Can I grow daffodils or tulips to flower in early / mid February in South Somerset ? I want them to decorate wedding reception. Any ideas welcome..
There are many early-flowering daffodils available, and bulbs can be ordered well in advance. There is one called Bridal Crown (multi-headed, white with lovely fragrance, larger than Cheerfulness) which seems appropriate.
Exact flowering times are difficult to control, given the vagaries of the British weather, even here is the relatively mild South West. But grown in pots, and nurtured at the appropriate time (extra warmth to bring them on, for example) would probably work. But there may be a lot of work to get them all in flower at the right time.
I'm not sure about tulips - most early classifications are for March flowers, but it may be that they can be forced to bloom earlier.
Try searching on-line for Early Flowering daffodils and tulips, and see the varieties available. Most bulbs will be available, I think, from September, so now is the time to plan.
I've just been looking at spring bulbs, and found one that may be more predictable: a Cornish daffodil called Martinette - yellow, multi-headed, fragrant, February flowers.
Hope this helps
Rijnveld's Early Sensation reliably flowers from January here in a cold corner of Devon. You may have to actually hold that one back but you could hedge your bets with that plus an early March type. If we get a mild winter the March ones should be out in time with care - a cold winter and the January ones should be going well - again, with care. 'Rip Van Winkle' is supposed to flower in February - I've not tried that one yet.
There are tulips that flower in March so could be brought on in a greenhouse or polytunnel - depends what colours you're after. The little species ones are reliably early - 'peppermint stick' is very pretty.
Thank you for help. I have an allotment and a greenhouse and want to provide about 150 blooms which might be a little ambitious but I will have a go. If all fails i might have to bulk buy some !
pmc - do let us know how you get on. It sounds as if you have the space - but can't control the climate. For what it's worth, I think blooms in pots rather than cut flowers would be best. If you have to rely on buying them, there will be bunches of daffodils available - and these can be a good alternative.
btw I researched some from Suttons Seeds, and noted that they make a donation to Marie Curie for all the relevant bulbs sold, which is an added bonus imo.
Why on earth did I offer to do this? Even as I write it's blowing a gale and pouring with rain. The weather will be my enemy. Maybe growing them in pots in the greenhouse and having a row at the allotment will give me the best chance. I will also investigate buying the blooms in case I need to. I think Martinette and Rijnveld's Early Sensation look good and I'll order them tomorrow.
Thank you so for your advice and suggestions.