Oh, For the Love of Spring Bulbs – A Saviour of my Sanity

I do love spring bulbs when used wisely. I’m going to put it out there; I’m not a fan of brightly coloured, gaudy, in your face flowers. It means that sun-coloured daffs and scarlet tulips really are not my thing. But it’s safe to say that because bulbs are some of the first things to appear in those dull, wet, cold months of the year they’re important – not only for colour but for a much needed emotional lift too. There’s something about seeing little shoots poking through the surface of the soil that says ‘Hey, I know – winter is crap. But spring is coming. Hold on.’

I have a real love/hate relationship with Winter. I adore snow. I love cuddling down on those cold evenings with the dogs, a fire, a seed catalogue and a hot brew. And whilst it’s cold and crisp and frozen, it’s glorious. Frost hangs throughout the day, plummeting temperatures break up the soil and kill off those pests. It’s great. BUT…then we have to go through the thaw. That is NOT fun. Squelchy, muddy, mess. I know it’s a means to an end; it’s leading us towards spring after all. But I don’t like it.

Iris reticulata begin to appear in the alpine troughs

Luckily, as I go traipsing up and down the path feeding the hens, collecting eggs, picking up after the dogs and getting covered in mud, those small bright tips of spring bulbs are beginning to appear despite it only being January. Many will hold off flowering for several months, but just seeing fresh foliage is enough to give anyone a small lift. My pots of tulips have begun to show signs of life, the tips of the daffodils I planted last autumn are showing and, in the alpine troughs, the fat stalks of iris reticulata are making themselves known.

Tulip shoots appear in my terracotta pots. Soon I can move the pots into the borders for some spring colour.

Allium ‘Dumstick’ makes its first appearance of the year.

Some long forgotten daffs I shoved in an old plastic pot won’t be kept back by winter.

So, whilst it’s cold and grey and frozen, life is still finding a way. It’ll only take the smallest period of warm weather to get these bulbs going and then we’ll really know the gardening season has kicked off for 2017!

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.