As I write this the temperature is a wonderful 16C, bright sunshine is bathing the plants here at the nursery, and we have even been working outdoors in our shirt sleeves. 
The weather these past 4 weeks has been wonderful, temperatures above average and the ground is drying out and warming up. Most plants are a couple of weeks ahead of where they are normally, leaves are emerging, blossom is starting to show and daffodils are nodding their heads wherever you look. 
At the nursery, the start of April heralds a new season for us. We stop lifting bare root trees and shrubs from the field, and instead we focus on planting the next crop. 
In the next few weeks we will be planting 50,000 rose rootstocks, 15,000 fruit rootstocks and 25,000 ornamental stocks. 
These young plants will be carefully nurtured over the coming months, until the desired variety is budded or grafted onto rootstock. For these plants it is the start of a long life cycle with us, before they are saleable – the roses will not be ready until November 2018, whilst it will be 2022 at least before the fruit rootstocks are 3 metre high standard trees, available to plant in your garden. 
Whilst we are looking a long way into the future, most gardeners are working on a much shorter timescale, and the Plant Centre has been extremely busy recently as customers look for instant hits of colour. Without doubt, bulbs are the easiest way to get colour into your garden at this time of year – there is a bulb for every situation, sun or shade, damp or dry, in a huge palette of colours. 
You can buy potted bulbs now, but the best (and cheapest) way is to plan ahead. Keep an eye out now for varieties you like, make a note of the names and order bulbs for planting in September and October. Combination planting works best – think of bright yellow daffodils such as ‘Kokopelli’ underplanted with the little blue flower spikes of Muscari, and the white daisy-like Anemone blanda.  
For those of you who already have bulbs planted in pots, keep an eye on the watering – it’s very easy for pots to dry out and flowers will last much longer if well-watered. Once flowers have gone over, dead head the spent blooms (unless it’s a variety that will naturalise) and allow the foliage to die back naturally – this way all the energy is returned to the bulb, ensuring the best possible display next year. 
Tagged as: Bulbs, Spring
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