SWITCH ON TO BULBS
Inspired by Danish guru Claus Dalby, Diarmuid outlines his colourful plans for every season
Next, put a layer of compost about 5ins down so bulbs have adequate depth to root into. Place bulbs fairly closely together – they should be planted at a depth of three to four times their height so, depending on the pot size, you may need to layer more compost. Water in and if squirrels are a problem in your area, cover with a wire mesh until spring.
Tulips are beautiful but short-lived so I want plenty to look forward to after them.
Bring on the alliums – I just love their pom-pom heads popping up around the garden. I’m planting Christophii which has lots of small star-shaped metallic – tinged purple flowers and Mount Everest – big and white as the name suggests!
And for something a bit different, I’ll use the Sicilian honey garlic Nectaroscordum which has delicate small cream and purple bell-shaped flowers. Plant alliums in full sunshine and well-drained soil.
In June, I’m looking forward to the Madonna Lily – big white flowers and great fragrance. These like to be planted quite shallow so the sun can bake them.
These will be followed by some deep red martagon lilies (‘Claude Shride’) – in contrast these like to be about 6ins deep in rich soil, and in sun or partial shade.
Neither lily is a good idea if you have cats as all parts are pretty toxic for them. Other good choices for early summer flowering bulbs are Camassia and Star of Bethlehem.
I’ve got a busy time ahead of me putting all of these bulbs to bed but I’ll enjoy imagining how they will look next spring and summer!
Claus Dalby, above, and one of his spring flower displays, below ‘Negrita’ tulip
Mount Everest allium
‘Prinses Irene’ tulip
‘Black Parrot’ tulip