DWARF BULBS that dot the spring garden with bright lights are as essential as the bigger players in the shape of daffodils and tulips in the same season.
If you’ve any doubts, check out the latest catalogue despatched by Pottertons Nursery & Garden.
There’s a feast of floral beauty and colour across its 32 pages.
Yet the flower that earns more catalogue columns than any other? Not that ubiquitous duo already mentioned, nor snowdrops nor irises, but . . . crocuses.
Yes, Rob and Jackie Potterton and their team at Nettleton, Lincolnshire, clearly adore this genus and dedicate no fewer than six columns to those irresistible species and hybrids.
Add to this another column and a half on the similar but unrelated colchicums and the dinkies are standing 6ft tall!
On the front cover are a cluster of Crocus chrysanthus Sunspot with the most alluringly bright orange petals which open to reveal a stunning and prominent black central style. At £12.50 each or £34.50 for three, you need to know what you are doing!
Not all are bank bruisers, though. Staying with the spring-flowering species, there’s tommasinianus Roseus in rose-pink at £2 for ten and £4.50 for 25, the very early ancyrensis with deep orange flowers (£1 for ten, £4.50 for 50), sieberi Tricolor with three distinct bands in lilac, white and yellow (£1/£4.50), versicolor Picturatus in pure white and striking purple stripes on both petal sides (£2 for five, £3.70 for ten), while for autumn blooming there’s goulimyi in pale to deep lavender and white throat (£1.50 each, £3.90 for three), medius in light purple and attractive orange pistils (£3 for ten, £13 for 50), nudiflorum in bright purple-violet in October (£2.50 each, £6.90 for three), or, for a couple of other “ouches,” try mathewii HKEP 9291 at £14 per bulb or £39 for three in white with violet-purple ring around the inside of the flower base, yellow anthers and red stigma, or mathewii Dream Dancer at £10 each or £28.50 for three and bearing light and purple patches dark centres and light, feathering flowers.
A pair of exclusive masterpieces, but do take care.
Elsewhere across its pages, the catalogue offers a gorgeous selection of autumn, winter and spring favourites, as well as a sprinkling of rare or tricky species.
From numerous alliums and anemones to the delights or erythronium, fritillaria and a fine assortment of bulbous and rhizome-type irises and narcissi and tulips to drool over – Potterton has the lotterton!
■ Those living within easy reach of the nursery should make a note of Saturday, 14 September, when Pottertons stage an open day from 10am to 4pm. Visitors are invited to choose from an extensive range of dwarf bulbs, alpines, woodland plants and dormant bulbs and walk the beautiful landscape gardens. Expert advice, refreshments and nibbles are all on hand. http://www.pottertons.co.uk
■ Beautiful bulbs: Top – Front page of the new Pottertons catalogue; above – a bulb bonanza on the back page.