Wandering into the garden centre in September to kill some time it became apparent that it was time to think about planting some bulbs for Spring. Box upon box of Daffodil, Narcissus and Tulip bulbs along with some more exotic varieties were stacked in every available space around the doors to the outside compound. If this is their subtle way of telling gardeners what they should be doing then I wouldn’t like to see their blatent attempts. Fortunately for this novice the sledgehammer sales technique was just what was needed. It only took another couple of visits for the message to get through.
But what to buy? Where to plant them? How would they look? Would this delay the summer planting? How come wanting to have some flowers on a window ledge had turned into something akin to learning calculus, only harder, and with less logic! It’s at moments like this that the weakest of souls can start reaching for the cut flower stall or start googling ‘artificial flowers’ with new enthusiasm.
Well, maybe that’s what will happen next year but right now I’ve got just enough naivity to give things a go and not worry too much about how it works out. There will be plenty of time for disappointment come April.
The slight problem I now have though is that I can’t really remember what was bought or where they ended up being planted. The two variables that were taken into consideration where the height of the plants when they poke themselves through the thawing soil, and the time they will likely appear.
The height issue is a continuation of the near paranoia about the damage that the wind does. So anything over six inches was instantly put back in the box (goodbye the host of golden daffodils). Anything that had the name ‘dwarf’ in it also got instant attention.
Bulbs that were alleged to flower in early Spring also got precedence for two reasons. The earlier in the year that the bulbs flower, the better for the display in the boxes, especially at a fairly miserable time of the year. This might also act as a Plan B if the Cyclamen and Pansies aren’t able to perform during the Winter. The second reason though is that I don’t really believe what’s on the packets and guess that anything that says it will flower in February is more likely to be March and possibly April in the more northern climes.