I’ve been back from China for 6 days and still the jet-lag drags on. At about 3pm every day my vision starts to blur and I begin to feel overwhelmingly tired. It’s because my body thinks it’s 11pm, which is almost past my bedtime. Then in the morning I am wide awake at about 5am. Experience suggests that this disorienting phenomenon, and the horrible hollow feeling that accompanies it, will quickly pass. I should be back to normal within a day or two. In the meantime I don’t feel at all inclined to venture outside in this bitter northerly wind to tend to my garden, despite having two enormous boxes of bulbs left to plant. Tomorrow I will muster the energy to tackle jaded gingers and decaying dahlias, sweeping them away to create some much needed space and order on the terrace.
What’s driving me on is the sight of my nerines. As I predicted, those I left in full bloom four weeks ago are still looking terrific. Whilst some of the named varieties are past their best, common-or-garden Nerine bowdenii is looking splendid. The candy pink flowers provide such a boost to my morale on dark, dreary November days. I can’t think of many outdoor bulbs that provide so much flower power at such an unpromising time of year. Nerine bowdenii‘s simple brilliance reminds me that so often plain, unadulterated species are the best and easiest option for gardeners wanting to make a big splash. Nerine bowdenii bulbs are inexpensive, readily available and undemanding, provided they are planted somewhere warm, sheltered and well-drained. What they pay back in terms of pleasure and excitement as the year draws to close is immeasurable. A genuine sight for sore eyes.