GARDENING WITH DEBBI
WHAT a difference bulbs can make to a dull winter garden.
Many ‘spring’ flowering bulbs actually bloom during the cold winter months, adding colour and fragrance to the garden when it is most needed.
They are the first hint that spring is not far away.
Bulbs can be mass planted in groups, in garden beds or under trees.
They also look great naturalised in a meadow garden or grouped together in pots and containers.
There are lots of old favourites, and each year there are new varieties available.
Freesias, tulips, anemones, ranunculus and hyacinths are just some of flowers that bloom freely through late winter and early spring.
But the highlight in my garden is the ever expanding display of daffodils and jonquils. Each year new varieties are planted. Both daffodils and jonquils belong to the Narcissus family, with hundreds of varieties available, but there is a difference.
Daffodils are usually the bigger, showy trumpet shaped blooms, often yellow but come in range of colours including cream and white, every shade of lemon and yellow, with contrasting colours of pink, orange, peach and red.
Double and single forms are available, as well as ruffled forms.
They have a single bloom per stem and have flat leaves.
Jonquils tend to have clusters of several flowers, instead of just one bloom per stem, and have tube shaped leaves.
They have single or double flowers in shades of white, yellow and orange.
They are also scented, but the perfume varies with different jonquils and some have a sweeter scent than others.
Varieties are classified as either early, mid or late season flowering, with the earliest blooming in July, and the later varieties flowering in October, and lots of others in between.
With careful selection and planning, it is possible to have daffodils and jonquils blooming in your garden for up to four months of the year.
Bulbs are the perfect link between winter and spring.
WITH DEBBI GIBSON, HORTICULTURALIST