November is the month for tulips

If you like growing tulips then November is a bit like Christmas. it is the time when exciting brown boxes arrive with the post with that excellent label: Perishable Plant Material.

I still get a thrill out of opening parcels even if I know what is inside.

Every year I start again with tulips treating them like annuals as a piece of acknowledged but unrepentant indulgence.

This year I have ordered a variety called Ballerina which should bring next Spring’s flowering bulb season to a spectacular and colourful conclusion.

Planting tulip bulbs in November is usually one of the last times in the year to enjoy earthy pleasures with that inspiring when your fingers immerse themselves in the soil.

One of the many joys of working in the garden is the tactile relationship that the gardener establishes with his plot. Soon the frosts will harden the soil so yesterday afternoon I enjoyed getting muddy just as much as I liked lighting the fuse on next Spring.

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