Posts Tagged ‘Avon Bulbs’

I’ve just planted 200 Crocus tommasianus in our corner plot to pop up through the grass and can’t wait to see how they look come spring. I saw these on the Avon Bulbs stand at the RHS spring show, and thankfully remembered to write a note to self to order in September.

As the temperatures finally drop, people keep on asking me if I’ve finished working for the year, and I have to tell them, ‘not a bit of it’. Despite the depressing fact that the clocks have gone back and the nights are rapidly drawing in, there’s still tons to do. These last few weeks I must have planted thousands of bulbs and have a nice few calluses on my palms to prove it. I’ve even managed to get my act together to plant some of my own bulbs and this year I’ve plumped for a mass of pink parrot Rai tulips to appear alongside the dark curvaceous curls of a Black Parrot or two. A sumptuous combination hopefully. There’s still plenty of time to plant Tulips (up to the end of the year I’d say) and although Peter Nyssen are fast selling out of some varieties, there’s still lots of gorgeous bulbs online to tempt you.

Leucojum aestivum or Snowflake

I’ll also be planting some delightful Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake) which will flower in April and May. Well after snowdrops have vanished for the year, these flowers are such a treat and at a foot or so high, seem to blend in well amongst most small shrubs and emerging perennials alike.

Once all my bulbs are in, I’ll be ordering some bare-rooted ‘Lord Lambourne’ apple trees from Blackmoor nurseries for a spot of training. I think I mentioned to Sue at Backlane Notebook that I’ll be attempting to train a one year old maiden up a coiling metal framework as I’d like to see how successfully apples will grow in a pot. She’s putting her allotment to bed for the winter, and this will be on my ‘to do’ list soon, although I still have quite a few Jerusalem artichokes to dig up and enjoy.

My leeks on the other hand have been rather disappointing, as quite a number have already started flowering, depriving me of one of my favourite winter veg. I didn’t water my crop when dry this year, and no doubt this, as well as our strange weather patterns, has prompted my leeks into premature seed production. My loss!

And last of my autumn jobs is to order some bare-rooted fruit canes. I’ve experimented with different varieties of raspberries this year, and although my old reliable ‘Autumn Bliss’ is still much-loved, I’ve found that Polka is equally (if not more) tasty, rather juicy and double the size (all this when grown in an old wooden wine box!). Again, available from Blackmoor Nursery.

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Ever since I wrote about year round scent a few weeks ago, I’ve had it in mind to look our for some Iris unguicularis at this week’s show. ‘Mary Barnard’ is a tallish variety, up to 12inches in height and spread, and comes with a gentle scent too. I’ve planted these at the bottom of a south-facing wall as they like sun and poor, well-drained soil, and right by the back door so as they clump up over the years, I’ll have this cheerful sight and delicate perfume at the beginning of each year.

I saw these Irises along with the sumptuous and uplifting display of  Snowdrops on the Avon bulbs stand.

Helpful as ever and always supplying quality bulbs which return year after year, I also caught sight of the exquisite Crocus tommasianus and have written a note to self to order these in the autumn for a lush pink carpet in our community front garden come next spring.

Ashwood Nurseries always delight and I particularly liked the gorgeous simplicity of this Hellebore ‘Anna’s Red’,

shown en masse on their stand this year. Hellebores, Crocus tommasianus and snowdrops are also great for pollinators who will be on the hunt for food early on in the year so doubly worth planting.

Further back in the hall was Sea Spring Seeds, supplying a tempting selection of veg seeds which have been put through their paces in their own market garden. I picked up some interesting Japanese leaves, such as Red Knight Mizuna, Golden Streak Mustard leaf and Tatsoi Yukina Savoy and also got chatting about their comprehensive selection of Chili seeds. Chili seeds can be sown indoors now and into March and grown on indoors in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill. I also wanted to know if Sea Spring seeds supplied any varieties that could be grown on outdoors. Joy Michaud recommended ‘Super Chile’ as it’s such a fast grower and hopefully it will ripen out-of-doors if given the sunniest of spots. Worth trying as part of our community veg growing project this year for some neighbours who like it hot.

Further travels around the show revealed the creative use of recycled objects and pots on the D’Arcy and Everest alpine stand,

and I did purchase a few Sempervivum to try out some recycling of domestic objects at home too.

And finally, couldn’t resist buying a Rubus lineatus on the Crug Farm Nursery stand for its crinkly yet soft palmate leaves. Rubus is such a great family of plants including the Japanese wineberry, Rubus phoenicolasius, Blackberries, Rubus fruticosus and I did spot a rather intriguing plant,

Rubus ulmifolius bellidiflorus, wild, but with amazing pink pompom flowers, at the Hampton Court Flower Show last summer. Can feel an obsession coming on.

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