Autumn bulb planting

bulb blistersBliss. Blisters. And thus divides about six hours of lovely work.

I have been bulb planting today. And yesterday. And tomorrow.  There are a lot of critters to get into the ground.

On Friday I drove down to Andrew’s for a lovely lunch. And I collected not only ten jars of his sublime honey, but also my annual order of Dutch bulbs.

It might seem excessive (it feels it with my aching hand) but in this large garden I need plants that are cheap and can look after themselves.  So what better investment than bulbs.  They grow underground, they don’t need feeding or watering. Or barely any weeding.  They do their job in spring when I am yearning for colour.  And all their work is done without my intervention. bulb christophii

I would even love to say that they are a permanent fixture in the garden.  But that doesn’t factor in the wildlife menace.  The mole rat gets lots of bulbs. And I suspect there are small creatures like door mice, red squirels and pine martens who help themselves to this fantastic source of food.

Oh, and the wild boar churn and churn the east garden meaning a lot get lost in the feeding frenzy that ensues. I am sure they don’t eat the daffodil bulbs – poisonous, I believe – but they affect the growing environment.

So it’s not all marvellous underground. But I build up the colour year on year.

artur bulb plantingActually I use a lot of white bulbs. Just a quick perusal of my list below will show that I prefer to match the white of the cherry blossom of the trees with the narcissus at their feet.   Narcissus Thalia is a cracker.  And I have extended my display to the other side of the road opposite the east garden this year.

No. Wait. The list. Enjoy the shot of Artur helping me to plant bulbs (not) if you don’t fancy a garden obsessive moment. He did slow down the process, but I couldn’t shove him off my lap.

Tulip Hakuun (100)

Tulip Ivory Floradale (100)

Tulip Purissia White Emperor (100)

Narcissus Thalia (300)

Narcissus Rijnveld’s Early Sensation (100)

Narcissus Topolino (200)

Narcissus Paperwhite Ziva (100)

Anenome Blanda Blue Shades (100)

Allium christophii (50)

Allium Purple Sensation (100)

Alium sphaerocephalon (500)

Muscari armeniacum (200)

So a whopping 1950 bulbs to get into the ground.  But the drumstick alliums – sphaerocephalon – are titchy and therefore easy to plant. If laborious. bulb muscari

The tulips are an extravagance – they rarely return year upon year.  But I am going to try and plant them super deep which apparently improves my chances of getting beyond spring. As does having a Darwin hybrid variety – Ivory Floradale. So I look forward to the trial.

There is not one garden bed where I haven’t trod, tiptoed or staggered.  The alliums are a stunning garden treat – and they go through the barn garden and the herb garden. I put all the Topolinos in the terrace bank, and muscari in among the iris on the bank and above on the hornbeam hedge.

And a pot of muscari for Manou for spring as a surprise. She loved them this year. Particularly as they are from Armenia (hence their name) as are her parents.

Tomorrow I will trowel in the last of the alliums into the herb garden (I ran out of daylight) and finish up by potting some of the paperwhite narcissus for Christmas. Mind you at this rate there won’t be a cool period, it was 22C today. Absurd for November. Have I said that before?