HELEN LANG: Plant your bulbs now for that spring lift

This morning the first flyer advertising bulbs arrived but no mention of snowdrops

This morning (Sept. 26), the first flyer advertising bulbs arrived.

There were beautiful pictures of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus but not one picture nor mention of snowdrops.

To me this is a terrible oversight. Those first snowdrops were always such a joy, such a promise of spring, so thrilling. How could they be forgotten?

I remember when the first green foliage appeared followed soon by delicate stems carrying those welcome white buds. It was usually mid-February, and my heart soared as visions appeared: spring is just around the corner.

Of course spring was still more than a month away but those snowdrops were the first sign that it was really coming. I had planted two different varieties, one with the usual pendent white blossoms and the others whose white flower petals were edged with green. Lovely! Now, just when the garden is gasping its last, along comes this promise of spring, a bulb catalogue. I have already bought tulip bulbs and anemone corms to take up to my brother and picture them flowering alongside his driveway.

He couldn’t care less I realize, but they would look lovely anyway and he might even enjoy them in spite of his gloomy attitude. He has crippling arthritis, and an illness right now, so no wonder he isn’t singing and dancing in the street. But by spring he should be happier and maybe the glowing anemone colours will give his spirits a lift.

Now I need some for myself. I have the daffodil bulbs from last year waiting to be planted and the tulip bulbs are still in the pots from last spring. I just planted petunias on top.

This will be fun but I’ll have to watch myself as I tend to go overboard when it comes to bulbs and I have only a few pots to fill.

I intend to buy crocus, probably yellow, as they are the brightest and most like sunshine,  and perhaps a few red tulips and a few blue hyacinths as their perfume is so lovely. That is all I intend to buy, but when I’m at the nursery who knows what could happen?

I know. I’ll leave my credit card at home and take a limited amount of cash with me. That should do it!

Maybe some of you would like to plant bulbs that will bloom inside in January or February when the winds outside blow hard and cold and a breath of spring would be especially welcome.

You will need small pots, soil and a cool, dark place to keep them for several months while they make roots.

I’ll put mine inside a black plastic bag out on the floor of the balcony. I’ll weigh the bag down with something heavy so the whole thing  doesn’t fly away in a winter storm, wrapping itself (still carrying the pots) around some innocent passer-by who’d be sure to think the sky was falling.

If you have a shed, or an unheated garage and a cupboard to put them in, that would be ideal.

Water the pots well before storing them and check every month to make sure the soil doesn’t completely dry out. Maybe it would be a good idea to put a mark on the calendar as a reminder.

No offence meant! It’s a hint for myself, really!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

The WHL’s Victoria Royals will compete in a 24-game season starting March 26, <strong></strong>based out of a Kamloops and Kelowna B.C. division bubble (Kevin Light/Courtesy Victoria Royals)
‘Important to cherish every moment’: Victoria Royals not taking bubble season for granted

The Victoria WHL team’s coach and GM calls the season a ‘privilege,’ expects fierce rivalries

The Victoria Fire Department was able to contain a fire to one room after a bed placed directly against a heater ignited. (Black Press Media file photo)
Early morning Victoria balcony fire causes $20,000 in damages

Victoria Fire Department said nobody was injured in the fire on View Street

Postmark Group, an Edmonton-based development firm, bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year, and is reaching out to the community and local groups for feedback before they begin planning the designs for the development. (Photo contributed/Postmark Group)
Waterfront village development eyed for Sooke

Postmark Group development firm bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Most Read