I got in yesterday to find a complete absence of a note I’d tucked in the door frame before I went out. That could only mean one thing – a delivery driver had picked it up – and I hurried round to the greenhouse, my drop-things-off-when-I’m-not-in place of choice:

bulb order

My Bulb Order Has Arrived.

And yes, I did try and rip it open with my fingers. YOW. Had to find scissors, thus delaying the process and interrupting it with a little light swearing.

it's open

I do like to keep the neighbours entertained. Not shocked, they’re used to me by now.

Revealed: a fine selection, all looking good:


This has always been a slightly tense moment for me. It wasn’t – until the bulb order I had a few years ago from XYZ suppliers, when I opened the box to find that the Fungus Fairy had been enjoying the journey big time. Both the bulbs and the air were blue, but the bulbs were also furry. (I did get a refund, of course, and when I offered to return the mouldering heap the suppliers said ‘ergh, no thank you’, so I felt free to bin them – but I was deeply traumatised, deeply.)

So what have I got? Somehow I resisted the urge to buy everything in stock at Peter Nyssen and have ended up with twenty tulips (Orange Princess and Princess Irene, the colours go so well with the stone of the cottage), fifty narcissi (I know, I know, but they’re late and the meadow’s daff season could do with extending and I need more whites and anyway I only picked/deadheaded 1200 or so this year), thirty alliums (ten each of cernuum, christophii and siculum), five Camassia leichtlinii caerulea, and five lilies (Hiawatha, and I do hope the last two work out).


Now all I need is for the Wicked Weather Witch to join the Fungus Fairy and **** off so I can get them in. I don’t know; the moment I got the box open the clouds gathered and they’ve not really lifted since. Hrumpf.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. Christina says:

    There is so much hope in the bulb order arriving! I think you’ve been very good (not many at all). I usually succumb and end up with two huge boxes (same supplier by the way, PN is one of the few companies that deliver to Italy at a reasonable rate). I’ve asked for mine to come the last week in October, before that it is too hot.

    1. kate says:

      I’ve been quite restrained, I think – especially considering the length of the original list. But I set myself a budget and hacked back. I’m sure I didn’t need more narcissi, though!

      My first year for PN…

  2. Ellie says:

    Dear Kate
    My PN order arrived a week or so ago; all tulips and more than I remembered ordering – I have a small garden but often forget that rather important fact. I have gone for a couple of mixtures of early and late tulips and some Ballerina and Red Shine. I was extremely excited when the parcel came – the first time I had bought bulbs in proper ‘grown up’ paper bags! I hope the weather improves for you so that you can do some planting.
    Best wishes

    1. kate says:

      HI Ellie, what a coincidence, I was so tempted by Red Shine (I love red tulips) that I almost forgot I needed oranges… also nearly added some Rococo, they’re gorgeous. Then I calmed down and realised they wouldn’t work where I wanted them to – also that I couldn’t have everything (damn it).

      Fingers crossed for planting!

  3. Anna says:

    Oh exciting Kate 🙂 Hope that the Wicked Weather Witch obliges and let’s you get on with the task soon. Only sent my bulb order off a week ago so will probably have to wait a while and will be planting them when the Frost Fairy is about.

    1. kate says:

      Alas, I am a slave to the Decorating Demon this weekend – need to clear four rooms, whatever the weather is like – including (oh no!) the kitchen. And the forecast is good, too. Rats. Never mind, there’s always Monday when I will need to get out of the way of the Demon Decorator and either a) do my tax return, or b) plant bulbs. Guess…

  4. hillwards says:

    The arrival of bulbs is always a bit of a mixed bag – excitement mixed with some dread at the prospect of actually getting them into the ground. My PN order arrived a few weeks ago, and I finally took advantage of last weekend’s fair weather to put everything except the tulips into the ground. I used a metal pole that I can barely lift to drive holes into our heavy ground, and after several hours of that, I’ve been feeling the effects ever since! Satisfying to be done, mind … though now I’m wondering whether I should have ordered a few more wood anemones… 🙂 They at least were easy to slip in with a trowel.

    1. kate says:

      STOP IT NOW – that way madness lies (maybe I needed a few more narcissi… bit short on the dwarf daffs… what about — no!)… Congratulations on your planting – very impressed. At the moment I’m hoping for decent weather Monday. Mind you, I have to work out where they’re all supposed to be going. Hm.

  5. Cathy says:

    Blimey – Sara at Hillwards must have sent hers off early! And here am I, still waiting…… 😦 Like her, I never look forward to planting mine, and there’s you, raring to go, subject to the Weather witch!

    1. kate says:

      Overenthusiasm. Only explanation for such efficiency.

      (I have had a wish list an arm’s length since May, mind you..)

  6. Harriet says:

    Oooh! Lucky you. I’m still waiting for my PN box. But like you, we’re in cloud and rain most of the time so planting will be a bit soggy when they arrive!

  7. kate says:

    Hope your box turns up soon! We have sun (and a heck of a lot of wind, but you can’t have everything), so went out planting. All in except 20 alliums… phew…

  8. Oooh, what a lovely selection. I’ve only just placed my bulb order, it took me forever to whittle the wishlist down to something that (a) wouldn’t require a small mortgage and (b) I could feasibly envisage planting before Spring arrives. Same supplier, so it’s all your fault, actually!! Hope the weather fairy is kind…

    1. kate says:

      Not listening, not listening, free will and all that!

      Seriously, managed to get most of mine in yesterday, in teeth of howling gale but no rain. I’ve only got a couple of alliums to go but am quite undecided about where they should end up. I thought I knew when I bought them, but something else is inconveniently growing there and looking a) healthy and b) immoveable. Rethink time…

  9. wellywoman says:

    My bulb order from PN arrived too. Exciting isn’t it? I’ve managed to get a few in. I’m going away for a bit soon so the plan is to have everything in except the tulips before I go away. Like you though, I am rather hoping the weather will play ball, and it isn’t at the moment. I’m growing camassias for the first time too and hoping they will work. I saw them in the meadows at Highgrove about 4 years ago now and loved them and have finally got round to getting some for my own garden.

    1. kate says:

      We had a dry bit earlier and I managed to get the alliums in – my last ones – and the heavens have just opened… phew. I was just congratulating myself on a job well done, walked into the old outside loo (aka shed) and found a whole seed tray full of daffs which need to go into the meadow. Sigh…

      WE’ll have to compare camassias! I always like to try something I’ve not done before, but they’re usually the ones that go in my attempts at trimming an order down to affordable size. Not this time, though. Fingers crossed!

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