Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Totnes Garden Services from Green Grounds the local Deven Landscape Gardeners

Totnes Garden Services from Green Grounds runs an affordable local garden maintenance list right through the summer and beyond, from Totnes to Kingsbridge and Plymouth. You can get a quick quote for your lawn mowing, strimming,pruning, hedging,turfing, fencing and weeding headaches from Richard on 07973 417 494. All South Devon and Totnes garden services and types of job considered - or give us a ring on 01364 73630. Click on the title for more info - this week we are planting spring bulbs:

Tips for growing the pretty little Tete-a-tete daffodils are very easy as these petite golden flowers are simple to plant and need very little fussing over in return for their cheerful presence. Because they are little daffodils in miniature though, they need careful consideration when it comes to positioning.

Choose either a drift of Tete-a-tete in sets of twenty or so ,which will look pretty and natural in the distance, or specimen planting closer to the areas nearer the house which get more use in late winter and chilly early spring. Tete-a-tete also looks pretty growing in wall-top beds or rockeries.

Drifts of Tete-a-Tete look particularly natural in lawns under semi-wooded areas. The first tip for brightening your woodland area or flower beds, is to plant the pretty yellow-trumpeted miniature daffodils in the Fall. Bulbs become available to buy from mail order companies or garden stores in the later summer months.

It is a good idea to plant bulbs that are to grow in cooler areas earlier in the Fall, to give the little golden flowers more time to establish before the cold of winter. In temperate zones such as the UK it is common to leave them until October.

Tete-a-tete, like most Daffodils, should be grown either in full sun or dappled semi-wooded light shade. To grow healthy,flourishing blooms choose a planting area that has fertile soil which is free-draining.

To plant in drifts, scatter the bulbs first on the lawn surface, ready to plant each bulb where it falls. This random effect will look more natural. Have ready some organic matter such as garden compost or manure which has rotted down completely and some fertiliser mixed with soil. Add a little to each planting hole (three or four inches down) to enrich the soil.The bulbs may need spacing slightly, if they have fallen together too closely - three or four inches is about right.

After planting, cover the bulbs with some mulch to conserve warmth and provide a little protection. In the spring, you will soon have the nodding heads of little yellow Tete-a-tetes in the semi-shade of your 'woodland garden.'

Another growing tip for miniature daffodils is to have them grow closer to the house too, so that they can be enjoyed by those who don't care to venture out in zones where the weather is chilly in late February or early March when these plants bloom.

The bright heads of Tete-a-tete can be used to lift the color in window boxes for example, or doorstep containers. Their compact height (to ten inches) means they won't dominate the displays. Senior relatives and friends will appreciate being able to enjoy these mini daffodil trumpets from inside the house, or being able to admire them in containers and pots while gardening around the back door. In this way their scent can be appreciated too,because Tete-a-tete is a fragrant daffodil - a cheering experience after the dull grey days of winter.

Other features to enjoy about the Tete-a-tete cultivar (N.cyclamineus) are the distinctive color of its trumpet blooms, and the way in which the buds develop and open so sweetly. At first the buds point skywards, but just before they open, they start to point straight down to open up like little bowing heads. To follow, bright orange trumpets darken as the blooms mature.The golden lemon of the petals lifts the spirits by reminding us that the warmer days of Spring are coming.

For gardeners venturing further afield in the garden, Tete-a-tete daffodils can be grown close to paths too, or try growing them in the lawn, naturalised through the grass. Rock gardens and larger flower beds are suitable planting locations too, for this versatile little bulb. Your local garden services contractor can help with planting large quantities of bulbs.