These are just some of the spring bulbs you will find at Cleeve Nursery. Come and check-out our full range.
Anemones: blanda anemones suit border or rockery, and look good in drifts. Originating in woodlands, these pale, delicate-looking plants prefer dappled shade, thriving beneath deciduous trees and shrubs. Soak the bulbs overnight before planting.
More suited to the sunny border and soil enriched with well-decayed organic matter, the florist anemone is the one that gives us vibrant pinks, purples and blues, much prized as cut flowers. Plant corms in autumn. Flowering time March to April.
Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow). Its name says it all! One of the earliest flowering bulbous plants (from early March), it will produce a mass of blue and white stars almost anywhere there is well drained soil – but it looks best on the rockery, or under the trees where it will seed freely. Plant 5cm (2″) deep and 5cm (2″) apart
Cyclamen. Hardy varieties flourish under the shelter of trees or in the rock garden, seeding themselves freely if left alone. The nodding heads with their turned back petals look too delicate to last through harsh weather, but they actually survive for many weeks, half buried in leaf mould. They like a moist position under trees, with leaf mould worked into the soil and a top dressing of the same when they are dormant. Plant 5cm (2″) deep and 10cm (4″) apart. Respecting CITES agreements, we only sell pot grown British [often our own] stock.
Fritillaria. Like the iris, the fritillaria boasts tall and stately as well as small and delicate plants. The flowers are all bell-shaped and droop, ranging in colour from pale green to bright yellow, scarlet and purple. Most are natives of damp meadows and woodlands, although conditions for growth can vary greatly and some fritillarias can provide a challenge to the gardener. But don’t dismiss them, ask our advice about the right fritillaria for you.
Crown Imperial (fritillaria imperialis) has tall stems and dramatic crowns of hanging bell-shaped red or yellow flowers beneath a circle of leaf-like bracts.
At the other end of the scale, one of the most recognised small fritillaries is the Snakeshead Fritillary (fritillaria meleagris), which has chequered pink, mauve and purple flowers on 20-30cm (8-12″) stems. Once a common wildflower in English fields and Elizabethan gardens, many of the moist meadows in which it once grew have been ploughed or drained. Give them cool, damp growing conditions in spring to see the dark maroon nodding flowers in April. They should seed themselves freely once established.
Irises. There are varieties of iris for every situation, from early spring to mid-summer, and who can resist their gorgeous colour? Cleeve Nursery grows many German Flag, Siberica and ensata hardy perennial iris, but also offers a range of corm iris too.
Dwarf irises make fine rockery plants and are particularly suitable for pots and small containers, especially when planted beneath containerised shrubs and trees.
Specie irises have finely-detailed, scented miniature flowers that appear in late February or early March, and are also perfect for patio containers. Taller varieties for borders are available too.
Muscari (grape hyacinths). Short, conical spikes of clusters of tiny bell-shaped flowers, often blue edged in white, they will grow anywhere and will naturalise freely. They look wonderful in a woodland setting, on rockeries, in clumps or as edging in borders or planted in pots or containers.
Puschkinia (Striped Squill), This extremely free-flowering plant has bells of an unusual blue on a spike. Extremely versatile, it thrives in borders, woodland, rock gardens or in containers. Flowers March to April: plant 5cm (2″) deep in any well drained soil.
Scilla (Siberian squill), has deep blue, nodding, bell-shaped flowers from March to April. Short growing [8-10cms] the naturalise well under trees and hedges, or in quantities in short grass, and when happy, they will quickly colonise the area.
Snowdrops – Galanthus and Leucojum. Thought to have been introduced to this county in the 17th century, our not-quite-native snowdrop is the galanthus, those delicate heads that push through the snow around New Year and flower until March. Left alone in borders, lawns and under trees, they will quickly form large clumps.
There are two opportunities to plant these: the first as soon as they become available in August – Sept and again bought in pots [‘in the green’] shortly after flowering, which is also the time to divide congested clumps. Plant 5cm (2″) deep and 7cm (3″) apart.
The leucojum look like the snowdrop but are much larger and later flowering. Their habit is similar to galanthus, but they thrive best in cool dampish positions. Plant 8cm (3″) deep and 10cm (4″) apart.