Why is this so? Well, a bulb is a storage unit of energy that sits dormant for most of the year but when it’s moment of stardom comes, it rushes up and puts on a fantastic show! Then bows out and retreats to dormancy for the remaining year.
Narcissus, or what we call Daffodil, is probably the most popular and traditional bulb growing in our city gardens and parks. A bulbous herbaceous perennial with linear leaves and leafless stems bearing flowers with six spreading segments and a trumpet shaped corona. They are easy to grow, once they have good drainage and plenty of water, they are reliable and come in over a hundred different varieties.
Narcissus can be found in the most unusual places popping up from their hideouts with the sunniest colour of all!
There are some really unusual varieties available now. Did you know about the ‘Empress of Ireland’? - A large white trumpet flowered daffodil up to 11cms wide! Some other varieties to try are ‘Jet Fire’ a smaller plant, at 20cms high, with yellow leaf flower and an orange trumpet or ‘Saint Patrick’s Day’ with a pale creamy yellow delicate cup.
Tips for planting bulbs –
Plant most bulbs from September to December before the first frost. Choose bulbs of good stock and they should be healthy and firm. The general rule of thumb is to plant a bulb three times it’s own depth beneath the soil. Make sure it is facing the correct way up, which is with the flat side down!
Free draining soil is best as they may rot in waterlogged soil and if planted in a sunny location it will help bulbs to thrive as most bulbs have originated from the Mediterranean.
If you have a very small city space then fill pots with bulbs. Whether it’s a small patio, balcony or even at your front door you can cheer up your family and friends with a colourful welcome.
Existing planted borders can be lifted by filling gaps between shrubs and emerging perennials. Place in a random pattern, which will look more natural and cohesive. They can be followed with flowering perennials throughout the summer.
Under trees can be really nice as the light catches the ground before the tree canopy comes into leaf. Crocuses are perfect in this situation and you can plant ten or a hundred.
Bulbs planted in drifts in lawns can create a natural effect in your garden. This is an emerging trend and bold colours such as blue can have a striking visual effect.