Bulbs, glorious bulbs

With all this rain softening up the ground, it’s the perfect time to get those Cornish bulbs into your borders and wild up your garden or hedgerows a little, ready for some early cheer next spring.

And we’ve a fab selection to choose from here in store – all grown and supplied by our friends at Fentongollan Farm, just down the road from us. The Hoskings family has been farming in Cornwall since the late 18th Century and in their current location on the Fal Estuary since 1883. They grow no less than 400 varieties of Cornish daffs and scented narcissi, some of which are very rare (even unique), some are new varieties, but all of them a heady mix of colours, fragrances and sizes. 

The bulbs we stock here at the Great Cornish Food Store are almost exclusively Cornish varieties, naturally(!) including Trelawney, Cornish Pride and Scilly White, and if planted in the next three or four weeks they’ll flower from early February next year until the end of April, and for many years after.

You’ll find bags of single varieties (but be quick, they’re selling fast!) as well as mixed bags of standard sized bulbs containing up to 9 different varieties for £8.25, whilst the new and very popular speciality mixed miniature packs of 50 are £17.45.

Top tips for planting bulbs:

  • Keep bulbs dry, cool and well aired until ready to plant.
  • Plant your bulbs by the end of October for best results in spring. (After then, the bulbs begin to deteriorate.)
  • Daffs prefer a sunny aspect (or part sun, part shade).
  • Plant bulbs at least twice the depth of the bulb (i.e. 4-6″ below the surface of the soil) and between 4 and 8 inches apart. Miniature daffodils can be 3 – 5 inches apart.
  • Bulbs fair better in well drained soils. They’re also great in indoor containers and window boxes, but make sure they get plenty of light.
  • Plant your daffodil bulbs in clusters rather than a bulb here or there for a fuller effect in spring.
  • If you’re looking for a more naturalised look, for example in grass verges, lawn edges, hedgerows and banks, take a cluster of bulbs in your hands, throw them in the air and plant them where they land. You can simply lift the turf with a spade, pop the bulb into the soil below and gently tread the turf back down.