Spring is here, at last. Daffodils are everywhere and their yellow sparkle is just what we need. From breathtaking Bluebells to the delicate blooms of Crocus, it’s great to be able to get out in the garden, after the last few freezing months.
I love the gaudiness of primroses, at this time of year, but my own particular favourite is the snowflake, Leucojum vernum. There are large clumps here, under an old misplaced Acer, and their pendulous white flowers, with emerald green spots on the tip of each petal, are delightful. As the daffodil trumpets loudly, the changing of a season, the snowflake nods those little bells in solidarity.
Over the years I have, accidentally, dug up more bulbs than I have ever planted, always vowing to replant them but never getting around to it. It’s not my fault, because in the height of Summer, utilising any rays of sunshine becomes a mission, urging me to use any bare patch of soil as a planting opportunity. Unfortunately, bulbs become the innocent victim, languishing unprotected in the shed until they are beyond redemption. It might just be me, perhaps remembering where the double flowered ‘Tahiti’ bulbs are located is just a case of getting organised. Thankfully there are other ways with bulbs.
Using containers is well worth it, easy to control and you can move them around to suit. Try storing them away after flowering, in a garage or shed, until the following year, it certainly works for a friend of mine. For me personally, under planting trees and large shrubs, en masse with a single species or colour has been the most rewarding. Although a large bag of bulbs, requiring varying depth of holes, can seem quite daunting, it is well worth the effort. The countless Narcissus I have, under a very old apple tree, look great and smell amazing. They are also perfect for picking and throwing into a vase, that way I can appreciate Spring indoors and enjoy the heady scent.
On closer inspection my garden is a mess, perennials need tidying, shrubs could do with a prune, and the weeds are making their usual bid to take over every inch of soil, smothering all in their way. I know the more I get done now the easier my gardening year will be, the key is to gain control and keep it so. But this is not as much of a chore as it seems. My friend, the Robin red breast, is much happier now, and content to keep me company while I enjoy the fresh March sunshine and relish the gardening year ahead.
Written 7th March 2009