This is a great time to take a walk round your (or your clients') garden, with a camera and a notebook, to look at where to plant bulbs in the Autumn. I often find myself wondering where on earth (literally) to fit bulbs in when the time comes, especially if you have a lot of herbaceous plants which you allow to stand over the winter. Come the Spring and I am looking at gaps and wishing they were full of Snowdrops, or later Tulips.
Yesterday I spent a very pleasant 1/2 hour after work in the beautiful sunshine thinking about bulb planting. Under a Purple Hazel near a dark fence, and around a Cimicifuga which is only just starting to put up new shoots, I'm planning a carpet of Snowdrops and Chionodoxa.
Elsewhere there's a few gaps near a huge Euphorbia characias wulfenii, including in between clumps of Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain' which are barely visible at this time of year; and some vivid orange and purple darwin Tulips could be dramatic against the chartreuse bracts of the Euphorbia.
Anemone blanda is a great little bulb which always surprises me in the Spring with its cheerful spread of blue-violet rayed flowers and ground cover foliage, and it seems to tolerate shade well - many corners of the garden would benefit from a few more of these easy and obliging performers.
Taking time to look closely at the garden also reveals some more subtle treasures. I love the buds of Amelanchier, with a hint of primrose yellow, against grey-purple twigs and bronzy silky young leaves - maybe even more lovely at this stage than when fully open. I also saw a gorgeous bee working the Spring flowers: wonderful bright russet fur - will have to check on i-spot for an identification.
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