There's still time to buy supermarket bulbs for you to plant for Christmas. Though they probably won't flower in time for the big day, they'll be gorgeous during the dead first weeks of January, when you actually need cheering up. And unlike some of the things supermarkets sell which don’t work, this plant project is a sure thing.
I usually buy some paperwhites and some hyacinths, but my favourite for the past few years (under the influence of my friend Phoebe, who always grows one) is amaryllis. My first one this year is from Sainsbury’s – it’s bright red and comes in a fairly restrained stone-coloured pot (£6.99).
However I now have my eye on the M&S one, which is an exorbitant £12, but which comes in a gorgeous slightly Chinoiserie container.
I also have to devote a bit of care to the one I grew last year, which
was £2.99 from the Co-op and turned out to be a total trooper. I don't
know how easy it is to get an amaryllis to flower well the second time
round: this one is still looking determinedly leafy, despite copious
helpings of blood fish and bone: any tips gratefully received (yeah I
know it shouldn't be me saying that).