Gardening can cater to all tastes

Cyclamen coum.
Cyclamen coum.

So diverse is the choice of plant types in cultivation, both ornamental and edible, that gardening really can cater for all tastes.

Some enthusiasts home in on one particular genus, build a store of knowledge in the process, and gain great satisfaction from it.

Winter aconites.

Winter aconites.

Registered National Plant Collection holders must experience this.

Other gardeners simply prefer growing a diversity of plant types.

Whichever of these approaches rings your bell, I guess that like me you’re eagerly anticipating the months ahead.

Just think of the possibilities if you only grew ornamental plants that were bulb types.

Lilium, allium, and all the true bulbs that herald spring would be included, so too the gladiolus, acidanthera and freesia that emerge from corms.

Think of the tuberous contribution from aconites and cyclamen, not to mention the great range of begonias.

You could spend a lifetime growing dahlias alone, as some show enthusiasts do, or orchids that develop from pseudo-bulbs.

Given a little planning it is possible to have bulbous plants flowering in succession throughout the year.

This is something I aim for with the proviso that they slot into mixed borders alongside shrubs, heathers, herbaceous and annual plants.

Although we are surrounded by favourite winter shrubs such as witch hazel at present, it’s so uplifting to see the aconites (eranthis) and cyclamen coum in full bloom. Snowdrops are threatening to open alongside the early dwarf narcissi, and several other bulbs are shaping up to join them.