Covid lockdown forces plan B for bulbs...

Could this be one of the areas in Kitson Park where daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops are planted?

Could this be one of the areas in Kitson Park where daffodils, bluebells and snowdrops are planted? Photo: S Farrant, TCDT - Credit: S Farrant, TCDT

Just as there is talk of how the coming festive season will provide much-needed colour and cheer, so there is plenty of colour and cheer to be had in our parks and green spaces too - we just need to look carefully to spot some seasonal delights.

There’s the rather appropriately named ‘Father Christmas’ (Clematis vitalba, common name Traveller’s Joy) for instance, also known as old man’s beard, with its fluffy white seed heads which can be seen throughout the winter months.

And of course, there are those perennial splashes of colour provided by daisies and dandelions, dotted through our lawns.

Our gardens are, of course, mostly dormant at this time of year but the promise of spring colour has had many of us planting bulbs, and the community groups and volunteers who care for Torbay’s green spaces would normally be no different.

Indeed, the community around Kitson Park, in Shiphay, were looking forward to a colourful spring earned from an autumn of planting flower bulbs through the park, but with the second national Covid lockdown coming into force the group couldn’t go ahead with their plans - late November/early December signals the end of the dry bulb planting season.

It is possible to plant bulbs from late January/early February if they are ‘in the Green’; this is when bulbs are lifted in late winter when they are actively growing and have roots and leaves.

However, these bulbs are sent out by suppliers as soon as they are lifted and need to be re-planted immediately.

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Groundwork South and Torbay Community Development Trust are working with the ward’s Community Partnership to support them in caring for Kitson Park, and you can support them too by offering to lend a hand in January/February to ensure all the snowdrop, bluebell and daffodil bulbs can be planted in Kitson as soon as they arrive.

To find out more about helping at Kitson Park or how to get involved in activities with Green Spaces across Torbay please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940 510 616 or email