Delivered to you from September
Ten bulbs of Muscari Blue Magic
Ten bulbs of Narcissus Minnow
Ten bulbs of Narcissus Oxford Gold
Ten bulbs of Tulipa Purissima
You could plant all these bulbs somewhere in the garden but they would be suitable for layering in a 12” to 15”pot.
Choose a pot about 12” (30cm) across the open top, you could use one up to about 15” (40cm), but do aim for one that is not too tapered towards the base as this restricts the compost volume and reduces the eventual stability. Plastic or terracotta makes no difference. You’ll also need some crocks (old broken bits of terracotta pot are ideal) which will help stop the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot filling with soil and blocking. A suitable compost to fill the pot, would be something like John Innes No 2, which is a loam based fairly gritty compost, to which you can add 20% perlite or grit to increase the drainage further.
If the container is very deep and will use an excessive amount of compost, you can pack the bottom with some blocks of polystyrene or similar, though you should aim for about 12” (30cm) of compost for the bulbs.
Step 1. With the pot at a comfortable height put some crocks in the base, covering the drainage holes.
Step 2. Put in about 3 – 4” of compost, gently firm down with your fingertips and then plant the 10 Tulipa Purissima spread evenly over the layer of compost. Add further compost to cover the tulips (you do not need to remember where they were, they will sort themselves out wherever you plant the next layers).
Step 3. Put the Narcissus Oxford Gold in a ring and then intersperse these with the Narcissus Minnow. Add further compost to cover these again. Firm down gently.
Step 4. Finally put the Muscari Blue Magic either as a ring around the edge or over the whole area.
Step 5 Put some more compost in to cover the bulbs and optionally put a layer of chicken wire or similar to deter squirrels digging into the pot.
Step 6 Fill the pot to within 2” (5 cm) of the lip covering the chicken wire and then finally top the pot off with a more decorative layer of grit and label the pot as required.
Step 7. Water the pot gently and leave where it will get wet in the rain.
Further care: stand the pot (which may now be quite heavy) where you’ll be able to enjoy it, but if the weather threatens to be freezing by day and night for an extended spell it may be worth pushing the pot into a garage or porch, or wrapping it in bubble wrap – with the intention of stopping the soil freezing and thawing, which is damaging to the roots of the bulbs.
When the bulbs start to show growth, ensure that the pot is in a sunny spot. During the growing and flowering season, you can add a little liquid feed and water this in occasionally to encourage the bulbs to grow bigger.
After the Tulips have finished flowering, reduce the water you provide, push the pot into more shade (although somewhere where it will still get wet) and allow the bulbs to photosynthesise for as long as possible. When the leaves have died back and the bulbs are finally dormant, tip the pot onto its side and allow the compost to dry out and to stay dry for the summer, ahead of ‘knocking out’ the contents of the pot in September. You can then reuse the bulbs that you have harvested either in a new pot or in the garden.
The Collection flowers in March and April
The Collection varies in height between 5"(12cm) and 18"(45cm)