A friend recently posted an interesting debate on Facebook: 'is it OK to pick wildflowers?' The question was prompted after she was berated for snipping a few stems of snowdrops in her local woods. She received plenty of comments with the resounding majority agreeing wildflowers should be left alone, to be enjoyed by all.
I am with the majority, although it is very sweet when your three year old bounds up to you on a walk with a little fist full of blooms! So I did a little research and discovered that although it is not actually illegal to pick a common wildflower, it is illegal to uproot any plant (and pick any flower from a public space).
One friend replied to the original question with a perfect solution - plant your favourite spring bulbs in your own garden (or window box/terrace pot), where you can happily pick as many blooms as you please and continue to enjoy every year - perfect advice and her comment inspired this column.
I adore having heaps of potted flowering spring bulbs throughout our house (kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and sitting room) and just now, our home is filled with pretty petite blue grape hyacinths (muscari) potted into a selection of white and grey neutral pots. The great thing about these designs, even aside from being inexpensive and lasting a good few weeks, once the flowers have faded, the bulbs can simply be planted straight outside, and the blooms picked to your hearts content every March/April, forever more... nearly.
To recreate this spring design, follow these simple step-by-step instructions.
YOU WILL NEED
CREATING THE DESIGN
At Pheasants Hatch, as well as grape hyacinths, we have successfully directly potted out narcissi, various varieties of daffodils and snowdrops. Both hyacinths and tulips are a little trickier, requiring their bulbs to be kept in a dry, dark spot until early autumn and placed in the ground before the frosts arrive.
Column first published online with House & Garden.