Spring Flowering Bulbs

The arrival of spring flowering bulbs brings an opportunity to plan ahead for the following year.  It’s an ideal time to have a tour around the garden to work out where there are gaps that could be filled to produce early displays. There are so many ways to make use of spring flowering bulbs in border, pots and other containers.  They also make wonderful displays when planted in drifts in the grass for an informal effect.  A few bulbs can easily be incorporated into the smallest of gardens, or even a balcony in containers for early spring colour.  Many are easy to grow and also low maintenance, making them an excellent choice for beginners as well as experienced gardeners.

When To Plant: 

Most spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils should be planted as soon as possible after purchase in September and October, but tulips are planted later in October/November.  

Planting In Borders: 

Bulbs look most effective when planted in drifts in borders.  Plant them in groups of at least five - the more bulbs that are grouped together the better the displays will be.  

Planting In Containers: 

Most bulbs are suitable for growing in containers, especially those with large, showy flowers such as tulips.  You can even make a ‘Bulb Lasagne’ which is a technique of planting different varieties of bulbs layered in pots to extend the period of interest.  This method can produce displays of flowers from early March through to May.  (We will show you how to create a ‘Bulb Lasagne’ in another blog very soon.)  

Planting In Lawns: 

Naturalising bulbs into existing lawns is a great way to add colour and interest in spring.  Daffodils, snowdrops and crocus are some examples of bulbs that can be used to create this effect.  A natural look is achieved by scattering bulbs randomly over your selected area of lawn and using a bulb planter to plant into the turf.

Positioning:

Although most bulbs prefer a sunny spot in free-draining soil, there are also varieties suitable for all situations including damp to dry soil and full sun to deep shade.  The bulb packaging will indicate preferred position, or if you require any advice or assistance, our trained staff area always happy to help.  

For full details on planting in borders, containers and lawns, please pick up one of our Spring Flowering Bulbs leaflets in store when you purchase your bulbs. 

Bulb Varieties: 

Our extensive range of spring flowering bulbs will have you dreaming of next year's displays.  Although there are too many gorgeous varieties to mention here on this blog, Sonya (our Houseplant and Bulb Manager) has chosen just a few to give you a taster.  These include new and favourite selections as well as bulbs that will attract early pollinating insects.  Do pop down and see our full ranges where you will find something to suit all gardens.  

New bulbs:  

This new  Narcissus High Society produces large white, star-shaped flowers with peach coloured cups on strong stems in April.  Flowering height: 50cm.  RHS Award Of Garden Merit.    



Camassia leichtlinii Caerulea is a new variety that produces white flowers in May/June on attractive variegate foliage.  Flowering height: 80cm.   



The beautiful new Iris hollandica Miss Saigon bears lavender blue flowers in June that are good for cutting.  Flowering height: 45cm.



Tulip Cutting Garden is a combination pack of blended tulips that are ideal for cut flowers.  This beautiful selection will flower in May at a height of 55cm.   



This delightful new Allium Ostara is ideal for pots.  Plum/purple flowers appear in  June/July at a height of 40cm.  RHS Plants For Pollinators.  



Sonya’s favourites: 

Species Narcissi Jetfire features attractive reflexed petals.  Flowers March/April.  Flowering height: 25cm/10”.  


This unusual tulip Gavota produces burgundy pink flowers with a yellow edge at a height of 45cm and has the RHS Award Of Garden Merrit.  



Tulip National Velvet has deep red, velvety blooms that appear on tall, strong stems.  Perfect for cutting. 



The beautiful Lily flowered tulip Ballerenia bears fragrant orange flowers with a yellow vein in April/May and reaches a flowering height of 55cm.  It’s great planted with wallflowers and is reliably perennial.  



Tulip Flaming Spring Green is a gorgeous Viridiflora Tulip that has white flowers with a green flame in  April/May and reaches a height of 45cm.   (Viridiflora group tulips produce cup-shaped flowers flamed or striped with green in late spring.) 



Everyone’s favourite: 

We had to mention the much loved and very reliable early multi-headed  Narcissus Tete A Tete.  These delightful little Narcissus produce small yellow trumpet flowers in March/April and only reach a height of 15cm. 



Bulb Of The Year - Anemone Blanda Blue rightly deserves its title and also has the RHS Award Of Garden Merrit, making it an excellent choice for the garden.  Flowers in shades of blue appear in March/April at a height of 15cm.  This Anemone also seeds around, so that makes this little bulb great value. 

 


RHS Plants For Pollinators - Bulbs That Are Beneficial To Insects In Early Spring. 

Some bulbs are great for pollinators providing a valuable early source of nectar to keep them going. Alliums are a favourite with bumblebees, honeybees and butterflies - look out for different varieties including the stunning  Allium Ostara as previously mentioned in the new varieties section of this blog.  

Nectar rich crocus are loved by bees and are available in an array of colours including this delightful little purple one pictured which reaches a flowering height of 7 to 8cm.