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Dutch Iris ‘Yellow Queen’


Switch on to bulbs


As MICHELLE WAKE explains, bulbs are among the easiest sources of colour in the garden


C


lients often ask me how they can have colourful flowers all year round. They don’t want a lot


of fuss and bother. Something that you can plant and leave. Does such a fantasy plant exist? Absolutely! Bulbs are the perfect plant. Most bulbs will not only flower for year after year, they also spread generously, creating carpets of colour. Bulbs mean spring daffodils and


tulips to many people, but they are just the start. It is possible to have bulbs, corms or tubers, flowering in the garden from January to November. This has been a good year for


38 Frome Life www.mediaclash.co.uk


snowdrops and I have seen their dainty white heads nodding in hedgerows and under trees all around Frome. Winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, is another February bulb that is much less well-known. It has a buttercup yellow flower surrounded by a ruff of green leaves. It is small but the golden colour shines out in a winter border. A third February bulb is Cylamen


coum (technically a tuber). These are all- round performers because once the delicate pinky-white flowers have gone over you are still left with a very useful evergreen, ground cover created by their disc-like leaves –


perfect for a shady spot where nothing else will grow. Another great February flowering bulb is the species, or dwarf, iris. These dainty flowers look great in pots where they can be protected from the winter wet. You may think the next flower in


the bulb parade would be a daffodil, or Narcissus to be botanically correct. Not necessarily! There are daffodils that flower in March, for example ‘King Alfred’ or the misleadingly


“WHY GO FOR THE OBVIOUS DAFFODILS?”


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