'I've planted around 5,000 spring bulbs, and can't get enough'

"Golden buds of happiness were given to friends, the children's teachers, church, various community groups and the house was filled with vases of sunshine."

It had always been my plan to enlarge the garden at the same time my mother gave me the lecture on my appearance, “you look like a raggle taggle gypsy”! With it came a cheque to buy something nice. Scottish pioneer ancestors, you can make something from nothing, I have the “frugal McDougall” spirit in spades! Waiting for the Christmas sales, I bought three silk blouses and three pairs of silk slacks – clothes sorted … now I could buy something nice for myself!

Tesselers bulb catalogue arrive, and over the holidays we spent time organising what to plant to give the longest flowering period. Graeme had fertilised the proposed areas to be planted, bulbs were ordered – over 3,000 ( who needs lots of clothes). We waited. The bulbs arrived when I was teaching, and Graeme picked them up from the railway station. They filled the car boot, the backseat and front passenger seat! Arriving home he got the tractor and carefully ploughed the orchard area. And we planted, planted some more, until all the bulbs were gone … too much area had been ploughed and prepared.

“Not to worry, I will deal with that!”

So I did by ordering another 1,750; that should do it.

Finished planting a second time … oh dear me! Still not enough, my disposable sum gone, Christmas money gone, so you tell friends.

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Graeme dined out on the story for ages, having broad shoulders I could carry the jokes as the men laughed, but the women understood. Meg arrived with a couple of dozen bulbs. Someone found a friends house that had been demolished for the road and dozens of nameless narcissus bulbs were collected. Time for planting was running out, specials on bulbs … rejiggering my budget another 750 were ordered. The Tesselers’ lady was in fits of laughter as I told my tale of woe.

“Would you like some extras, they’re mixed?”

“Too right!” Neatly bagged and named, the first group arrived plus extra ‘unnamed’ varieties and were planted.

Covered with straw, the bulbs gradually sprouted green leaves and over time they budded. Eventually, the first flowers appeared. The sense of joy was immeasurable. Golden buds of happiness were given to friends, the children’s teachers, church, various community groups and the house was filled with vases of sunshine.

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Each year we wait for the first blooms and the giving cycle begins again. The daffodils really are food for the soul.

Do you love the first spring bulbs that come through each year?