The day of delights

bulbs 2014I’m looking at a stack of white boxes and you aren’t selling ‘delight’ to me.

Ah, but inside the boxes lie one thousand three hundred bulbs for this season’s planting.

And best bit was that Andrew drove up for the day and delivered them.

Those of you who know Andrew Wilkie will understand how I felt. Garden designer, yes, milliner, style guru, fun company, a man possessed of a very acute eye.

We lunched, we chatted, and we stalked about the garden looking critically at each and every acre.

I came away with half a dozen ideas I’d like to attempt. And just a feeling of well being that someone cares deeply about the same project.

And I now have the bulbs. So what’s in the boxes? You can see Artur is eyeing them up professionally.  Well he has turned away just as I was about to take the shot, but I know he is keen.  He wants those boxes emptied ASAP.

Tulip Queen of the Night x 50
Tulip Couleur Cardinal x 50
Narcissus Paperwhite Ziva x 100
Narcussus Thalia x 100
Narcissus Poeticus x 100
Narcissus Bridal Crown x 200
Allium Sphaerocephalum (Drumstick allium) x 400
Allium Purple Sensation x 100
Muscari Aremeniacum x 200

I’m writing out my lists to try and work out where I plant what. The tulips can wait another month. But those narcissus need to get into the ground. bulbs 1

I have always had Thalia (pure white) and I am keen to build up the supplies along the road. They look stunning under the white of the cherry blossom.  But I’m trying to extend the season by planting more Poeticus on the bank below the fig tree in the east garden.

The Bridal Crowns are a treat. Pure indulgence. Double and incredibly scented.  They were spotted (by Andrew, of course) at the Liberty florists in London and he asked their name. Perfect for flower arranging and growing in parts of the garden where scent counts.

I never knew daffodils had scent until I started planting en masse. Such a lovely revelation.

The paperwhites always get potted up to give away. They will be in flower by Christmas. If I get them in tomorrow.

And then the alliums go in the lavender bed (the tiny drumstick alliums) and the purple sensations for the herb garden and the barn garden.  I do need to weed the herb garden first. So they might be delayed getting into the ground. And the drumsticks will go into the lavenders when I extend the bed. I want to add about twenty more lavenders in front of the bed that already has 44 plants. (You get used to absurdly large quantities in a garden this size.)

chestnut rakingsSo I won’t have an easy day tomorrow. But this afternoon I did one necessary job. I raked all the fallen chestnut burrs out of the shade garden beds.

So far they are just on the path and need to be carefully picked up (with gauntlets) first thing tomorrow and composted.

I have learned from experience that crawling about the ground trying to plant bulbs and getting skewered by rogue chestnut burrs is no fun. I expect to be looking like a porcupine full of wounds this time tomorrow.