Fill containers with layers of yellow daffodils, fragrant purple hyacinth and perky crocus and let it rest all winter long before sunny days wake up the bulbs in early spring.
Photos by Laura Mercer
Begin with a container at least 15 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Make sure it has a drainage hole. Put a thin layer of gravel or rocks on the bottom of the planter.
Cover with a couple inches of potting mix, then arrange about a dozen daffodil bulbs, root end down, in a single layer, about a 1/2 inch apart.
Cover the daffodil bulbs with about 3 inches of potting mix and position the hyacinth bulbs next. Continue with another couple inches of potting mix.
Next, place the crocus bulbs in a layer. Don’t be shy about using lots of bulbs. To get the full effect, cover the surface of the soil with crocus bulbs.
Cover the crocus bulbs with a couple inches of potting mix, up to an inch from the rim of the pot. Finish with a thin layer of mulch.
Water and place in an out of the way location such as a garage until late winter.
When the days start to warm in late winter, move to a sunny location like a porch or patio until spring’s warm days waken the blooms. Water occasionally.
The crocus blooms will emerge first. After the blooms fade, the foliage will remain and fill in while the hyacinth and daffodils take their turn.
Water the container about once a week and trim the blooms as they fade.
The beauty of this container is that it will change every day. Keep it close to your front door so you can enjoy it as each flower emerges.
When the the last of the blooms are gone, clean up the foliage and move the container to a protected, cool place such as a garage for the remainder of the spring.
After a time, remove the bulbs, shake off the dirt, label and store them in a cool dry place.
In late fall, create the planter again, adding a slow-release fertilizer to the potting mix.
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