Pretty Little Things

Bees need the pollen from early crocuses when little else is in bloom

Bees need the pollen from early crocuses when little else is in bloom

I know it feels as if summer is only just over and there’s still a lot of this year left to go, but it’s already time to be thinking about next year and planning for the early months of 2019. There’s something special about the very earliest of spring bulbs. After a brown and grey winter, with little colour apart from green, it gives me a great sense of hope to see tiny shoots poking their tips out from the cold earth, ready to burst into blooms of glorious colour. Although they’re tiny, they’re not deterred by cold, frost and rain, they just carry on regardless, and this is one of the reasons why I love them.

Let’s talk about crocuses today. They’re widely available, easy to grow and very reliable. For a small investment you can rely on splashes of vivid colour and if left undisturbed, they will flower year after year. Your local garden centre should have a good selection around now, so don’t hang about because thanks to this year’s exceptionally strange weather, bulbs of all kinds won’t be as plentiful as usual and they should sell out quickly.

If you have room, a carpet of crocus naturalised in grass looks amazing, especially around the base of a tree. They do well in pots too, near a doorway for an uplifting shot of sunny yellow, or my favourite, soft lavender blue. They also come in shades of purple and white and some have striped petals.

This year I’m going to scatter a couple of hundred along a raised bed at the end of the garden, where they’ll be visible from the house and can open their petals in the morning sun. You can’t be too generous with these little beauties – they take up very little space so plant as many as you can.

You’ll be helping early bees too, who will be very glad to have an early supply of pollen when there isn’t much in bloom. As they’re one of the earliest bulbs to flower, they need to be planted early in the autumn, so grab a few packets this weekend and get planting – next spring you’ll be glad you did!

Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.

Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens.

T: 086 683 8098 E: [email protected] www.annebyrnegardendesign.com

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