I don't know about you, but January is such a blah month for me. My house seems so empty and plain after I've taken down all the Christmas decorations, and my yard is barren, too, with most trees and plants still in their dormant stage. It's about this time every year I get the itch to plant and get some color and liveliness back into my house. I started buying fresh flowers each week, but that can get a bit pricey. After wandering through the nursery dreaming of spring, I decided to pick up some bulbs and try my hand at forcing them indoors. There are several types of bulbs conducive to forcing: crocuses, daffodils and paperwhites (Narcissus), hyacinths and tulips. The process is very simple: choose your bulbs, chill them for about a week or two (place them in your refrigerator or store them outside if cold enough), then plant. Smaller pots, around 6" in diameter are best, and you can use either potting soil or rocks to cover the bulbs (for tulips and daffodils, leave the tops of the bulbs exposed). Water after planting, then keep the soil moist until growth is visible. If plants get tall and top-heavy, cut some tree branches and poke in the soil around the bulbs for support.
Forcing bulbs is an easy and satisfying way to have beautiful flowers indoors during the blah winter months. Your spirits will be lifted when you're surrounded by bright floral displays and fragrant aromas, another wonderful gift from nature!