Our lovely gardener, Lisa Lempsick gives us some advise about planting bulbs:-
As the dark nights appear and the cold snap approaches, it is worthwhile making sure that you have got your bulbs in for the Spring.
The great thing is, compared to many plants they are an inexpensive way of brightening up your garden or outdoor space at the beginning of the year when many people are struggling to get any real colour in their garden.
If you do a bit of research you’ll find you can actually put together a series of bulbs that will give you continuous colour from January through to June. This will of course depend on what you actually like bulb-wise but I’ve put together some ideas here for you to pick and choose from or use as a framework. I’ve chosen bulbs from the J. Parker’s catalogue.
|January||Giant snowdrops||15-20cms||Jan – Mar|
|Winter aconites||3-5cms||Jan – Feb|
|February||Single snowdrops||4cm+||Feb – Mar|
|Double snowdrops||10-15cm||Feb – Mar|
|Crocus ‘Barr’s Purple’||10cm||Feb-Mar|
|Crocus ‘Ard Shenk’||10 cm||Feb-Mar|
|March||Crocus fuscotinctus||10cm||Mar – May|
|Muscari azureum||15cm||Mar – Apr|
|Narcissi bantam||30cm||Mar – Apr|
|Double daffodils mixed||25cm||Mar – Apr|
|Hyacinth ‘ Blue Jacket’||30cm||Mar – Apr|
|April||Muscari armeniacum||15cm||Late Apr- Early May|
|Narcissi double Campernelle||30cm||April|
|Jonquilla Narcissi mixed||25cm||Apr-May|
|Tulip ‘Ad Rem’||60cm||Mid- Apr|
|May||Tulip ‘Black Parrot’||55cm||Mid-May|
|Tulip ‘Black Hero’||60cm||May|
|Tulip ‘Salmon Parrot’||55cm||Mid-May|
If you want your snowdrops and winter Aconites to flower this coming January I would buy both of them ‘in the green’ as it’s called. That means you can see the flower you are buying, and check it has been correctly identified.
But there are drawbacks: plants sold in the green are often freshly dug, and haven’t benefitted from proper establishment after potting the previous autumn. Also, when digging plants grown in the open, roots can be severed, causing a check in growth.
1f you’re happy to wait a year or two for your snowdrops and winter aconites to appear then your patience will be rewarded. You can then divide your clumps of snowdrops and you’ll find you have plenty to fill your garden.