Unlike last year I was going to be quite restrained with my bulb buying this time, honest guv. But when packets like the one shown above wink at you from the shelf, who am I to say no? Besides, when I went to see Anna Pavord's talk on her new book, Bulb recently, her parting shot was Splurge, it's the only way. It was a bit of a siren call and I now find myself buying them at every opportunity. BTW Jane Perrone went to see her at the Garden Museum recently and has saved me the trouble of translating my notes for you from the ones I wrote in the dark, by publishing a full account here.
It's a good year for bargain bulbs: EmmaT's been potting up some tulips and I've found a further selection at Chippenham's Focus DIY store (including species tulips and Quail daffodils) at 3 fat packs for a fiver. The pictured bumper pack came from a small nursery in Somerset (Rocky Mountain), so it's not just the big chains getting in on the act. It's not too late to plant them and at prices like these it would be madness not to. I can't help thinking that's rather ironic really seeing whole fortunes were won and lost at the height of tulip mania.
It also got me musing about the Dalek-like planters on Chippenham high street I showed you earlier in the year. The summery pretties have been stripped out and (hopefully) composted and they're now awaiting their usual winter selection of bright pansies or Polyanthus. Wouldn't it be great if lashings of bulbs were added to the mix to give us at least an extra month's interest at minimal cost?