I know how busy everyone is at this time of the year, so it means a little more when people make the extra effort to host a party. So I always try to do a little extra around the holidays for anyone who makes the effort to have me over for dinner. This year, instead of a bottle of wine, I’m doing something a little different.
Truth is, I didn’t get all of my fall jobs done before winter moved in. One of the big ones was planting my bulbs. Now I have a ton of daffodils and tulips sitting in my garage. This year as hostess gifts, I’m going to force these bulbs and plant them as decorative hostess gifts. Here’s how you can bring a little outdoors in for the holidays.
The bulbs are definitely the most important part of this project. Now I had lots left over which makes my shopping simple. If you need some, look for the sales at the garden centres and the box stores. Choose daffodils, crocus, tulips or even paper-whites. All of these are easily grown indoors. Also, consider using a large amaryllis, which is perfect around the holidays because it’s blooming right in the middle of party season!
Start by chilling your bulbs (except Amaryllis). This starts the growing process. There seems to be a big disagreement among the experts as to how long you should chill. Some say 12-15 weeks in the fridge or the garage. I know that I’ve had success with bulbs that only had a few weeks of cool-time. Choose bulbs that already have tips growing if you don’t have time to chill them.
Next, pick your container. I love using glass or metal pails. Once the bulbs are done, the container gets reused as something other than a flowerpot. Quick tip: if you are using something other than glass, make sure its waterproof!
Fill half of your container with rocks that will act as a base for your bulbs. If you have it, add a pinch of aquarium charcoal. The charcoal helps prevent any bacteria growth in the water. Arrange your bulbs, and add more rocks to hold them in place.
Fill your container so that the water is touching the base of the bulbs and covering the roots.
And don't forget to add a big festive bow!
Voila! A perfect hostess gift that will not only impress, it will keep on giving for the entire holiday season with minimal commitment. A bottle of wine lasts for a few hours in my house, but blooming bulbs are guaranteed to bring a smile for several weeks. (You might want to make an extra one for you!)