Monday, January 25, 2010

Bargain hunting

Off down the garden centre on a hot tip this weekend to find spring bulbs slashed to just 50p a packet!

I bought the lot, or at least one packet of every variety - that was 11 packets of bulbs for £5.50. For the first time in my life I think I understand the feral look in the eyes of those ladies you see elbowing each other out of the way in the January sales.

Got home and had a happy hour divvying them up into likely combinations according to predicted size and blooming times to go into containers on my patio.

I'm in good company planting them this late in the season, and in fact it seems I'm a bit slow on the uptake - it seems everyone else is well clued up on this bit of late-winter bargain hunting. The general consensus seems to be that since they're a month or two late in the planting they'll also be a month or two late flowering - but they will flower eventually. So I made a note of the dates they were meant to flower too so I can do a little experiment and find out just how late it makes them to plant at this time of year.

Now I have the following to look forward to, whenever they decide to show up:

Chionodoxa luciliae followed by Oxalis adenophylla

Puschkinia scilloides libanotica and Narcissus lobularis

Chionodoxa again, mixed colours this time, followed by Anemone blanda

Crocus chrysanthus var. fuscotinctus followed by Scilla siberica with a final flourish from mixed Ixia

Anemone coronaria 'St Brigid' possibly but not probably overlapping with Tulipa 'Rococo'

The relative timings are, of course, a lottery, and who knows what will come up when. But that's half the fun of it. Come to think of it, a lot more fun than doing it when you're supposed to.


VP said...

Fantastic! Good to see someone following my 'advice' ;)

Plant Mad Nige said...

Brilliant idea - but you have to give the bulbs a little squeeze to check they're still OK, before buying.

You've inspired me, though, so tomorrow, I'll pop into to our local GC to see what they've got.

The Constant Gardener said...

VP - you'd be scared if you knew how many of my impulsive gardening ideas were inspired by your posts.

Nige - you can give them a little squeeze through the packet in the garden centre if you're crafty :D but the Anemone blanda still looked suspiciously greyish when I tipped them out and I have a feeling might have mouldied... tra-la, I planted them anyway, who knows!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Oh no. Now I can't resist going to my garden centre to see what they've got. Bulbs are my weakness and I already have tons planted out at the supposedly proper time.
That's me sorted for tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in all this late planting of bulbs. I too have some overlooked packets. Please could you all report back on the outcomes and times of flowering.

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