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Bulbs for your garden and large planting schemes

I select reliable and recommended varieties and under plant them in generous drifts to create impact and a successional effect. A good rule of thumb is to have a limited amount of species but in a large quantity to get impact.

Spring bulbs – planted in autumn

Chionodoxa ‘Blue Giant’ (now remamed Scilla fobesii ) is one of my favourites – at 15cm tall it is great for rockeries or in your lawn to create early march flowering starry blue carpets.

Mini Daffodils such as Narcissus tete a tete are popular for a good reason too – 15cm tall, robust splashes of colour. Good on banks and in pots.

For meadow areas, naturalising daffodils (which will seed and spread over time) Narcissus recurvus, around 40cm tall. A tastefully pale flower with a pheasants eye centre is good for pollinators.

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a beautiful tulip mix

For maximum colour options – tulips are the ‘go to’, however not all tulips will reliably come back each year so I tend to group them in small beds or containers which can be positioned and retrieved. Tulips like sun and warmth. I often mix 2 colours together and repeat the clumps around the garden. Tip; Later tulips are less likely to get weather beaten if you’re choosing for an exposed site.

Summer bulbs ( also planted in autumn)

Alliums – I use the drumstick allium – The almost unpronouncable Allium sphaerocephalon. (50cm tall) In generous drifts through grasses and sedums and asters – the bees love this one! It will set seed and naturalise too.

Also Allium atropurpureum, at 80cm tall, is elegant and dark coloured – perfect for planting through taller perrenials.

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Camassia is like a giant bluebell

Camassia around 60cm tall – I describe this as being like a giant bluebell, Excellent in borders

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Striking ‘gold’ in the garden

After a night with limited sleep, my head spins. In the latest bout it spun in technicolor. It was pleasant but way out of the realm of reality. Or maybe not.

It may have had its beginnings two weeks ago when I was digging a hole to plant a cardinal plant. The shovel struck “gold” in the form of daffodil bulbs. Kneeling down beside the hole where the bulbs were surrounded by loosened soil, my gloved hands kept rolling out bulbs. They were good-sized. There were an amazing total 32 bulbs in this harvest.

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Over 32 daffodil bulbs were removed so that Mary Lee could plant a cardinal plant. They represented an increase from the original eight planted a few years ago.

When the daffodils are planted my usual method of operation is to place eight bulbs in a hole. This presents a pleasant clump of color come spring. Four, maybe five years ago this was done. It is clear that this bulb reproduced well. It had increased to four times the original amount. It should not have surprised me, yet it did.

Right now companies are encouraging us to place orders for fall bulbs. Knowing that daffodil bulbs will multiply makes them appealing. Yet, this is the time when tulips with a wider range of color call to me. Ripping reds, bright oranges, pinks, blues and purples call out from catalog pages. You have heard me complain about the local deer populations which consume tulips as buds are set.

Orange, red, purple, and technicolor daffodils, too

On this day with so little sleep, my mind ponders a thought, one filled

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