My mum and I have developed a bit of a habit over the past two years that takes place very late in winter or early spring... One of us will source bulk quantities of bulbs (divided from a garden and gifted, or bought heavily discounted from a local nursery because it is "too late" to plant them) and the pair of us will furiously try to get them all in the ground in the space of a few spare hours.
In fact, except for one or two lovely little surprises that have popped up from imported soil, every bulb in our garden has been put in by my mum and I in one of our planting sprees.
Because we plant them so late in the season they don't bloom in their first year in the ground, so this spring was the first time I have seen what bulbs we actually have (we are waiting another year for the 200 or so we planted this year). It's kind of cool to wait to find out what you have planted, perhaps the only way to surprise yourself in your own garden.
So to this year's bulb roundup, with plenty of photos and varieties noted when I can figure them out:
The first to pop up were dutch crocus (Crocus vernus) which are probably the earliest of the spring bulbs - these are 'Pickwick'. The colours are surreal and they pop up out of bare earth when nothing else is around. Definitely a nice sign that spring is coming!
Grape hyacinths (Muscari) appeared next, both white and blue. There were little patches where we planted them, but also others dotted around the garden. I know some people find they end up becoming 'weeds' in their gardens, but I'm very happy to have them wherever they decided to grow.
There were daffodils galore (well over a hundred), including one with a peachy centre which I think might be an 'Accent'.
And so many anemones, which is one of my absolute favourite flowers and certainly my favourite spring bulb. We have both doubles and singles, in all the shades of blue to purple to pink. I still want to find the white petalled variety with the navy blue centre that you see in bridal bouquets, but so far haven't had any luck finding bulbs for them.
Jonquils ('Bridal crown') and hyacinths ('Pink surprise') surprised me outside our shower window (we have an inside/outside shower, so it feels like you are showering in the garden and it is wonderful!).
A few clusters of spring star (Ipheion uniflorum) popped through in imported soil. I didn't mark where they were, so hopefully we don't inadvertently dig them out when we are filling garden beds in coming years.
A dozen purple tulips (Tulip 'Negrita') came through just before we headed to the coast for a long weekend. We didn't really get to enjoy them as it got very hot for a week or so and they were short lived.
Two purple dutch irises popped up unexpectedly underneath the banksia rose hedge - I think they must have been in one of three garbage bags full of bearded iris that my godmother sent down from her garden in Toowoomba a few years ago. I haven't been able to work out what variety they are... gosh I wish somebody would invent Shazam for plant identification! I love pottering through the books and narrowing things down with image searches on google, but it sometimes lands you in an intractable internet wormhole.
Most of the bulbs are finished for the year now, but there a few different types of ranunculus left (in the brightest shades of yellow, red and pink).
And lastly, one that has taken me the better part of a night to identify turns out to be a bulb native to South Africa called Tritonia gladiolaris (Lined tritonia or Chiffon lace). It is so uniquely pretty, with cream coloured petals lined with delicate brown. It was such a surprise and so unusual, so I am thrilled to find it in our garden.
Can't wait to see what pops up next year!