I didn’t plant any bulbs this year. In fact, I think I dislike planting bulbs more than weeding. I am a great reader of labels and it causes me great anguish as I put the bulbs into the soil. I worry – have I placed them too deeply or are they too near the surface. I try to measure, I try to avoid disturbing the roots of other plants no longer visible.
Then there is the weather. The ground can often be dry and very unwilling to give way to my prodding and digging.
If planting bulbs is difficult – I find that not buying them is even more difficult and going a step further – restraining my husband from surreptitiously sliding a large packet into the trolley.
It’s during our visits to the UK after the bulb planting season has passed and the prices of bulbs are slashed and you feel almost obliged to re-home them.
The illustrations on the packets of bulbs are so tempting. You don’t think of crouching in the borders in the cold trying to find a space for the new arrivals.
But last year I was strong and resisted temptation.
Now I feel I have been too harsh. The crocus have been flowering from the 13 February and are just finishing now. They provide patches of bright colour at what has been a dull time of year and have flowered even more plentifully than last year.
They are starting to be overshadowed by the other bulbs which are arriving now.
But by the time the daffodils arrive I am becoming much more blasé about the flowers opening out.
The crocus don’t smell as good as the hyacinth but they lift my spirits and they brighten the garden for more than a month.
I really regret all the muttering that went on as I planted the bulbs in previous years. They have more than rewarded me for the time and money spent and hopefully I’ll see even more of them next year.