Lifestyle

Guest Post: Fabulous! 5 Easy Winter Flower Bulbs by Susan Flowers

January 20, 2012

Susan has kindly written the first of my new feature guests posts that I’ll be including on the Greenside Up blog. She is the Manager of the Blooming Brilliant Garden Centre at Dermot Kehoe Supply & DIY Centre in New Ross, Co. Wexford. Susan has had the gardening bug for over 10 years, and has designed several gardens in that time, along with working as a horticulturist and garden center manager.

This Spring her garden center is getting a bit of a re-vamp, so she is quite excited about planning the new layout!

You are probably longing for Spring right about now, aren’t you? Craving a bit of colour and cheer in the garden as you wait for the first green shoots? Well, did you know there are some fantastic flowers you can enjoy in your garden in winter? There are, and they are easy peasy to grow! Here are my top five:

Winter Irises

Winter Iris
Winter Iris

These little jewels generally bloom in January, and are mainly in shades of purple & blue. Iris reticulata is their Latin name, and they look stunning planted in groups. I’ve several in bloom in my garden at the minute, and they come back year after year as long as your soil isn’t soggy. You can also have them indoors in a pot to enjoy the scent up close, (put in a coolish spot in order for the flowers to last longer) and then you can plant outside when they are done flowering. There is a cheery yellow winter iris, too – iris danfordiae- which also has a fab scent,but is not quite as likely to return next year. Still, they are not expensive as plants in pots or as dried bulbs & are worth the enjoyment!

Winter Aconite

Winter Acconite
Winter Acconite
These sunny little ‘Winter Buttercups’ (Eranthis hyemalis) are wildlife friendly, tough as boots in the snow, and will often multiply and make a splash of sunshine! Planted underneath a deciduous tree – where other plants will often not grow they are a real lift! Winter Aconites are much better bought as growing plants in pots versus dried bulbs in bags. The foliage dies back around April/May, and it feeds the bulb so it will flower again next year,so don’t chop it while it is still green this goes for all bulbs, too.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops
Snowdrops
Another winter beauty best bought in a pot, Snowdrops(Galanthus nivalis) also multiply over the years- but do plant them in groups to start; a single plant or two on their tod look a bit lonely. As they clump up more fully you can gently split and move them when they are finished for the season. You can go mad and pay big money for special varieties (like on the top picture above), or buy the more common kinds for much less.

January Gold & February Gold Daffodils

Early Daffodil
Daffodil February Gold

These very early daffs do  what they say on the tin! In fact, it was so mild here in Ireland this December that January Golds have been in full flower since mid December and they are still looking great one month on! These bulbs have never let me down and always give a wonderful, long, show. Most likely you will find them for sale as inexpensive dry bulbs in bags, and that is perfectly fine for them. Enjoy! But don’t tiethe foliage in knots after, or cut down until after it yellows like with all bulbs, it feeds next years flowers.

Crocus
Mixed crocus
Crocus tommasinianus
Your teacher probably had you plant a few crocus in a cup in school when you were a child – they are that easy to grow, but no less valuable Winter cheer for it! There are lots of different colours and colour combos to choose from in the different varieties, but one of my all time favourites is plain old crocus tommasinianus, pictured below.
Crocus tommasinianus

It is so graceful and spreads around nicely. They all are very good for any early honey bees that venture out on mild Winter days, and the happy-go-lucky crocus deserve a place in every garden. They also are fine purchased dry, or as growing plants in pots.

I hope you are inspired to grow a few of these gorgeous, easy Winter flowers yourself!

I hope you enjoyed ready about the fabulous bulbs available to brighten up our winter days as much as I did, and are now thinking of adding some colour to your own gardens?

Susan is currently selling all of the bulbs mentioned (and others) in pots at this time of year, with prices varying between 5 for €10 for some pots, 3 for €10 for others, which I think is great value…… Thanks Susan, I may be heading down way soon!

Postscript

Funny how things work out. Who’d have thought back then when Susan wrote this post that she would no longer be working at Kehoe’s and that we would now be in a Green and Vibrant business partnership together! Also interesting to spot that like many bloggers back then, we were grabbing images without crediting as hadn’t realised the importance (sharp intake of breath) so please shout out if your image is here and I’ll amend. Thank you.

8 Comments

  • Reply Jessie January 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Great post! I love when my daffodils bloom, they are such a ray of sunshine on a dreary day!

  • Reply Foxglove Lane January 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Ooooo I like, I want!! Fantastic post and I wonder why we dont think about the possibilities of earlier blooms more? Just seeing the images of snow on colour…….and remembering those little classroom experiments…….magic!

  • Reply Dee Sewell January 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Completely agree Jessie! The yellow really seems to stand out on late winter days too 🙂

  • Reply Dee Sewell January 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks Catherine, will make sure Susan see's your comment :~) I loved the iris' against the snow as they really stand out – don't know about you but will be adding them to my shopping basket.

  • Reply Bridget January 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Love the Irises…they are gorgeous…must get some. They would lift anyones heart.

  • Reply Dee Sewell January 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Me too Bridgit.planning to add some to my garden!

  • Reply Fiona At Hunters Lodge January 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    My little Iris Reticulatas, Snowdrops and Crocuses are out – it's just so wonderful to see them burst from the ground – and the colours are amazing…:)

  • Reply Dee Sewell January 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Gosh you're way ahead of us Fiona! Our bulbs are just poking through – about and inch & a half now. We're adding to our ornamental garden bit by bit as we only started it a few years ago. Loved your iris' and snowdrops 🙂

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