We know the cooler weather is upon us when the local garden-centre shop is filled with an assortment of spring flowering bulbs in an array of flowers and colours. The excitement and anticipation of the colours and arrangements that can be created in our gardens is wondrous.
If you already know which bulbs you’ll be planting you can go straight for them and get them in your hot ‘green’ hands. For others it is a chance to riffle through the assortment of flowers and colours to choose the ones that tickle their fancy. Ensure that you choose bulbs that will suit the conditions that you can provide.
Last year I tried my hand at growing both Tulips and Hyacinth flowers, you may remember I wrote a post about it. You can read ‘It’s Bulb Planting Time’ here. I was very excited! I chose the bulbs, chilled them, got my pots, asked the husband where the soil was and planted my little bulbs. I had them in a great position on the north side of my house and I lovingly watered and cared for them. You can see where this is going can’t you… Well, don’t get too sad, it’s not all doom and gloom on the bulb front. I was a little disappointed with the result, but I did get some Hyacinth flowers and the scent of them knocked my socks off! I also got to glimpse some tulip leaves, but that’s as far as the tulip story goes.
In my defence I’ve never said I was a master horticulturist, I’ve only ever said I would give it a go, and that is exactly what I encourage you to do too. It’s one thing to know ‘stuff’, it’s another thing to make the ‘stuff’ you do know about gardens work. And that is what I love about gardening. It is seeing past the, what shall we call them… how about ‘the troubles’… seeing past the troubles, making adjustments and learning from the experience. That is what I think gardening is, some people have breathtaking eye-candy results (also known here as Polka Dots) while others plod along anticipating the next attempt.
But I think I know where I went wrong, actually it’s a few little but significant things.… I think it is a problem most of us have created all in the name of making do - it was bulb planting on a budget.
The soil I used was rubbish – in my quest to assemble all that was required to plant my bulbs I was directed to nutrient poor, unstructured soil. Good, nutrient rich soil is something I never skimp on when planting but it seems I inadvertently did so in this case. Don’t worry, I now have a stash of soil that I can put my hot ‘green’ hands on when I need.
The second problem was the pots, they just weren’t deep enough and I wasn’t able to plant the bulbs deep enough in the soil. I had a gorgeous little weather worn terracotta pot that I thought my flowering Hyacinth would look spectacular in and it did, this one did flower but it wasn’t very big. A little rustic, a little old world, just scrumptious, but I think the bulbs would have done a whole lot better if the pot was deeper.
I have not been deterred. The excitement and anticipation of the coming flowers is such a lovely gardening experience. It’s what gardening dreams are made of.
So, I encourage you to come along on the bulb growing journey. It’s fun, it’s unexpected and you never know, you may just succeed and have a pot full of eye candy.
Until next time, happy bulb growing
Pictures – assorted bulbs in pots and red tulips Bulb Blog
All other pictures Serendipity Garden Designs