Teacups and Hyacinths: An Afternoon of DIY.

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In winter I find myself craving two things: A  nice hot cup of tea, and a jolt of spring colour. Today’s post is a very simple DIY project that combines the two. However, Before I dive in to this project I have to issue a warning: If you’re precious about getting your teacups – quite literally – dirty, look away now!

Flowers are an obvious way to cheer up a room, but it’s generally slim pickings at florists at this time of year. Bulbs are a perfect alternative to fresh flowers, so I headed to the glorious Columbia Road Flower Market last week and stocked up on daffodil, freesia and hyacinth bulbs, as well as fresh hyacinths.  The bulbs will eventually be replanted outdoors, in flowerpots. However, for a few weeks between now and full bloom, I’ll be enjoying them indoors where I can watch the green shoots turn into gorgeous fragrant flowers. Read below for tips on how to make your own indoor teacup garden.

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This is not the sort of DIY project that involves lengthy, detailed instructions. All you will need is some bulbs in pots, a bag of compost, a small gardening trowel, and some pretty teacups (or even small mugs or dainty bowls). A handful of moss or grassy greenery makes a nice finishing touch, but this is entirely optional. I recommend doing this project outside as it can get messy, but it could very easily be done on a kitchen table – just lay down some sheets of newspaper for easy clean up.

Step 1: Use the trowel or your fingers to loosen a bulb out of its pot. If the pot contains multiple bulbs whose roots are tangled together, gently prise them apart and don’t worry about breaking a few of the roots.

Step 2: Place the bulb into the centre of a teacup and use the trowel to fill the rest of the cup with soil. Press the soil down gently so that it is slightly compacted. This will support the bulb and ensure that it will stay upright. Add a trickle of water if the soil feels dry.

Step 3: Brush away any fallen crumbs of soil. If you wish, scatter some moss or greenery over the soil for some extra colour. That’s it – you’re done!

I like to use a mixture of colours and flowers – hyacinths, daffodils, freesias – as they look bautiful when sitting altogether. I also used some bulbs that had already flowered as well as some that were still closed buds. Anything goes, just try to put the taller plants into the larger and sturdier cups so that they don’t topple over.

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These sunny yellow daffs are just gorgeous, no?

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Once you’ve potted your bulbs, the question is what to do with them. I like arranging them along a windowsill or instead of a vase on a side table, but there are lots of other uses for them as you can see below.

I love the idea of incorporating them into a tea party display, with bulbs on the table next to actual cups of tea and slices of pastel-coloured petit fours. You could use a teapot as a vase for fresh flowers to keep with the tea-time theme! We went a step or two further for this photo shoot and filled our sugar bowl with soil…it looks quite dramatic and on-theme but perhaps don’t serve it to your guests! At the end of the tea party, your guests could each take home one of the teacups, which makes for a perfect party favour. In fact, these teacup bulbs make a really gorgeous present, full stop.

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I hope you enjoyed this DIY and that you have a go at making your own teacup bulbs. If you do, make sure to tag Jenni’s Table on Instagram so that we can have a look at your creations!

Teacup Bulb Gardening & Maintenance Tips

  • If you’re giving the teacups as a gift, I’d recommend using bulbs that haven’t bloomed yet. They’re easier to transport this way, and the recipient gets to enjoy seeing the flower bloom.
  • Do not over water the teacups – remember, there is no drainage!
  • The bulbs won’t last forever in teacups, and will need to be replanted in a few weeks after the flower has bloomed and wilted.
  • If you want to keep the bulb in the teacup for longer, place the bulb into the teacup without removing it from its individual plastic pot. This will provide drainage.
  • Finally, and perhaps rather obviously, make sure to give them ample natural light!
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