Spring indoor gardens

There are many ways of creating a spring garden indoors. Use bulbs alone or mixed with other flowering plants, and choose containers that will display them with flair.

A bulb garden

Bulbs are synonymous with springtime. Their clear, sunny colours are our first reminder that winter is disappearing and summer is on the way. For a strong impact plant a number of bulbs together — but not touching — in October. Choose bulbs of the same type and colour. It is better not to mix colours and varieties in one container, as bulbs may flower at different times and so spoil the effect. In a container with no drainage holes use special bulb fibre on top of a layer of charcoal. If your container has drainage holes then use a rich, soil-based potting mixture.

Most bulbs prefer a light spot out of direct sunlight. When you first bring them out into the light, however, place them in a darker position to allow them time to adjust before moving them into their final position, otherwise the plant may not perform properly.

Spring indoor gardensSpring flowering plants

Alternatively choose spring plants for an indoor garden. Primroses look very effective massed in a basket or china bowl. First line a basket with dark coloured polythene, then position the pots and conceal them with peat placed between and around them. Finally cover with a blanket of moss. Keep moss and peat moist and the plants will flourish in the resulting humidity. Primroses prefer a cool, light position. Make a bright splash by mixing colours or choose plants in tones of one colour to harmonise with a room scheme.

Plant violets in a shallow container which has adequate drainage holes. Include a small mirror, placing it on top of the potting compost. Use moss to form a natural pond edge and arrange the flowers so that they are reflected. Water the arrangement from below.

More Spring Indoor Garden Ideas

  • Use a decorated tea cup and saucer is a container for violets.
  • Paint a small basket to highlight the colours in a group of pansies.
  • Use a shallow terracotta saucer for an arrangement of small rock plants interspersed with rough shaped pebbles. Plant in the garden after flowering.
  • Fill an old white gravy or sauce boat with Forget-Me-Nots. Sponge lightly with blue or pink emulsion paint to show off the flower colours. The paint will quickly wash off after use.
  • Use a garden trug as a container for heathers in a range of tones from pale pink to deep mauve.
  • Make a bigger splash by adding a jug of matching cut flowers to a bowl of bulbs.

A spring scene makes a very effective table centre. It is easiest to use bulbs that have already sprouted for this. Buy them in bud or start them off in a small container. Any small spring bulbs are suitable; snowdrops, crocuses, Squill, Lily-of-the-Valley. Mix with tiny violet plants and small primroses in their natural woodland colours of pale yellow or softly tinged with pink. Choose a wide but fairly shallow container that will look effective in the centre of a table. A wickei basket would be very suitable.

When using a basket, first line it with polythene, then add a layer of pebbles or clay pellets and part fill with a rich soil. Based compost. Take plants out of their pots and position two or three of one type in a small clump. Add others in the same way, then surround with compost until about 2cm (3/4in) from container top. Finally cover with moss. A few tiny pebbles, or some cones will help create a woodland theme. At Easter you could add some decorated eggs and even a tiny fluffy toy chick.

Container choice

The smaller spring plants and bulbs need to be planted to a depth of about 5cm (2in), and some even less. This means that a wide range of decorative items you may already have in your home will make very suitable spring garden containers. Here are some to consider:

  • Painted or natural wicker baskets with and without handles Small baskets show off tiny bulbs, miniature cyclamen and violets specially well.
  • China vegetable dishes, soup tureens, large bowls Use a matching large mug or soup bowl for just one plant and group it with the larger container.
  • Casseroles in terracotta and earthy colours are specially suitable as containers for groups of different varieties of Narcissi.
  • Copper pans, and brassware show off bright yellow and rusty coloured primroses.

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