Planning for Spring!

Over the last couple of years my bulb-planting has been quite enthusiastic. I think it was some tulips that inspired me a few years back. And since they don’t always return, either due to uprooting by squirrels, nibbling by mice, or lack of care on my part, I realised I must plant more every year to sustain a decent show.

This year I have gone mad on daffodils after deciding there is a distinct lack of their cheery faces in my rockery each spring. My order included the large flowered “Carlton”, then a white daffodil called “Thalia” which is also called “Angels’ Tears” (an experiment for me as I’m not sure daffodils should be anything but yellow!), two small botanical ones “Tete à Tete” and “Rip van Winkle”, and the sweet little Jonquil “Suzy” which has lots of flowers on each stem.


Photo from Wikipedia

Parrot tulips were also a must after such beauties as this one (Estella Rijnveld’) over the last two years…

Estella Tulip

The ones I chose for this autumn’s planting are called “Rai” – a deep violet with green “highlights”.

I have also re-ordered some old favourites… these tulips Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Heart’s Delight’ truly do delight…

Tulipa Hearts Delight

And I love these almost pure white ones with a purple-blue centre too – Tulipa humilis var pulchella  ‘Albocaerulea’

Tulipa humilis var pulchella 'Albocoerulea'

I shall be trying a few new things too, including Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus: a hardy gladiolus – with small and delicate pink flowers – that apparently loves poor soil and dry conditions. Perfect for the rockery.
And Allium “Silverspring”, which is silvery white with a purple speck at the centre of each tiny flower.

With a few crocuses and snowdrops thrown in I have a lot of work to do…


Are you planting any bulbs this autumn? Old favourites or new ones? Would love to hear what you’ve chosen!

35 thoughts on “Planning for Spring!

    • Hi Michael. Thanks for the links. I don’t grow oriental lilies although they are rather tempting. The snails like them too much in spring! Maybe I should try some in pots though, which is what my Mum does. She puts wire netting over the pots to stop the squirrels digging them out over winter!

  1. I love it! I was so sure there would be no more new bulbs this fall but now you have me thinking. I haven’t grown parrot tulips in several years. Maybe it’s time again… Plus a few others 🙂
    I already planted a few new snowdrops and colchicums, corydalis are on the way and I’m tying not to add any lilies…… but the pictures are so tempting!

    • I planted some corydalis too – I just love those flowers! Some grow out in the wild nearby. Snowdrops are so expensive here, but I have ordered some Spring Snowflakes (Leucojum vernum) which are larger and more showy and seem to spread better in my garden. I keep seeing more things I’d like too, but just remind myself they all need planting… back-breaking work! 😉

  2. Can’t wait to see your spring garden after seeing this preview. It’s going to be great. I don’t plant tulips any more, but that Albocaerulea is tempting. I think you’ll like Thalia (even though it’s not yellow).

  3. Your garden is going to be filled with colour next spring! I thought we had enough daffodils in the garden – but seeing the white-flowered ones in your photos, I’m tempted to plant more. I do want to plant more muscari and crocus for next year though.

  4. I’ve never seen Tulipa humilis var pulchella ‘Albocaerulea’ before, it is so beautiful I must look for it. Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus grows wild here and I have lots planted in the garden, I wouldn’t describe the colour as delicate but it is lovely, you can see it in some of my posts in June.

    • Yes, that tulip is really lovely as it stands out so well on the bare ground in spring. I think I meant that the flowers of the little gladiolus look delicate, rather than colour… not written very clearly I’m afraid! Although I AM comparing it to the larger gaudy ones grown in the flower fields here for cutting. I’ll have to look back at your photos Christina. Thanks!

    • I like the Turkestanica too… the botanical ones are all lovely. I think after last winter I just needed so much colour I wished I had more daffs, although I never used to like them much – in fact I find the smell rather overpowering and can’t have them in the house!

  5. That ‘Heart’s Delight’ tulip is most aptly named Cathy. Must look out for her. I’ve grown ‘Thalia’ for years and think that you will be enchanted. Have ordered some new spring bulbs but have forgotten exactly what 🙂

  6. Looks like a fun order! I only grow tete a tete, but may try Suzy. Also love T. Kauf Heart’s Delight. I just don’t know if I should order bulbs this year as I’m scared I might not get them in the ground with so many other garden projects planned!

  7. What beautiful flowers! It gets hot so early here I don’t plant many of the same gorgeous ones you do, as they are just too delicate, but there are bulbs, like ranunculas, that do well! Thanks for reminding me to get with it! LOL! We are still having enough heat that it’s hard for me to remember that there will be a spring. hahaha! I may just need to enjoy your garden. 🙂

    • Still hot? Your climate would not suit me I’m afraid – I am so glad for some cooler days and am looking forward to a wood fire when it gets really cold! Have a good week Debra!

  8. You know, until I popped in here, I hadn’t even thought of fall planting. But I’m so inspired to plant a whole bunch of bulbs in my back garden.. what a joy it would be next spring! Do I have to do anything to keep the squirrels from stealing them?? xx

    • How lovely that would be Barbara! 😀 I’m afraid I have not found a method of keeping the squirrels away. My Mum plants some bulbs in pots and covers them with wire, which seems to work…

  9. And how could we not bring in Wordsworth’s “Daffodils”?

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

    • Aaah, such a lovely poem Steve. Thank you for reminding me of it. I usually only think of it in spring. 😀 Now I’m even happier I decided to plant more of them, although they will not become a “host” for a few years!

  10. What an amazing selection of bulbs! It really is a busy time of year for the gardener isn’t it. I’m sure that would surprise a lot of non-gardeners. I’m never very organised when it comes to bulbs! I’ll be leaving it until the last minute again this year no doubt!!

    • Now that is what I call forward thinking! Yes, that white tulip is a real beauty. I’ve already detected a few holes where a mouse or squirrel has dug a couple of bulbs up… hope they find something else to chew on in the winter!

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