We were delighted to be featured in the Daily Telegraph Gardening section in an article entitled “How to grow bulbs in grass, with top tips from expert gardeners “. Mrs Julia Kirham talks about how she plants bulbs amongst the long grasses at Crockmore House.
“At Crockmore House, north of Henley-on-Thames, Christopher Bradley-Hole designed a three-acre garden of grasses and tall perennials for owner Julia Kirkham. She grows more tulips every year in the grassy grid beds – there are 18 beds, each 4x4m. “I’ve stuck to his recipe, which I describe as moody Arab,” she says. “They go in in mixed groups of seven to nine bulbs, roughly 15-20cm deep. They’re allowed to fade because this is a low-maintenance garden that relies on the survival of the fittest.”
The enormous grasses are not yet cut back at planting time, so bulbs have to be squeezed into corners. The scented lily-flowered orange ‘Ballerina’ is the spinning thread between the almost-black ‘Queen of Night’ and the dark-crimson ‘Jan Reus’. The yellow-edged, chestnut-brown ‘Gavotte’ and the subtler mahogany-red ‘Abu Hassan’ complete the quintet.
Julia describes the effect in spring: “When the bulbs are flowering, the tips of emergent new growth shoot up from the miscanthus and calamagrostis grasses in varying shades of green and at differing heights, causing the eye to travel through the beds looking for repetition.”