Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The first messengers of spring.. and in favour of bulbs and tubers

How I am looking forward to spring.. but the first messengers have arrived..which I wanted to share with you..
Some early crocusses have peeped out of the grass..lovely!!
Soon, we will be able to walk throught the local bluebell woods here.
It would not be a bad idea to plant some bluebells yourself in the coming autumn- as the colour is gorgeous and they do as well in a shaded area in your garden as in a forest.
Whilst we are talking about bulbs,  I would like to put in a word for bulbs and tubers, not just for spring, but for year- round colour- and easy gardening.
Once the ground warms up again, you can still plant all kind of bulbs and tubers.
 To keep garden work to a minimum so you can actually spend time in your deck chair instead of on your knees in the garden, may I suggest the humble crocosmia?
It grows quite vigourously and can be planted in quite a range of colours. I went for orange -very strong and sturdy- and combined it with orange Californian poppies, red cosmos, and red Dahlia's for a bit of a clash and a pop of colour last year .This will give you quite a long stretch of colour all through the first frosts..The first shoots of crocosmia are already coming up.. it is a fantastic ground cover as well- 
so : colour- not much work and - reliable. 
A win- win situation I would say!
Then , also, the queen of bulbs, the lily.
Also already coming up in the garden with it's first shoots..I planted them last year in a palette of pale green , and white, and paired them up with the Nicotiana Langdorfii, a new discovery for me.
Very rewarding.( You can see the Nicotiana Langdorfii in the left of the picture here below).Fantastic scent and so elegant.

I would also recommend ornamental onions- below a nice combination  of  white ornamental onions, white anemone japonica, and yellow Welsh poppies- which I saw last year in Chisenbury Priory. They are so striking and also great in flower decorations and displays. I love the way they designed this gentle shape of the garden, and might give it a try somewhere in my garden- I already have the urn in the middle so I have a starting point anyway.

Here is a detail of the white ornamental onions...
My most favourite discovery there was Iris " Sultan's palace".The colour and the scent really is magnificent.I could not resist and bought the same plants the same week I had seen them, but then I am slightly impulsive, hahaha!!O deary me !

 The great thing with bulbs is, that , once you have put them in,they will appear year after year for you with no effort on your side at all! This is not always the case with tulips, as one magnificent display the first year, will hardly ever repeat the second year.The execption are the botanical tulips- so I have gone for those last year and am looking foward to my lovely stripy tulips coming up in a few weeks, as they are also very early..which I think is an extra bonus as one longs for the winter to end and then there you have some lovely colour in your garden..

 and here are some more...

Are you all ready for Valentine's day by the way? You can't go wrong with a beautiful bunch of parrot tulips- Estella Rijnveldt is my absolute favourite.
You can find them here and here  for instance and at lots of nurseries, just Google " Estella Rijnveldt"..

Every year I swear I will plant them, and I always forget.. but I will one day..and for a Valentine's meal..
as a starter.. some beautiful fresh oysters..

Absolutely heavenly......
I hope I have inspired you to go out and get yourself some fantastic bulbs to start the gardening year...
Here's looking to spring!!

Maud and Millie

If you want to read more about Maud and Millie's adventures you can read it here


Liz said...

I noticed the first crocus out in my garden today :)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my, everything looks wonderful. Too early for flowers here, but I can't wait. Thanks for linking to TTT. Hugs, Marty

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Bea,

Yes, it will gradually change the coming weeks. Those bluebells look gorgeous, they have them here in the US too; they're big in Texas. You can google that: bluebells in Texas...
About the tulips not coming back that is because of the voles that eat them (woelmuizen!) and daffodils on the contrary are poisonous to rodents so that makes all the difference. We had hundreds of tulips and hyacinths, grape hyacinths, the whole spectrum but had to give up on replanting them. Too bad that someone 'under-ground' is viewing those treasured bulbs as gourmet food!
Pieter once was filling the bird feeder and when he stepped over the tulips (in bloom!) he saw one of those double forms 'Angelique' disappear into the ground. He had to investigate and dug it up... There was a half eaten bulb and the critter had bitten the stem off and nibbled on the young green salad. Funny but not very funny if this is your garden!
Most people don't know the voles, they talk about moles (mollen) but that is a different story.
Your Maud & Millie might be able to chase them but if they start digging them up; your tulips are no good either... That's a no win situation.
You are a romantic person with all the preparations for Valentine (well, that is actually 365 days a year...) and your planning for a most romantic and fragrant garden.

Lots of love,


Angus said...

Thanks for your comment this morning. The reason for 'the font' is not as you conjecture anyhting to do with typeface but a rather more mundane .... 'of all knowledge'.

Anne Maskell said...

Oh I wish it was spring! We are likely to have snow until April! Thank you for your comment on my blog. Your puppies are adorable!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Lieve Bea,

Kijk even snel op mijn blog; verrassing voor je!


Caroline (Piorra Maison) said...

wow lucky people!!!! I am looking at 5 feet of snow on my balcony. I actually blogged about all the snow we are having this year in Montreal. Guess what? it is snowing, NOW, AGAIN!!!!