I do like planting bulbs, even more so than I like sowing seeds and with bulbs you don’t have to prick things out, pot up etc. I think bulbs are wonderful, its amazing how much is packed into them. You pop them in the ground, walk away and in six months time you have beautiful flowers – whats not to like.
In previous years I have been a little cautious in my spending on bulbs mainly from having to be thrifty for years and years as a single parent. However, times they are a changing and I am in a position now to indulge my passions a bit more so I have bought far more bulbs this year, although my inherent caution still held me back a bit. Also as anyone who has read this blog for a while will know I have been discovering the world of alpines and showing plants this past year so back in April I ordered a whole load of miniature bulbs with the express view of, hopefully, having some plants to exhibit.
Over the last few weeks the parcels have started to arrive, so far from miniature Bulbs, Peter Nyssen and Buried Treasure – Avon Bulbs are still due. Conscious of how many bulbs I have to plant today was set aside to beginning the task, although it isn’t really a task. I had the benefit of using my new workspace in the garage which my eldest son has been creating for me – this is my reward for giving up a corner of the garden for his workshop. Having bought up the local nurseries supply of small pots I did the show bulbs, with the exception of the tulips, first. I am leaving all the tulips until well into November to try to limit the chances of them getting tulip fire.
So far I have planted the following:
Narcissus Joy Bishop
Narcissus Sun Disk
Narcissus Pacific Coast
Iris histriodes Lady Beatrix Stanley
Brimeura fastigata alba
I am planting them in a very gritty mix of horticultural grit and John Innes No 2, almost 50:50 and with a handful or two of horticultural sand thrown in to help with drainage. At one of the talks I have been to this year the speaker, well-known for his prize winner displays, was saying how he planted bulbs straight onto grit and then filled in around the bulbs with the compost. I couldn’t quite bring myself to do this but after some research I decided to go for a super gritty compost so we shall see if it works – if nothing else the weight of the grit will stop the pots falling over!
I have also planted the first Narcissus in the garden. Narcissus Pipit and Narcissus Minnow have gone into the Cottage Border which is now ready for Spring – so that’s one part of the garden ticked off for a while.