Are tulips, daffodils and hyacinths on your grocery list?
They’re a sight for sore eyes… those sweet little harbingers of spring that suddenly appear in our grocery stores in mid-February.
When we’re feeling as gloomy as a dull, frosty February day, suddenly there they are – buckets of sunny yellow tulips and daffodils to brighten our day! And I challenge anyone to walk past a heady scented pot of hyacinth bulbs without putting a few in your cart… I know I can’t do it! For the next few weeks I’ll be adding a few bunches to my grocery list and scattering them around my home to remind me that spring is just around the corner.
So before I head to the cottage for my annual winterfest with my sister, where we’ll be up to our knees in snow, I thought I’d leave you with a few simple flower arrangements that you can make in minutes with your market-variety spring posies. So add them to your list. They’re sure to boost your spirits and brighten your days until the snow stops falling and the sun starts shining once again. Soon I hope!
Above: Create little floral vignettes composed of potted violets, tulips and fragrant pansies and hyacinths by a sunny window in the corner of any room. Raise your grouping up on a stack of gardening books on a chair or stool. You can also make your arrangement on a decorative wood or silver tray and set it on a coffee table or dining table.
Above: It doesn’t get any easier than this! When you get your fresh bunch of tulips home, strip off some of the leaves, make fresh diagonal cuts to shorten the stems to the desired height, then plop them into a vase or bowl with some fresh water. Don’t forget to add the florist food that will come with your bunch. Change the water every couple of days for as long as they last.
Above: This is one of my favourite ways to arrange my store-bought parrot tulips. Purchase tulips that are not yet open. Remove some of the leaves and lay the bunch on the counter out of water. In an hour or so the stems will become limp and pliable so you can bend them easily inside the bowl. Fill the bowl with about two or three inches of water and add floral food. Once the tulip stems are limp enough to bend, clip the stems on a diagonal and shape one tulip at a time inside the bowl as shown. Make sure the end of each stem is submerged in water. Stagger the tulips as shown.
Above: This arrangement is so simple. Strip off all of the leaves from each tulip stem, then trim the stems on a diagonal to suit the height of your jar. Keep in mind that tulips will continue to grow after they’ve been cut. Bundle them tightly and tie them with a ribbon or twine just under the flower heads. You can also try this with sunny yellow daffodils.
Above: Pick up some potted mini daffodil bulbs and replant them in a favourite container. Here I’ve potted them up in a clear glass urn and covered the soil on top with a bright green cushion of moss to finish it off.
Above: Remove tulip and hyacinth bulbs from their not-so-pretty plastic pots and repot them in vintage vessels such as Depression glass pitchers and ceramic jardinieres and cachepots, which you can find for peanuts at thrift shops and flea markets. Cover the soil with fresh moss, pebbles or seashells.
Above: I can’t bear to throw away the little flowers with broken stems, so before I toss the fading potted bulbs I clip the last surviving blooms and create cheery mini arrangements like this one in a teacup. The trick to supporting these short little three-inch stems is a floral frog that fits just inside the cup. You can find them at flea markets and floral shops and they come in a wide variety of sizes. Even though these wee arrangements won’t last long, they’ll pack a punch on a breakfast table or tea tray. Keep in mind that daffodils are slightly poisonous and may contaminate the water, affecting the life of other cut flowers in the arrangement.
Above: A delicate parrot tulip tucked into a white linen napkin on clear glass plates is a stunning touch for a spring-inspired table.
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