As a none digger my soil is undisturbed and there is no accidental damage when bulbs are dormant in Summer. As a result they are all over my garden! Some are in the most unlikely places. Perhaps because I am rather a scruffy gardener, they often grow among strawy debris and look far from pristine! This does not detract from the thrill I get as I wander round my garden and find the annual return of strong flowering clumps planted over the years. Spring bulbs do not need lifting and dividing as they go from strength to strength each succeeding year.
|Iris histrioides Katherine Hodgkin|
|Hyacinths will soon be in flower|
The upside of my inability to see clutter is that all my bulbs die down naturally and do not suffer from any enthusiasm for me to cut them back prematurely when they start to yellow. All my bulbs are allowed to self seed and because my weed control is sound, my soil is always receptive to their germination. Much of the seed requires the next winter’s cold to germinate and it is an extra thrill to find drifts of seedlings emerging amongst the Spring flowers.
|Dwarf tulips naturalize well, note one has been visited by a snail|
Dwarf varieties are my favourite kind of bulb and this horrible Winter has not been totally bad news for them. They are very resilient to frost and snow (snowdrops generate their own heat to push through the snow) and surprisingly sturdy with regard to this persistent cold dehydrating wind that has scorched many other Spring flowers. An extra bonus has been that bulbs such as snowdrops have lasted so well and now that mother nature has released her grip we can now look forward to some particularly prolific displays.
Corydalis Beth Evans overwinters as a corm
It is not my intention today to write about specific bulbs but I cannot resist a special promotion of the commonly overlooked Scilla bifolia. You do not find it in the garden centre and it is usually tucked away in any bulb catalogue. It is my absolute favourite and is a prolific self seeder. If it covers the whole of my garden I will be in heaven.