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Flower bulbs within the botanical world

 

Of all the groups of plants used in gardens and parks, flower bulbs are the most mysterious and amazing. They spend much of the year underground, yet, when you least expect it, there they are. Nothing is so exciting as seeing the first tips of the snowdrops coming up: the gardening season is on its way again!

Just when there’s hardly anything outside to catch your eye, the energy of flower bulbs emerging is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. And then, in almost no time at all, their little shoots become a fantastic display of colours and shapes. The biggest show is provided by the group of spring-flowering bulbous plants – the prima donnas in an otherwise unexciting spring garden. But the benefits of summer-flowering bulbs shouldn’t be underestimated either. Certain kinds, such as dahlias and begonias, provide months of colour – a feat no perennial plant can match! And just when the garden begins to wane, autumn-flowering bulbs such as the Colchicum arrive for an encore performance: another nice surprise, but this time it comes late in the season.

Anyone talking about “flower bulbs” is talking about a huge group of plants that also includes corms, tubers, rhizomes and rootstocks. There are many to choose from for every situation, whether it’s to beautify verges, lawns, traditional flowerbeds or plantings beneath tall trees. And the most important advantage of all is the minimum investment of time, money and effort it takes for such breathtaking results. So it’s no wonder that flower bulbs should be included in every planting scheme, whatever its scale.