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Bowl of Paperwhite Narcissi
I love to use old battered bowls and pots for my bulbs. This is an old mixing bowl that has seen better days - it is chipped and crazed but holds water. In between bulb displays it lives in the shed.
Salad bowls, old pots, jelly moulds all work well, their domesticity seem to suit the emerging bulbs.
Paperwhite narcissi don’t need a chilling period - so they are not hidden away - but can be appreciated in all stages of growth, so it is nice to plant them into a pretty container.
(You can also make a very similar display in February with pots of sprouting narcissi bought from garden centres or florists.)
- A large bowl that is relatively deep
- Grit or fine gravel
- Paperwhite narcissi bulbs - 15-20
- Leaves or moss
- Later on you will need some twiggy sticks - silver birch, dogwood, hazel all work well.
Put a handful of grit in the base of your container to act as a reservoir and add an inch or so of compost. You can use bulb compost if you like (it has added charcoal to keep it sweet) but I never do.
Add in your paperwhite narcissi bulbs. When I was buying to take photos for this demo I could only get ones with great shoots on them. This doesn’t matter but the ones you have will probably still be dormant.
Cover the bulbs with a some compost so you can no longer see the roots and then put another layer of bulbs in. It should look this crowded and the flower spkies will happily grow around obstacles. (If you are doing this in the spring simply tease out the compost in the pots and cram in as many narcissi bulbs in a single layer as you can)
Cover the soil with fallen leaves or moss, these are hornbeam leaves scooped from under my hedges - make the layer really thick as the leaves will shrink as they dry out.
This moss is from the edges of the lawn (we grow moss really well here and it covers everything quickly but do not take any from the wild).
Once the flower spikes are 20 cm they will be firm enough to take twigs - carefully pushing them between the bulbs to support the flowers.
Keep lightly watered and for best results display it somewhere cool and light (or ret urn it to the cool at night).
I would love to know how you get on with your bulb growing. Please tag me @snapdragon.life on Instagram or use the hashtag #snapdragonlife.