spring bulbs in the garden

Daffodils and other spring bulbs are late flowering this year. In fact my local radio is keeping a ‘daffodil watch’ asking listeners to telephone in with their spotting’s. In the past couple of days these sightings have become more frequent. It would appear that spring is at last arrived.

My daffodils are not yet flowering, although they look as though they might be in the next day or three. However, I have a number of tete-a-tete daffodils

narcissus tete a tete

These suddenly started to flower yesterday. I didn’t notice them advancing – they were just suddenly there. I like tete-a-tete daffodils, they are just like Carlton daffodils but in miniature and they are reliably earlier to flower than any others. They are great in pots or on the rockery or like mine, just dotted around the garden. Like most bulbs, they increase in number every year. Most daffodils, if left long enough will eventually become overcrowded and need digging up and thinning out. You know when this is needed, they stop flowering.

In spite of the weather, I have had one miniature kaufman tulip in flower for a month. I hadn’t realised that part of the garden was particularly sheltered but it must be. It faces south and there is a side of a shed painted black next to it. The other dozen or so tulip bulbs which are planted around this one flower started flowering two days ago. They look great.

I think most people love spring bulbs, they are so welcome after the dark and dull months of winter. They lift your heart and make you realise that sun and warmth are just around the corner. They are also so easy to grow with very little maintenance. Just plant them to the required depth (which is usually twice the size of the bulb i.e. the hole needs to be three times as deep as the bulb) then leave them to do their thing. Don’t cut back the leaves until six weeks after they have finished flowering, this will ensure that all the godness goes back into the bulbs meaning that they will enlarge and give you a good display the following year.

There are a surprising number of flowers out at the moment, despite the inclement weather – crocus are now looking their best and the snowdrops and celendines are still flowering. I have had primulas in flower all winter and they are still giving their best, other primroses are also starting to flower.

The miniature iris are also out in flower now. These are one of the few bulbs which are unlikely to flower next year. They come from Mexico and they need their bulbs baked during the summer in order to flower the following year. English summer’s are just not hot enough to do this and the second year they just produce a a few leaves before giving up altogether. You should treat them like annuals although they are a bit expensive for that. This year I am going to dig mine up and put them in my greenhouse and hope that they will get baked enough to produce flowers next year. I’ve got nothing to lose trying. Watch this space for the results.

There are a number of companies which specialise in bulbs,  and there are a surprising number of flower forms and colours which are now available. They are being added to every year and there is now no reason why you shouldn’t have bulbs in flower (of one sort or another) from January to November. It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way of producing bright colour in your garden.


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment