fresh smell of grass and flowers. Although southern California is in no short supply of sun, I remember the winter days in Iran or Germany when my mom would pot bulbs and force the plants to send out their shoots to add a bit of color.

Most bulbs like to go through a cold period before they bloom. To speed up this process you can place a few bulbs in a brown paper bag and store them for 8 to 16 weeks in your refrigerator or in a dark cool room. Once the cold period has passed  plant the bulbs in a container that goes well with your decor. Sine most of my decorative pots are ill suited for drainage, I usually place an older container in a good one. Add pebbles in the bottom of the old one to help with drainage. Then add a good mix of potting soil. Fill the container until the bulbs can sit on top of the soil and their tips are even with the top of the rim. Continue filling up the pot with soil until the tips of the bulbs are slightly covered. Give your bulbs some water, taking care not to over water! The idea is to give the bulbs enough water to encourage them to spread out their roots, but not so much as to end up with root rot. Make sure to place the pot in an area that receives enough light  and rotate the pot daily to encourage the stems to grow straight. Soon you will be rewarded with pretty blooms to cheer up your winter days!

What is your favorite bulb to plant indoors? Would you like to share a photo - just email it to

Photos courtesy of Victoria Magazine

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