Spring planting is all about Colour, Colour, Colour from the subtle to the eye watering. After a long, wet, grey winter, colour in the garden is what we all need to pep us up and spring bulbs do it in spades.
A flying visit to Keukenhof Park just outside Amsterdam with a small group of fellow garden designers re-energised us all for the spring rush. Opening around mid March to mid May each year, you can feast your senses on 7 million bulbs in bloom with 800 varieties of Tulips alone. There are 32 hectares of gardens filled with spring flowers, artworks, flower displays and it is well worth a visit. (See: www.keukenhof.nl)
I regularly choose spring bulbs for client’s gardens and nothing beats seeing flowers and plants growing in a garden and having an expert on hand to discuss which bulb is best for sun, shade, dry or wet soil or standing up to windy conditions – a must for our own garden.
Packing a big punch and much discussion and comment amongst us were large borders of mixed bulbs, which flower from early spring to late May in different colour schemes from cool classic whites, soft yellows and blues to bold colours of red, burgundy and lilac. These mixes can include Anemone, Crocus, Hyacinthus, Chionodoxa, Leucojum, Muscari, Narcissus and a mix of Tulips. We all loved them and had our different favourites.
Bulb suppliers are also working with national Beekeeper Associations to extend the range of biodiversity bulb mixtures for bees and insects for road verges, gardens and public spaces. These mixtures can flower to almost six months from early spring to late May. We will be planting a mix in our front garden this autumn to help in a small way counter the negative effects of habitat loss for our bees, butterflies and insects.
So plenty of inspiration here to think about and include in client’s planting plans and our own garden.
With many thanks to JUB Holland and Jos Smit for sharing his expert knowledge. www.jubholland.nl