Garden Blog - Blog Post

Buried Treasure


Keeping with the recent theme of gems, I recently caved and did a bulb order. A very large one.

The largest one yet, in fact – and that’s remembering the very first post of this blog titled, “1000 Snowdrops”.

I’ve only done one bulb order of any reasonable size in this garden, which wasn’t a trial. That created the bed of Crocus in the Corner border where the dahlias are. The mix of three different types of crocuses flowering in succession through winter means this – and currently only this – area of the garden erupts into vivid colour early in the year and is the only noticeable patch of colour until the Camellias light up the garden with pinks and reds from March.

Since the originals were planted, there’s been a gap of a few years where I missed the bulb planting season in autumn for various reasons and it was going to be the same story again this year, however I just about managed to sneak an order in. It’s the equivalent of walking into a shop ten minutes before closing time.

Cue me online-ordering trade quantities of bulbs (at only a few pence each) and suddenly I have added over a thousand more flowers to the flowering count at a very difficult time of year, with just the click of the mouse. The crocus we have previously planted are already pushing up through the soil, their grey-green leaves already breaking the surface before the year is out. Joining these will be a mix of crocus varieties that are the same as I already have (so I can extend the existing patch and blend in) as well as new varieties – as why restrict ones-self?

While there are several other late winter bulbs such as snowdrops, winter aconites and daffodils, I was so taken with the original patch of crocus that I want to extend this to every border in the garden. Ultimately, I want to end up with every border planted with many thousands of crocus bulbs, all flowering in late winter creating a disco-floor display of vibrant colour, when it’s needed the most.

This latest bulb order will let me complete the crocus planting in the Corner Border and also make a good start in bringing crocuses to another border, I’m just not sure which one yet. What I am sure of is that if I do managed to get my bulb order planted, the Spring display is going to be stellar!

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Susan Maclean 05/12/2018 - 9:03 am

Look forward to the pics, Sunil…. and if you don’t post again before, enjoy the festive break!

Sunil 05/12/2018 - 9:18 pm

And to you, Mrs Mac! I can’t wait for the crocuses to flower but I think the squirrels or mice have been having a go at them. Hopefully there will be some left by spring!

gardeninacity 07/12/2018 - 8:53 pm

WOW, Sunil! You da man! I LOVE Crocus, but I don’t plant lots because the rabbits have a nasty habit of eating. them.

Sunil 08/12/2018 - 6:07 pm

Thanks, Jason. I’m glad we don’t have rabbits, but we do have other things that like digging some of these bulbs up. Once the border is fully planted, the intermingling roots of all the plants holding the soil together should protect the bulbs more. They are a bit exposed at the moment as the border is very open. Hopefully, I’ve planted so many of them that there should still be a great display early next year!

Jean 12/12/2018 - 2:12 am

Sunil, That’s a lot of crocus bulbs! When I planted several hundred crocus bulbs in my garden a few years ago, the local seed coop that I bought them from recommended sprinkling the top of the planting holes with ground cloves to disrupt the ability of rodents to locate the bulbs by smell. It worked remarkably well. The sight of those crocus buds poking up through the melting snow in March, when I am more than ready to be done with winter, is one of the great joys of spring in my garden.

Sunil 17/12/2018 - 6:10 pm

Hello Jean, thanks! I’ll keep the ground cloves in mind as we’ve lost a few crocuses already so we might be down to 993 (though I won’t be counting in Spring). I guess in the UK I’ll have to re-apply the ground cloves often because it will wash through with the rain we have over the winter. I’m certainly looking forward to a blast of colour from the border in later winter, I’m hoping ours will be out in January/February (we’re much warmer than you!)

aberdeen gardening 12/12/2018 - 5:20 pm

Clever way to get loads of bulbs Sunil, it will look amazing. Mind you ,it’s not a case of if you get them planted, it’s a necessity even if you freeze your bollocks off. Have a great Christmas.

Sunil 17/12/2018 - 6:11 pm

Hello Alistair, I hope it will look good given the effort and the complaining of my knees. They’re all planted now so it’s a matter of waiting for them to poke through the soil in a few months time. Thankfully the week they were all planted, the weather was very mild, even with some some sunshine so no sensitive bits were frozen in the process!


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