Fall is the Time to Plant a Spring Walk
Last fall I planted a Spring Walk in my backyard, inspired by the orchard at Sissinghurst in Kent, England. Even thinking about what it will look like next spring makes me feel romantic and full of joy, all while I’m enjoying the gorgeous warmth of the autumn sun now.
Plant a Spring Walk with Drifts
I was inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s design from her moat orchard. Its easy to use the same ideas in your own smaller gardens, or like mine, just in a section of my garden. To create the biggest impression and to create flow through your garden, plant your Spring Walk
in drifts. Drifts contain a large quantity of all one bulb variety. Start with 50 bulbs, planted in groups of 5. Lay them out on the ground first to create a pattern that moves the eye. Begin with the early blooming daffodils in all their yellow color, followed by my favorite, ‘snake head’ fritillaria. Next come the tulips–I love the pale peach and cream colors so that it all looks dream-like and fresh.
Once you have your pattern, with bulbs interplanted amongst each other based on the bloom succession, you can dig and plant quickly. Remove the top 4-5 inches of grass and set aside. Then dig a little further to place the based of the bulb at its proper height when it is re-covered with the chunk of grass. Be sure and add a sprinkle of bonemeal to feed the bulbs in this first planting.
If you have room to add a couple of small trees too, plant some crab apples and fruit trees at focal points to highlight movement and keep the idea of an ‘s’ pattern. This gives the impression of a meandering, natural pathway.
At Sissinghurst the grass is left uncut until late July, after the bulbs have finished flowering. Remember the leaves of the bulbs feed the bulbs so allow them to die back gradually. If you absolutely have to have a bit of manicured lawn, you can mow a little route in the middle of the bulbs. This way you can have your little meadow-like Spring Walk and some manicured lawn too.
Order your bulbs now and get them planted. Next spring, you may just find that you’ll enjoy your temporary meadow so much, you’ll let the lawn go!
In sync with nature,