Just when we’re feeling as gloomy as a dull, frosty February day, suddenly there they are – buckets of bulbs and bunches of fragrant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and pansies to brighten our day and remind us that spring is just around the corner. Get a little creative with your market-variety spring posies and arrange them in unexpected ways in minutes. These five arrangements are sure to lift our spirits and brighten our days until the snow stops falling and the warmth of the sun encourages these sweet little harbingers of spring to poke their pretty little heads from beneath a blanket of snow in our flower beds once again.


Keep it simple and long lasting. Strip off some of the leaves from a bunch of tulips or daffodils, make fresh diagonal cuts to shorten the stems to the desired height then plop them into a narrow cylindrical vase with some fresh water. Add the florist food that comes with your bunch and remember to change the water every couple of days for as long as they last.


Create little floral vignettes composed of potted violets, fragrant tulips, pansies and hyacinths by a sunny window in the corner of any room. Raise them up on a stack of gardening books on a chair or stool and they’ll look amazing arranged on a tray and placed on a coffee table or dining table.


I can’t bear to throw away the little flowers with broken stems, so before I toss the fading potted bulbs I clip the last surviving blooms and create cheery mini arrangements in a vintage teacup or other small container. The trick to supporting these short little three-inch stems is a glass floral frog that fits inside the cup. You can find these at flea markets and floral shops in a wide variety of sizes. Even though these wee arrangements won’t last long, they’ll pack a punch on a breakfast table or tea tray. Keep in mind that daffodils are slightly poisonous and may contaminate the water, affecting the life of other cut flowers in the arrangement.


This is one of my favourite ways to arrange my tulips. Purchase tulips that are not yet open. Remove some of the leaves and lay the bunch on the counter, out of water for an hour or so or until the stems become limp and pliable. Fill a fish-bowl style vase with about two or three inches of water and add floral food. Once the tulip stems are limp enough to bend, clip the stems on a diagonal and place one tulip at a time inside the bowl, bending gently to conform to the shape of the bowl as shown. Make sure the end of each stem is submerged in water. Stagger the tulips as shown. Tulip stems continue to grow and lengthen after they’re cut so trim them accordingly so they won’t overcrowd the bowl.


Remove tulip and hyacinth bulbs from their not-so-pretty plastic pots and repot them in vintage vessels such as Depression glass pitchers, ceramic jardinières and cachepots. You can find these for peanuts at thrift shops and flea markets. Cover the soil with fresh green moss, pebbles or seashells.

 Happy Spring!