Great bulbs for next year

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

SUM­MER may be com­ing to a close, but there’s lit­tle time to put your feet up as it’s al­most time to be­gin plant­ing your spring bulbs.

Chris­tine Skelmers­dale, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Broadleigh Gar­dens, (broadleigh­bulbs. co.uk) which spe­cialises in smaller bulbs, of­fers the fol­low­ing ad­vice:

Watch your plant­ing depth – Bulbs should be planted 4-6 inches deep. Put them into a sen­si­ble, deep hole away from the va­garies of heat and cold and wet and dry.

Check your soil – Make sure the soil’s not wa­ter­logged. If you plant tulips in light soil, they should go deeper than the con­ven­tional depth. I have to plant mine the week be­fore Christ­mas be­cause I am so busy, but it doesn’t make any dif­fer­ence. They’ll still bloom at the same time in spring.

Care for your con­tain­ers – Don’t use multi-pur­pose com­post when plant­ing bulbs in pots. Use a large pot and fill it with loam-based com­post, as mul­ti­pur­pose tends to dry out. En­sure the pot has good drainage so the bulbs don’t rot.

Try some new va­ri­eties

‘Snowy Baby’ – a pale milky coloured daf­fodil with a tiny dwarf trum­pet, grows to around 6 inches high. Plant in the front of a bor­der or in a raised bed or rock gar­den.

Chameleon tulips, which change colour over time, are par­tic­u­larly un­usual. ‘An­toinette’ opens soft yel­low be­fore the petals be­come edged with an or­ange tinge which grad­u­ally deep­ens and spreads over most of the pe­tal.

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