Green Holiday Giving: Winter Flower Bulb Gifts via barley & birch
All, Make

Make: Mini Winter Gardens

Make Something/Green Monday continues with Part 2…


Mini Winter Gardens


I have a long list of people who do things for me on the regular, so every time the holidays roll around I try to keep an eye out for a simple & beautiful something I can give to quite a few without breaking the bank. I’ve always loved having clear vases of paperwhites all over the house come January – aaaaand there was an excess of mason jars hanging out in the kitchen – so there you go. This is the perfect solution for an army of giftees.

You’ll need:

  • Mason Jars (I used 1/2 pint & pint wide-mouth jars)
  • Potting Soil
  • Rocks or Pebbles
  • Live Sheet Moss or Peat Moss
  • Water-Blooming Bulbs (I used Paperwhite & Crocus but you can also use Amaryllis, Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils, or Dutch Iris)
  • Water

If you don’t plant your mini-gardens right away, store your bulbs in a cool dry place and your moss (if its live) in a cool, damp place. The roots of crocus and paper whites only need 3″ of room to grow, so I did a layer of soil for moisture and a layer of rocks for drainage, plunked the bulb down on top, then pushed some sheet moss in around it to hold the bulb in place (plus, this is what REALLY takes it from “bulb in a jar” to “mini winter garden”).


1 Narcissus bulb fits perfectly in a wide-mouth pint jar and 3 Crocus in the 1/2 pint wide-mouths. I used White Marble Rocks (love that fresh, bright white) and live sheet moss from the local garden store. I totally recommend buying the live stuff – its a cheery festive green, it insulates the bulb, holds just a bit of water (even when dried out) and a little goes a LONG way. I probably only used about a 5 in. x 5 in. square for the 20 I put together tonight.


Personally, I think they are super cute as is in the clear jars, but if you are feeling a dressed-up version, we wrapped some of ours in paper bags + twine and are loving the look. You could also use some of the sweet phonebook wrap you probably just made… 😉

MSM_MiniWinerGardenA  Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 11.51.41 PM

This is seriously a great thing for kids to make (so quick and easy) and give (especially to other kids). And its truly the gift that keeps on giving, because who isn’t ready for some fresh flowers come January?  REALLY.




About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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