Our Guide To The Best Bulbs To Plant For Spring 2021
Country Life UK|September 09, 2020
Our Guide To The Best Bulbs To Plant For Spring 2021
With tens of thousands of bulbs to choose from, what should you order? Val Bourne selects the finest, chosen for looks, performance and reliability
Val Bourne

Narcissus Golden Echo

Why? This subtle, lemon-yellow and cream, April-flowering Highgrove favourite is highly scented, due to its Jonquil blood. The name Echo reflects a succession of two or three weather-resistant flowers per stem. Best of all, this robust variety returns year on year, in border or container. 15in

Partner with Scilla siberica, Muscari aucheri Blue Magic or Chionodoxa luciliae

Other scented narcissi to try Elka, Lancaster, Lieke and Sweet Love

Narcissus Cheerfulness AGM

Why? This classic, April-flowering florist’s favourite is a double Tazetta, so it needs a warm, well-drained position. The creamy flowers, touched with egg-yolk yellow and a touch of green, are richly scented, so it’s an ideal cutting-garden bulb and good in containers. It dwindles, so re-plant regularly. 16in

Partner with Tulipa Havran, Narcissus Starlight Sensation and Hyacinth multiflora Blue Pearl

Other double narcissi to try Yellow Cheerfulness, Sir Winston Churchill and Acropolis

Narcissus Sailboat AGM (1980)

Why? The swept-back flowers and flared lemon-yellow trumpet add a jaunty, carefree note to this dainty fragrant, creamy narcissus. It never looks glacial and returns well, unlike most whites. It’s mid to late season and able to withstand a warm spring day, as well as spring squalls. 12in

Partner with Any deep-blue muscari, Narcissus Lemon Sailboat and Tulipa Negrita

Other swept-back narcissi to try Mother Duck, Jack Snipe and Jenny

Tulipa Apricot Foxx

Why? This pale-apricot Triumph tulip has raspberry-pink overtones that stop it looking anaemic. It’s later than most Triumphs, flowering into May, and mixes well with pink, plum and purple tulips and all blue bulbs. These shorter Triumph tulips have strong, sturdy stems, so cut well, and their flowers will keep their shape. 18in

Partner with Tulipa Amazing Parrot, La Belle Epoque and Burgundy

Other Triumph tulips to try Princess Irene, Couleur Cardinal, Mistress and Jan Reus

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September 09, 2020