I had a bit of a clear out in the gardne, removing some dead plants and cutting back some of this year’s growth on plants that need it. It’s been so mild that my spring bulbs, mainly daffodils, are starting to come through already, three months early. In repect of the colour in the garden I don’t mind at all, but my concern is what might happen to the plants if there is a sudden cold snap like at the start of this year, it could cause real damage to the bulbs while they are active rather than dormant. There’s nothing I can do but just hope.
I moved one of my winter/spring pots out of the garage last week as I had noticed that a bulb has started to poke through. Today it the flower came and it was a snow drop. None of the other bulbs have pushed through yet, so it’s still on it’s own, but sometimes I feel that a single bulb in flower can be just as stunning to look at as a whole bunch. Others will follow I’m sure, but I think that it’s probably fair to say that with the snowdrops now coming, so is winter.
Christmas is still some way off, and in terms of preparing for it, most of what I have been doing has focused on the present side of things. The tree is still a while away and the house decorations are still in the loft. However one thing that I do have to set up in advance is some of the plants for Christmas. Along with a tree, the other plant I assocaite with Chrismas are Hyacinths. However to have a chance of having them flowering at Christmas, they need to be set up about now. This is batch one and batch two, an identical set up, will be started in 2 weeks time to provide a longer display. They will now spend the next few weeks in the dark before moving them into the lounge, hallway etc.
The photo above is probably a little baffling as it’s totally unclear what it is. It looks like a blob of something on a wall. In fact it’s two things. For me it’s the remains of a bulb from a flowerpot outside my back door. To the squirrel I that was sat on the wall with the bulb in it’s mouth it’s the leftovers of it’s early breakfast! I was less than impressed and as I opened the door I was hoping that in it’s surprise the squirrel would scarper, dropping the bulb in the process. Instead I witnessed a squirrel doing a sprint across the garden with a bulb in it’s mouth bigger than it’s head. I’ve learnt my lesson though and the pot is now in the garage where it can overwinter and it will come back out in spring for what is left to bloom.
With some of the earlier flowering plants now on their way out, its time to do some harvesting. I’m confident with some of these seeds as I’m now collecting from 2nd generation or older. I’m more curious about the seeds from plants like the alliums as those were planted as bulbs and could easily be style. I’ll sow them on a seed bed in a tray and see if anything comes of them next year. If it works then it will open up the possibility of freely expanding the main bed I created at the end of last year.
If I have a favourite indoor flowering bulb it’s a Hyacinth. There’s a number of reasons. They have a wonderful scent that can fill a room with just a couple of flowering bulbs. The way that the many smaller flowers manage to produce a larger ‘flower’ of a totally different shape. And finally, for me, they also have a Christmas connotation. Outdoor bulbs will be at different times of the year, but for me, flowering Hyacinths is something I’ve always liked to have in the house at Christmas and New Year. The photos is the last of the Hyacinths planted for the Christmas period. They managed to come out at different times so have lasted for a long time.
I spent a lot of time late last year totally redesigning and replanting one of the flowerbeds in the garden. (See previous posts). Lots of bulbs went to to come up at different times and hopefully help provide colour along with the plants that also went in. The first flower of the year from the bulbs has now bloomed. I nearly missed it while clearing out the dead leaves and getting rid of a load of weeds (already).