mini gardeners

inspiring gardening projects for children

Blue Christmas

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blue hyacinth

Every year I gaze longingly at Christmas trees that have been decorated stylishly, usually those gracing the covers of house magaines.  And every year I set out with the intention of having an uber-stylish tree with a single colour scheme for ornaments and no tinsel (on the grounds that it must be a bit naff as it doesn’t seem to feature much in the magazine photos).

And then my daughters take over and the tree becomes a riot of colour and tinsel, and home to oddly matched decorations, most of which are placed at child height with the rest of the tree remaining bare.

So not that our house needs any more colour this Christmas, oh no, but we couldn’t resist buying some hyacinths at the local shops.  Of course we could have gone for the more festive white flowered hyacinths if we’d had a snowy theme going on.  But for a house that has a Christmas tree decorated with more colours than a rainbow, blue seemed quite fitting.

blue hyacinth

Hyacinths don’t usually flower until spring but you can buy specially prepared bulbs (known as “forced” bulbs) to flower inside over Christmas.

If, like us, you weren’t organised enough to buy and plant hyacinth bulbs a couple of months ago, you can now buy bulbs that are already growing.

If you buy these before they flower (see photos below), repotting into nice containers is a great holiday job for children.  And they should flower within a week or so of repotting – speedy gardening results for little people with short attention spans.

Plus they make great gifts.  Handy to have a few at home for those awkward moments when you realise you need an emergency gift at short notice.  Or is that just us?

Read on for instructions……

repotting hyacinths

These pots were a charity shop find; the gold filled us with Christmassy cheer.

hyacinth bulbs out of their pot

Good root systems indicating healthy plants.  Bit tricky for repotting into our small pots but fun curling the roots into the bottom of the pot.

repotting a hyacinth bulb

Don’t overwater or the bulbs may rot, especially if your pot has no drainage holes like ours.  Water lightly when the compost looks dry and enjoy the (slightly cloying) fragrance that will pervade your room.

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