Tulip bulbs can be forced into bloom indoors, much like amaryllis, paperwhites and hyacinths. I am in my third year of forcing them to bloom on only plain water in vases filled with small stones or florist marbles.
This year, with several inches of snow still lingering, I have an indoor garden that's giving me a happy jumpstart on spring.
For this round, I decided to experiment with supermarket bulbs instead of my usual mail order bulbs. The results have been mixed. So far, I have a bowl of sprouted muscari (grape hyacinth) bulbs that have had two very dissappointing flower clusters among lots of green shoots (not shown). Previously, mail-order bulbs produced several stunning water-grown grape hyacinth displays.
From this year's supermarket tulip bulbs, I have three perfect tulips, one slightly flawed tulip, one mutant tulip, and four tulip bulbs in one vase that sprouted but never took root.