Photo Pool Challenge: Winter Gardening

When the ground outside is frozen and we don’t want to go outdoors, there is nothing nicer or more fragrant than a pot of narcissus growing on a sunny windowsill. It’s traditional to force bulbs for Christmas, but we prefer to do it in the bleak period after New Year’s, to give a little taste of spring days to come. If you’re a gardener, you know how easy this is. You can also grow other kinds of bulbs, such as hyacinths, amaryllis and freesia, another fragrant flower that is too tender for our cold winters. Some of these don’t need soil and can be grown in water. What kind of flowers are your favorites for growing indoors in the winter? Please post photos and stories here. After the jump, more ideas and simple instructions.

Get a small pot — about five inches across on the top — a small bag of soil, and three paperwhite narcissus bulbs. Spread some newspaper on the kitchen table, and fill the pot about a quarter full of soil. Gently put the three bulbs in place, roots down and shoots up, and fill with more soil, not quite covering the tops of the bulbs. Water. Place in front of a sunny window and water every other day or so. In about three weeks, you should have blooms.


Above, Katy Elliott has used periwinkle shells found on the beach in Marblehead, Mass., to dress up her paperwhites.
Photo by Katy Elliott


Above, an amaryllis bulb grows in water over at Apartment Therapy.
Photo by Apartment Therapy

2 Comment

  • Alas, I get no sunlight in my apartment from mid-November until the end of January.

  • Andrew-porter, this year I put the bulbs in a window of a room that faces north and doesn’t get direct sunlight. It definitely gets light, but it’s not sunny. It’s kind of on the cool side, too, which I thought the bulbs would like. Well, this year the bulbs are doing great. It’s been a little over a week and I see buds forming and about to come out. ‘Course, could be I found better bulbs this year and nothing to do with the windows. Maybe you can still grow them in your apartment!