One of my favourite jobs in September is planning what bulbs to buy for some eagerly awaited spring colour. It is no secret that tulips are my all time favourite flower although this year they have had a run for their money with some of the wonderful cut flowers that I have grown.
I have learnt so much about growing this year from the people I have 'met' on Twitter and so I couldn't wait to go to the bulb sale at Whichford Pottery that Harriet had given me the heads up on earlier in the summer.
In a serendipitous moment, I realised that the pottery was just a few miles away from my bestest friend and so I booked myself a room with her for the weekend and armed with my list, off we went.
Whichford is a slice of terracotta heaven. I think I have in excess of fifty or so pots/crate/containers in my garden but I came away thinking I could never have enough. The entrance to the pottery lures you in immediately with its archway of pots and I was instantly in love with Harriet's planting. Why on earth have I never thought of planting dahlias in pots?
The courtyard garden was fabulous. I particularly liked the display with succulents in tiny pots surrounded by gravel. The planting was so different from the usual suspects that I always feel uninspired with at the garden centres and nurseries that I visit. It was an absolute feast for the eyes.
Having ooh-ed and aah-ed in the courtyard, we made our way into the yard that housed the pots. I was literally like a kid in a sweet shop. The studios were open and we had a nosy around and a chat with one of the potters who talked to us at length about the process of making pots using moulds and then hand-finishing the designs. I said she must have the best job in the world and her face lit up as she agreed!
After having purchased our bulbs in the marquee we had time for tea and cake - always a Very Good Thing. My thoughts on some things have done a complete u-turn: I would normally say that I couldn't stand begonias, but look at that beauty in the cake photo. Next year I will definitely have a couple of them somewhere on my deck.
I have pinned all the bulbs that I am planting for next spring to keep me going through the dark days of winter ahead. I will be looking forward to some other bulbs that I have not grown before too. For now they are all tucked away in the cool of my garage until I plant them in November.
It's not all about looking ahead though. My garden is still supplying me with just the right amount of cut flowers and I hope it will continue for quite a few more weeks until it is ready to be put to bed for the winter.