Please reassure me that I’m not the only gardener who is excited when new plant catalogues arrive. The first of the spring catalogues arrived last month and they are bursting with temptations. Whether online or in print, the colourful photos always entice me to add more bulbs to my garden.
I’ve been trying to decide what bulbs pleased me last spring; which ones I need to move and what I may want to add. It’s a fun way to spend time. This is when my garden journal is useful, as I skim through the entries for last spring to see what bulbs gave me the most pleasure when they flowered.
It may seem that spring is a long way off, but I know from experience that bulbs that are out of the ordinary sell out quickly. Ordering as soon as their availability is announced really does allow you the best selection.
The flowers of jonquils and tulips gave me most pleasure last year. The jonquils were planted by the previous owner of my garden and they made the most glorious cut flowers inside the house, spreading their gentle perfume.
Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) are great value because they can produce up to ten flowering heads per bulb. I find their pale shades are visible in my garden after the sun sets, like clumps of ghostly light. I’ll definitely add more of those.
I won’t be buying any more tulip bulbs this year, since I have a bag full waiting in the fridge. Since moving from Sydney to a cooler climate, I’ve been overjoyed to have these treasures in my garden. I planted 30 in my first year here and another 30 last year and adored every one of them. Once I saw their blooms unfurl each day in the sunshine and close up as the air cooled in the evening, I was fascinated.
I was also surprised by existing tulips that woke from their winter slumber and shot up in unexpected places. Such a bonus – I didn’t know they were there.
It’s rewarding to have spring bulbs in the garden. Once planted, they stay cosily under the earth until it starts to warm and then they send up shoots into the air. That’s one of the most exciting parts of their growth for me, along with watching the buds form and then open.
Are you thinking about what bulbs you’d like in your spring garden? Planting time will come around in a few months so get those catalogues out now!