flower brick

Flower Bricks

I wanted to try some new flowers in the flower bricks. Although they don't have the longest stems, I thought pansies might be suitable. They are just coming into bloom and easily available.

This flower brick is from France where they are known as a vase pique fleurs. This is marked on the bottom: Decor de tradition, Vieux Moustiers, Le Petit Vallauris, 83160, La Vallette du Var, Toulon-France.

vase pique fleurs moustiers

vase pique fleurs moustiers

This is the Culpeper flower brick.

This is an Isis flower brick (by Deborah Sears). When I took this pic I didn't realize a chip was so prominent in the top right corner, front right!

Sadly I think these pansies are too short to work effectively with a flower brick. I will continue the research!


After seeing the flower bricks on Antiques Roadshow yesterday (2nd week of January 2014), I was inspired to push the hyacinth vases to one side, buy some inexpensive flowers and have a go at arranging them in my (reproduction) flower bricks. I did not know which were the best flowers to use and how many of each but in this case I was limited by availability and budget. This time it's red tulips and purple iris.

hyacinth vases and flower bricks

The stems are much too long. I've had to force myself to trim them even more. It's painful

flower bricks

but I see they do look better. One flower in each hole I think would be too much and wouldn't even fit.

flower bricks

The holes in the Winterthur brick are smaller, too small for the tulips and irises. The greenery that came with the irises just fits.

flower bricks

I need to see how the iris look when in bloom. I'll probably have to shorten them even further.  I've filled all the bricks with water (through the larger central hole). I think that's a good number of tulips in the Culpeper brick.

flower bricks

I have not been able to find any period examples of flower bricks with flowers (eg paintings or illustrations) but from my experimentation I think less is more, the smaller the better with flower size and not every hole needs a stem in it. I will try other kinds of flowers and post results here.

a couple days later and the iris are in bloom, I think they are too big for the "vase" and overwhelm the flower brick, I will look out for other flowers to try

purple irises in flower brick


bulb bowls, pots and vases

I have two new bulb bowls this year. They are much bigger than the only one I had last year which is too small for hyacinths but just right for large crocus bulbs.

bulb bowls with hyacinth bulbs

I have filled these with water, placed the hyacinth bulbs over the large holes and put them in the cellar with the rest of the pots and vases (some pictured below). I think if I used bulb fibre the roots would push the bulbs up and off the lids.

hyacinth vases in cellar

I'm still not sure what to do with these flower bricks. I think they are just for cut flowers but I'm not sure what type of flowers would work best. I guess tulips were very popular at the time they were first produced. I did think before of putting a bulb in the large hole in the middle but I have since read that that hole was for pouring in water.

bulb pots and flower bricks

These pots are awaiting the  crocus bulbs that are still in the fridge being prepared. After 6 weeks in the fridge I will pot them up but still keep them in the cellar but not in the fridge.

crocus pots

I cut this hyacinth bulb open to show the flower already developed inside. When the bulge of that flower is out of the bulb it is ready to come out of the dark (about 1 December).

hyacinth bulb cut open

These are not hyacinth vases although I use them to grow hyacinths. Any vase that holds the bulb above water can work as a hyacinth vase.

non-hyacinth vases

flower bricks and bulb bowls

I'm interested in anything that can be used to grow bulbs indoors.

bulb bowls and flower bricks

The bulb bowls with lids with holes seem to be straightforward enough. The bulbs (crocus or hyacinth, depending on size of the holes) go in the holes on top. How does one use a flower brick? The large hole seems perfect for a crocus bulb but I'm not sure if they were made for that or were just made for cut flowers. I managed to find a few spent bulbs to show a comparison of the hole sizes.

bulb bowls and flower bricks

bulb bowls and flower bricks

The main question with the bulb bowls is whether to put the bulbs on top of the lid or underneath. I think they were made for the bulbs to go on top. Before I knew that I put them underneath. Both methods have their pros and cons.

The empty hole (below) was because the crocus bulb dropped down as it was a bit small. The largest bulbs are required to sit on top. Some roots can also be seen around the edge of the bulbs preventing them from sitting neatly in the holes.

crocus bowl

The bowl below looks quite neat with the bulbs beneath the lid but that isn't always the case as in the pic below that as it shows how multiple stems can be a tight fit in the holes and the roots push the bulbs up, dislodging the lid.

crocus bowl

crocus pots

I'd love to see how these ceramic items were actually used rather than my attempts. If anyone can direct me to paintings that feature them, it would be great, thanks (julie @ gardenwithindoors.org.uk).

I'm not sure if this was made for cuttings or bulbs or either. I'm going to use it for small bulbs.

bulb holder with bulbs

And of course one can use small pots for small bulbs indoors. Below are a couple purchased recently at the front and a couple of vases and the bulb bowls and flower bricks for size comparison.

bulb bowls and flower bricks

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