There is just a bit too much excitement going on around Ar Bruadair just now because the most enormous box of spring bulbs arrived in the post. And I mean enormous! It’s not often gardeners get to do an unboxing video but hang in there till the end and you can see me get over-excited talking about bulbs 🙂
It’s been sent by two lovely gents, Pete and Ben from dutchgrown.com for us to try out. They are a Dutch bulb farm who are currently one of the favourite bulb suppliers in the states but they are about to start selling here in the UK too, so they sent us this huge box so that we could get a sneaky peek at their bulbs before they “go live”. When they do, the website will be dutchgrown.co.uk. You can pop on there now and ask to be added to their alert list so you’ll know when they go live.
If you guys remember our previous chats about spring bulbs and how we use bulbs as a way of reminding me that winter doesn’t last forever, you’ll be able to imagine how excited I was as we started unpacking. We’ve got tulips, daffodils and alliums, heaps of them, so it took a bit of research and some planning over a wee coffee with Kate for us to decide where we were going to put them in our already full to the brim gardening. But hey, you guys know what it’s like, us gardeners always find space for a new plant 🙂
So, off to the garden centre for pots and soil, to make some new space for bulbs, hoorah!!
So let me just address the elephant in the room just now. Yes it’s almost December, so many of you may be thinking, ladies are you mad? You can’t plant bulbs now, surely? Well ha ha!!! Let me explain how the whole spring bulbs thing works.
Basically, it depends on your climate – as does everything in gardening – the main thing is that you want to plant them before the ground begins to freeze. Normally we’d be seeing those freezes by now but it’s been incredibly mild this year (climate change) so we haven’t even had a proper frost yet. But when you plant bulbs largely depends on the actual bulbs. For early flowering bulbs like snowdrops or bluebells, you want them planted before October to give them the time they need to settle and build their root structure. Tulips, daffodils etc don’t flower until March / April so planting these in November is fine, same for alliums and for gladioli who don’t flower until late summer, you would plant these in spring.
So if you haven’t got your bulbs in the ground yet – quick there is still time.
So let’s have a wee chat then about the delivery and what goodies we got. First thing I was super impressed about was the packaging. You guys have seen me talk about ordering plants online and the packaging before, so you know that I am a hard taskmaster on this one. Well, I have to be honest, I was super impressed. The box the delivery came in was reinforced and had air vents and channels to keep the bulbs from getting overly moist. Which meant out of a massive box of hundreds of bulbs, there was only one spoiled bulb. Just one. Not bad huh? And the individual varieties were then packaged again in really thick, tough, brown paper bags which again were vented. A big difference from those polythene bags we normally buy from the garden centre.
So down to the very serious business of planting then. I mentioned that we’ve gone with pots. We’ve just recently planted up our flower beds with new bulbs which haven’t had a season yet, so we didn’t want to plant anything else in there until we could assess things, but also adding some extra pots of bulbs meant we could add a bit more spring colour to the front garden, which needs it quite badly. So we’ve added a few long troughs and a few round pots, with a mix of bulbs in each and some violas on top. Just so there is some colour in the pots through winter, cause you know, no one wants pots of dirt.
There was one bulb that we knew we couldn’t pot in these little pots though, the allium gladiator. These things get BIG so they need a good spot… time for me to get lost in the jungle under the front window.
With that bit done, the very serious discussion started – what bulbs in what pots and where… it took some finargling but we got there.
So I’m not going to do an in-depth bulb planting tutorial, because genuinely there is nothing too it. Basically, you want free-draining soil – nothing too heavy and wet as you don’t want the bulbs to rot. Plant them pointy end up or hairy side down and about 3 – 4 times deeper than the bulb is in size. That simple.
So what have we planted then? Well, unfortunately, I can’t show you pictures of our lovely flowers as, well, they obviously haven’t flowered yet, so you will just have to use your imagination, or those wonderful internet search skills you have 🙂 But I can tell you all the particular varieties. So here goes…
First up we have a Pink Wonder, a daffodil. It’s going to be a lovely white daffodil, with a frilly pink-tinged centre.
Next our tulips, so we got two varieties, the first Sky High Scarlet, so a nice deep red and the second Salmon Impression, a salmon pink with a tinge of white.
Now for the alliums, which I am very excited about as I’ve always wanted alliums. We’ve got a few of these, so the smaller ones Atropurpureum which don’t have the common globe flower on top, more of a cup shape, if that makes sense. We’ve also got Christophii, with hose gorgeous, delicate little purple flowers and lastly the beast of them all, gladiator. A proper big allium with the traditional, gorgeous big purple globe of flowers.
I think it’s fair to say, I’m pretty excited. Obviously, as the season goes on, we will update you guys on our bulbs and what they grow like and look like. Cause that’s half the fun, but in the meantime, make a cuppa and have a laugh with my usual overexcited deep dive into the unboxing in the video below.