In reality planning for next spring started last spring. What sold best were the unusual and scented varieties. Especially if bunched with a sprig or two of spring greenery. Researching and browsing suppliers catalogues for new varieties happened in early summer and mid summer the bulbs were ordered and the hardy biennials and hardy annuals were sown. It is early October as I write this. All of the hardy biennial and annual plants for overwintering are in the ground. The ranunculus and anemone are in the cool dark shed pre-sprouting. In a weeks time I will plant them in the polytunnels. Tulip and daffodil bulbs are also going in next week so I will be pretty exhausted by the end of the month. However I cannot believe how excited I am to be growing some new colours and new varieties – it’s what I love most about being a grower. You put in the work and walk the flower field every day watching the plants grow. Finally, sometimes after months of anticipation, that new flower first breaks bud and you get to see what it looks like in all its glory. A new one for us this year is ranunculus ‘cafe au lait.’ I don’t know if I like it or not – the images of it online are variable. Maybe I was influenced by my love of the dahlia of the same name, which has always been a central player in my dahlia beds. I will have to wait until at least April to find out if it is going to become a future favourite or an also ran.