After my flying visit in the spring to the Keukenhof Park just outside Amsterdam, inspired by seeing 7 million bulbs in bloom. I wanted to add more bulbs to my own garden – albeit in a much smaller way! Packing a very big punch were large borders of mixed bulbs, giving a long period of flowering, and I decided to under plant a border of deciduous shrubs with 5 square metres of a bulb mixture. I choose ‘Lelystad’ which flowers February to April with a height of up to 20 cm, fitting in well underneath the shubs. The bulbs in the mixture are Narcissus Topolino, mixed Crocus in blue and white shades, Tulipa Violacea, Anemone Mr Fokker, Narcissus Baby Moon and Muscari Armeniacum. This mixture is also importantly bee and insect friendly, providing early nectar to insects.
We dug out 100mm depth of soil and poured 1,000 of the pre-mixed bulbs into the plant bed and replaced the soil. These bulb mixtures can be planted in large areas such as grass verges, lawns, meadows etc and the bulb supplier uses a small tractor/planter with a hopper into which the pre-mixed bulbs are poured and the bulbs are mechanically planted. We are looking forward to seeing how the bulb mixture performs next spring.
Our garden is windy and I rarely plant Tulips, except for a few in containers as the flower heads usually get snapped off by the wind. During my spring visit, I asked for a recommendation for a sturdy Tulip that would cope better with our windy conditions, and Tulipa fosteriana was recommended. I have planted some and will let you know how they survive the weather.
The Keukenhof Park, see www.keukenhof.nl
Bulb supplier, www.jubholland.nl