The first frost always galvanises me to plant spring-flowering bulbs in pots or the ground – their beautiful, organic shapes are nature’s equivalent of slow-motion fireworks. It is a party in the spring to look forward to!

This year I’m trialling single, late flowering tulips and I’ve selected those I hope will be elegant, long stemmed and in radiant colours. They’d better be good – my all time favourite tulip family – the Lily’s – have been left off the invitation list. I’d planned to plant various, repeating combinations, including Tulipa ‘Caravelle’ (deep beetroot) with T. ‘Palestrina’ and T. ‘Perestroyka’ and tall orange wallflowers; and Tulipa ‘Greuze’ with T. Esther’ and T. Paul Scherer’ with tall pink wallflowers.

On a bright morning, all was progressing well until two of my ultimate treasures offered their help. In fact, insisted. Every bribe and lure was ignored, so my well-constructed seating plans of bulb combinations looks set to be…. SPECTACULAR! Do come and see the results in May.

Note – At Laura Heybrook Garden Landscape & Architectural Design Oxford we supply beautiful, bespoke mixes of spring and autumn flowering bulbs, that add a vital layer to planting schemes.

Pots of Surprise