We’ve had a spectacular spring for bulbs, both inside and out, largely thanks to J. Parker’s who have kindly supplied us with a fabulous selection to trial this year. Bulb anticipation began in January when we planted the Hippeastrum with awed respect for the size of the bulbs. By late February, paperwhite daffodils were filling every corner of the house with their captivating scent, adding a sparkle to our late winter days.
‘Premier’ starting to unfurl and paperwhite daffodils
Then the Hippeastrum flowerbuds burst apart and since that moment the house has been a riot of colour. ‘Premier’, ‘Hercules’ and ‘Charisma’ all lived up to their auspicious names and graced the kitchen table with their majestic flowers throughout March and April. ‘Premier’ reached 80cm tall and all three Hippeastrum had two rounds of flowering. The children were fascinated by the way such mammoth flowers could be contained within the modest buds, escaping and inflating to such monumental proportions. Our favourite was ‘Premier’ for the depth of colour, but all three had power and charm – it was rather like having a pet on the kitchen table for a few weeks.
‘Charisma’, ‘Premier’, ‘Hercules’ and a small person who loved her gigantic floral friend
As the Hippeastrum were fading, the allotment cutting patch stepped up to the mark. I wrote last year about beginning a cutting patch by planting rows of spring bulbs and the hours of soggy digging were worth the effort. First out was Narcissus ‘Gigantic Star’ with its yolk-yellow trumpets and another delicious scent. It took over from the paperwhites and carried the show alone until the tulips began. Its flowers are long-lasting in a vase and once their golden glow is cast over a room, you know spring is here to stay.
‘Slawa’ is perhaps my favourite of the tulips with its deep purple and red markings standing out against the double flowered Narcissus ‘The Bride’ and delicate Narcissus ‘Thalia’.
Then came Narcissus ‘Piper’s End’ – another new one for me – its dark centres ringed with green, a softly fringed corona and offset white perianth segments.
Mesmerising centres of ‘Piper’s End’ and ‘Shirley’
Tulipa ‘Carnival de Rio’ and ‘Hollandia’ create a vibrant display together as does Tulipa ‘Attila’ with one of my old favourites ‘Shirley’. Tulipa ‘Jimmy’ is a soft orange with red-tinged centres to the petals and it softens the deep crimson glow of ‘Ronaldo’ in an arrangement.
Planting complementary colours in the allotment has allowed me to arrange the flowers singly or in mixed bunches and the ploy of moving the cutting patch to the allotment has been a success. Now that my flower crop is no longer visible from the kitchen window, I have only the merest reluctance about wielding the scissors.
The cutting patch ready for picking
Anyone helping with my allotment this spring has returned home with bunches of flowers in makeshift vases – old milk bottles which double up as cane toppers – and the kitchen and study haven’t been with cut flowers since February.
Right at the end of the show, the vidiflora tulips ‘Spring Green’, ‘Artist’ and ‘Groenland’ and the beautiful triumph tulip ‘Mistress Grey’ have joined the party, adding a smoky, subtle touch to my spring arrangements.I’d definitely recommend daffodils and tulips as good cutting material and I’m hoping many of the tulips (all planted on a gravel base) will be perennial and crop for several years. I’ve been buying bulbs from J. Parker’s for years as they have a good range with new varieties each year to try out. All the bulbs we received were healthy and all flowered well for us. Now I’m off to the allotment to plant out my gladioli and collect the next tulip assortment. And come autumn I’ll be scouring the catalogues for a few exciting new varieties to add sparkle to my arrangements in 2018.
What flowers perform well for cutting in other allotments and gardens? I’d love to hear about bulbs which I could add to my list for cutting and combinations which look attractive in a vase. Happy gardening 🙂
If you’d like to follow the cutting patch throughout the year, you can subscribe below:
More information about the cutting patch and our favourite tulips can be found in the following posts:
Banish the September blues with my top 10 tulips
Planning a Cutting Patch: Bulb Time
18 thoughts on “Bulbs To Light Up Spring”
I try to buy lots of bulbs on discount end of season. I will certainly try a Hippestrum 👍
Cool! They’re well worth a try and the kids LOVED them! 🙂
Lovely photos, especially of the tulips, I do love tulips #MMBC x
Thanks Lisa – they’re the best bit of spring! ☺
Your bulbs are gorgeous – your amaryllis is really big too. Mine are finally blooming in the garden. After a few days the blooms will be gone and then a few straggling leaves are left for the rest of the year. #MMBC
Thanks Carol – worth it for the blooms while they last. Hope yours are happy and healthy this year ☺
I am envious of your cutting patch! As I’m writing this it is snowing here in Ontario, Canada. That’s a bit of freak weather, but we are just now getting into the well-blooming tulip time. Our rule of thumb is no planting (vegetable garden-wise) until the May 24th holiday has gone by. Then all our frost risk has passed. So besides cleaning out the dead leaves and old plant matter, my gardens are quiet. I think this week we’ll get some blooms though! Your flowers are absolutely beautiful!
Hi Jess, hope your freak weather passes quickly. We also wait until the end of May before putting the tender crops outside, so not long to go now ☺
I love tulips so much, they are so bright and happy, perfect for spring #mmbc
Yes, you know spring’s in full flow once the tulips are up 😁
These are truly delightful. I love their colours. #mmbc
These are delightful. I love their colours. #mmbc
Thanks Helena – they have been stunning this year ☺
Wow! What a beautiful show. There’s nothing better than fresh flowers around the home, they really brighten the place up don’t they?!
Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC. Hope to see you next week x
Yes it’s a lovely way to brighten up the house ☺
I love spring flowers, and yours are so gorgeous! I have lots of nice greenery in my yard, but I need more color.
Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂
Glad to help – hope the added colour brings you spring joy next year ☺