Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bulbsreally Are a Bright Idea; Your Garden If You Want a Stunning Wash of Colour in Spring, Then Now's the Time to Get Planting

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bulbsreally Are a Bright Idea; Your Garden If You Want a Stunning Wash of Colour in Spring, Then Now's the Time to Get Planting

Article excerpt

Byline: With Diarmuid Gavin

ast spring I visited the bulb gardens of Keukenhof in Holland. The place was crammed with people and full of colour.

LI would imagine the gardens aren't to everyone's taste - acre after acre of vibrant colours set out in broad strokes sweeping around trees, down slopes and reflected in still water. But I was seduced by the pure joy of the place and mesmerised by the fact that virtually all these colours came from bulbs.

They are amazing little packages of hope with a flower fully formed inside its own envelope. As autumn arrives and the soil is still warm, it is time to start planning, buying and planting these little marvels. I've been browsing the catalogues and here's my pick of the best for you.

Bloms have been in the gardening trade for more than 150 years since Walter Blom started his apprenticeship in the bulb industry in Holland back in 1850.

This year they won their 66th Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, so you can be sure of top-quality produce from here.

Their speciality is hyacinths - if you like intense colours, look out for 'Dark Dimension' with blooms so purple they're nearly black, and 'Woodstock' with rich wine purple bells. They also have some wonderful fritillaria species such as 'Adiyaman' - a magnificent border plant growing to 90cm in height, producing large numbers of dark plum purple bell-shaped flowers in April and May (blomsbulbs.com, 01234 709099).

Sarah Raven's passion is for cut flowers, and her collection of bulbs reflect her delight in blossoms that look wonderful in vases and will last. She has some very pretty Ranunculus such as 'Pauline Pink' in an exquisite shade of shell pink and 'Pauline Chocolate' which is a luscious deep red. The corms are sometimes referred to as claws due to their appearance - plant them in autumn or spring with their 'fingers' facing downwards (sarahraven. …

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