27 June, 2017

Autumn bulb planting

Jonathan Piercy

Jonathan Piercy gives tips on some of his choice bulbs.

Now is the time to be planning your next spring display for the garden and many nurseries are stocking Autumn Bulbs.

Firstly for those who are impatient you can bring your springtime into the house around Christmas by planting in bowls (before the end of September) Prepared Hyacinths or Narcissus ‘Paper White Ziva’. This will reward you with bright white, extremely sweetly scented flowers.

For those who like to be a little different at Christmas consider the Single Early Tulip ‘Christmas Marvel’. This has bright fuchsia pink flowers so will give a bold splash adding to the Christmas decorations.

Galanthus S Arnott

Your next opportunity for flower is with Snowdrops. They give a clear indication that spring is on its way. From the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis there are some others which are very tempting. ‘Flore Pleno’ is a double variety and will naturalise or ‘S Arnott’’ is strongly scented.

Follow these on with Crocus either large flowered Dutch Hybrids or more unusual species. I still think that they look best planted in mixed colours, and then the Kings of the spring bulbs come into show The Narcissus.

Narcissus ‘February Gold’ This old classic has big reflexed lemon-yellow perianth segments with a large slightly darker trumpet. It does brilliantly when left to naturalise and has stood the test of time Pre 1923.

Narcissus Lobularis

By the time these are finishing the Large-cupped Narcissus will be starting to show of which ‘Carlton’ is another old favourite Pre 1927 producing an extra large and broad cup which also makes it good for cut flower. If you wish to bring Farndale into your garden then plant Narcissus pseudonarcissus’Lobularis’. This is the nearest to the ‘Farndale Daffodil’ producing a splendid cream and yellow flower rarely growing taller than 25cm (10’’)

Tulips will also add to your show and probably the most dramatic on the market at the moment is ‘Queen of the Night’.  This produces a dark velvety maroon flower about 60cm (24’’) high.

By far the most popular of spring bulbs at the moment are Alliums. These ornamental onions are a dramatic addition to any hot sunny border. Generally the foliage will emerge first and then dye down as the flowers emerge. It is important to dead head so as to produce a good flower the following year. ‘Purple Sensation’ is probably the best known of the drumstick alliums.

Allium schubertii

These rich deep purple flowers stand about 90cm (35’’) high, but the most dramatic of alliums and beloved by flower arrangers is Allium schubertii, because it looks like a cross between a hugh Sea Anemone and an exploding firework!

Whatever you decided to plant don’t leave it too late. Bulbs are starting to come into the shops and nurseries usually dispatch bulb orders depending on stock availability up to the end of November, but order early to avoid disappointment.

 

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