Bulbs, bulbs everywhere

It’s another cold, sunny day here in the orchard and I’ve been outside watering my potted plants and taking photos of the bulbs. There are more appearing all the time, in both the front and back garden, and I’m really looking forward to finding out what they are.

I’ve found them nestled in the flower beds under the hazelnuts, camellias (front and back gardens) and an apple tree, and growing in a circle around the old tree stump in the front yard. Some have popped up next to the letter box, others have grown in a straight line – that just appears and disappears abruptly – near one of the garages.

A new cluster of bulb shoots that I spotted just the other day.
Another tiny new collection of shoots that appeared under the letter box.

Only one plant has flowered so far – a Daffodil Erlicheer, I believe – and while there are a few other flower buds starting to appear, there certainly aren’t as many as I expected. I know, I know, winter has only just arrived, but there has only been one flower from these very early arrivals… and not much evidence of flower buds from some of the ones that arrived soon after.

So far only one bulb has produced a flower…
The circle of bulbs around the tree stump – sadly, these probably won’t produce any flowers this year as we accidentally mowed them.

I’m not expecting to see any flowers from the ones circling the tree stump, as we accidentally mowed over them before we realised they were there, but I’m curious to see what the others will do. Is it possible that they’ve been in these spots for a long time – this is a fairly established garden, after all – and have simply run out of energy?

I grew a few bulbs in pots while we were renting and while the tulips performed instantly, the daffodils took a few years to get going – they finally flowered last spring and I’m watching them eagerly now as they start to sprout. Could it happen at the end of their lives as well?

My pot of daffodils.

There’s also the location question – some of the bulbs, particularly the early arrivals, are in fairly shady sites in the garden beds… and I’m wondering if these spots were always so shady? Plus, there’s the possibility that they need to be lifted and divided – I read online at The Spruce that this might need to be done if they aren’t producing as many flowers (or have just stopped).

Well, I was actually planning on lifting quite a few of them (if not all) after they finish flowering and die down. I’m planning on turning the areas of the garden they’re in into large garden beds and I don’t fancy their chances of pushing through layers of newspaper, straw and compost (it’s supposed to stop weeds, so I don’t think a bulb would get through).

The ‘bulb line’ in the back garden.

So, once they’ve flowered and I can tell what they are, I’ll do some research into exactly what types of conditions they each like (sun, partial shade), then relocate them accordingly next autumn… or put them right back where they were in the new beds, to accompany the other flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Am watching very curiously to see what these might be – they’re popped up in both the front and back garden.

My potted daffodil bulbs will be joining them in the ground, but I’m not so sure about the tulips, as I’ve heard they stop flowering after a few years. One thing’s for sure – I’m glad I stuck to my original plan of waiting for a year to see what was already growing in the garden before I started doing too much digging!

Another flower bud I discovered under the hazelnut trees today! So there’s hope for more flowers yet.

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