I couldn't wait for the season's first outdoor signs of spring, so I decided to bring spring indoors. I first gathered tree bark that I found scattered on the ground then hot-glued it onto the sides of a basket to give it more of a woodland look. I lined the basket's bottom and sides with a piece of garbage bag then planted hyacinths in potting soil. On the very top, I layered sheets of moss that I purchased in a bag at Joanns and tucked in a vintage bunny I found at a yard sale.
The hyacinth bulbs had already been "forced" into the bloom stage by the grower. Forcing encourages the bulbs to grow and bloom early, by planting them indoors and exposing the bulbs to warm temperatures. This process brings the bulbs into bloom weeks before they would normally bloom outdoors. A few years ago, I forced paper white narcissus bulbs into bloom by first placing them in the refrigerator for about 12 weeks. In Minnesota, bulbs are generally planted in the ground in October after the warm weather has passed, so placing them in the refrigerator mimics the process that the plant would undergo outdoors in the garden. The University of Minnesota Extension Service has directions for forcing bulbs along with a chart that shows how long different bulbs need to be cooled. It's a fun way to be able to say of spring, "Bring it on!"