easter tabletop garden
With spring so late this year, everything is coming with a whoosh and April should be magnificent. It looks as though hyacinths, narcissi, anemones and tulips are all set to be in flower at the same time.
Our gardens are going to be like mini Keukenhofs, the Dutch bulb garden, carpeted with wall-to-wall colour - spring concertinaed into half its usual time.
This doesn't happen often, so let's make the most of it and pile our Easter tables high with a virtual garden in pots.
Creating your Easter table display
You can use spring-flowering bulbs to give the vertical spires in the tabletop garden, and surround these with lower undulating hummocks of all the best spring bedding - violas, polyanthus, bellis, schizanthus.
For scent as well as stature, Hyacinth 'L'Innocence' (pure white) and 'Blue Magic' hyacinths or the darker Hyacinth 'Kronos' should be in flower perfectly at Easter this year, and then there's the pretty and powerfully perfumed daffodil 'Cragford'.
My paperwhite narcissi are all over now and the multi-headed, long-lasting 'Avalanche' is just emerging, but 'Cragford' is reaching its peak and filling the place with its sweet and delicious fragrance.
If you didn't get round to planting any bulbs, go to your nearest garden centre and buy up pots just coming into bloom. Mass two or three pots together in one big container to maximise their impact.
Daffs are good for dramatic scent and stature, whereas delicate grape hyacinths (Muscari) work better for a smaller table. Plant up three bulbs in mini Moroccan vases, or even tea cups and these will look good and should continue to flower - if kept cool - for more than a month inside.
Surround your bulbs with plenty of cheap and cheerful bedding, but choose and pot on with care. It can look as good and last four times as long as a bunch of cut flowers and form the centrepiece of your Easter dining table.