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I’ve just planted up a potful of bulbs – yes, I know, much too late really, but these were a freebie from a magazine and they missed my main bulb-planting push, so I’ve only just got around to putting them in.

To make matters worse, they didn’t put in quite the combination they’d promised in the freebie – result, I missed out on the one plant I wanted (Allium neapolitanum) and ended up with a mish-mash of nice plants, but in colours which don’t go with my colour schemes so left me a bit non-plussed as to where to put them.

So I took the easy way out and put them all in a big pot on my patio. I used the “layer” technique – where you plant the tallest bulbs on the bottom layer, then just cover them with soil and plant another layer of shorter bulbs on top.

So here’s what I did:

  • Layer 1: Ranunculus asiaticus: this will be the latest one to flower of them all, putting up big powder-puffs of blowsy flowers in July in lots of wonderfully vulgar colours!
  • Layer 2a: Allium ostrowskianum: a new one on me, so I’ll be very interested to see how these come up. They look very pretty on paper – pale mauve flower heads in June.

  • Layer 2b: Tulipa tarda: these are among my favourite tulips, a lovely species with pale yellow, cheerful little flower heads in April. I put them in a circle around the Alliums.
  • Layer 3: Pushkinia libanotica: these tiny little gems will be the first to flower, in February or thereabouts, and since they’re so tiny I’ve popped them in on top.

I’m so looking forward to it – the last time I tried a layered pot it was one of the most beautiful displays I’d ever had on my patio. Fingers crossed I haven’t left it too late, that’s all…

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