• Caroline Crawford

Spring Bulbs - Get Planting!

If you do nothing else in the garden this Autumn buy some Spring bulbs to give your garden a joyous boost from February through to May next year. You don't need to be too picky, or worry too much about what to plant - just go mad and pile them into any gaps you have in the borders, under deciduous shrubs or cram them into pots and even window boxes.
These days, local DIY stores supply very decent and inexpensive collections which won't break the bank. Or you can use some of the many specialist suppliers to order both standard and more rare or exotic varieties. With a little planning you can get a succession of flowers from February onwards with early, mid and late flowering Narcissi, crocus, followed by Tulips and Alliums well into June.
Whether you want to stick to a colour theme, or just go wild you can't really go wrong with planting in large groups for maximum impact.

Top Tips

  • Plant spring bulbs from late September with the exception of tulips. These must wait for cooler conditions in November to discourage a fungal disease called tulip fire.

  • Cram them into pots and arrange them close to your front or back door

  • Use a quality soil based compost such as John Innes no 2, and leave a gap of an inch and half at the top - to improve drainage.

  • Protect bulbs such as tulips with wire covers to prevent squirrel and rodent damage.

  • Stick to one single variety, or use simple combinations that flower at the same time, or systematically. You can get four weeks of tulips between mid-April and mid-May by combining the right varieties

  • Vary the heights to make a container look more natural, avoiding the upright guardsman look.

  • Anything very showy, such as parrot tulips, frilly double daffodils, or a vast double tulip is best grown on its own.

  • Maximise seasonal change in small gardens by filling gaps in borders by sinking plastic pots planted with bulbs, which can then be lifted when finished and the gap filled with seasonal bedding


Local DIY stores and garden centres

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