Personally I love daffodils and narcissi, and as William Wordsworth waxed lyrical on the beauty of them, whilst in a pensive moment and enjoying the tranquility of them dancing in the breeze, here is his poem:
I wandered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine, And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line, Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they, Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought. What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie, In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye. Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
Daffodils come in a huge variety of colours, from deep yellows to whites and all in between. They come up year after year, as long as you look after them and let them die down. They look great anywhere in the garden. Daffodils and narcissi also brighten up your home in spring when cut and put in a vase.
Here is our dog amongst the daffodils on our drive.
My wife loves alliums and cyclamens.The alliums sprouting out of our borders with their purple-blue heads are again great for flower arranging. The cyclamens have been planted around the bottom of our trees, but visible from our kitchen window, flower from December to early March, depending on the variety.
Although we don’t have many bluebells, my wife has just ordered them from Ashridge Nurseries to plant in the more wooded area of our garden. There is something quintessentially English about bluebells and the bluey haze you can see in the woodlands in the UK. We often pass by the Savernake Forest in Wiltshire and admire the native English bluebells in the woodland there.
Tulips are another British favourite coming in just about every size and colour, my wife has planted them in pots as well as in the borders, where they prefer to be out of the wind.
Crocuses are often part of a British garden and we have a mixture of them near our house. They come in so many colours you just have to get a mixed collection to add a real splash of colour in February and March.
There’s nothing like spring colour in your garden. It feels as though winter has gone and that the days are getting longer. Having said that snowdrops, supposedly the heralds of spring, are more likely to flower when we’re still in winter, from January through to March.
I’m not a huge fan of hyacinths; however they do well indoors at Christmas time and have an old-fashioned , somewhat evocative fragrance, which reminds me of my parents’ home when I was growing up.
So whatever spring bulbs make you feel as poetic as Wordsworth or simply glad that spring and summer are on their way, then have a look at what bulbs you can get from Ashridge Nurseries, mixed bulb collections that are a great starter pack for any garden. Get ahead of the game and plant your bulbs now and see the colours that will brighten up your garden and your life next late winter and spring.
Lastly here’s a quote from Anna Pavord, British garden writer and bulb enthusiast from her book The Curious Gardener that encapsulates what gardening means to so many of us:
“Only fools view their gardens in monetary terms,
the real point of a garden is to increase the value of our lives”.