We have green shoots starting to appear in our garden, poking their way through the ivy under the hazelnut trees and the camellias. There’s no way of knowing what they are at this early stage, but I’m really looking forward to finding out.
I love bulbs – I used to buy them for Mum for Mother’s Day and visited Floriade in Canberra a few times when I was a kid. In more recent years, I’ve seen them pop up in gardens in the Blue Mountains towards the end of winter, letting me know that spring isn’t too far away.
The bulbs I’ve been finding out in the garden will hopefully be just the first of many. I’m starting to make plans for what I’d like to plant out there and daffodils, snowdrops, tulips, nerines and freesias – plus anything else that grabs my interest as I browse plant catalogues, magazines and social media – will play a big role.
I’ve certainly been given plenty of inspiration recently. The gorgeous UK garden magazine Gardens Illustrated featured a lovely photo of swathes of daffodils growing in an orchard as their March 2017 cover. I’ve also started buying digital back issues of this magazine and the March 2011 issue (which I bought last month) featured daffodils, narcissi, blue Muscari and other lovely spring flowers growing under fruit trees on the cover.
Additionally, one of my garden design books – The Ultimate Garden Planner by Peter McHoy, which I picked up in a shop in Lithgow just before we moved here – has an image of bulbs flowering in an old orchard (pg 153). And then, of course, there were all the beautiful flower descriptions in Nine Coaches Waiting when I re-read it last week.
I love these ideas and spring-flowering bulbs should work well in my plans, as they will flower before the fruit trees cast too much shade. I’m also looking at autumn-flowering bulbs, which will come into their own once the leaves start to fall, and watching to see when all the fruit trees start to change colour and lose their leaves this year.
I won’t be planting this year, as I’m still holding to my plan of not doing any major planting for 12 months as I tidy up and get to know the space and the plants that are already here. But that just gives me more time to start hunting through the catalogues for possibilities – I can imagine it being a very long list – and to see what those green shoots are.
In the meantime, one of the camellias has started producing lovely pink blooms. I always associate camellias with April, but many of them are still in bud, not flower, right now. I imagine the display will look be great; here’s a prelude: