Gardening Tips > September > ‘How to’? Plant Now for Spring Colour

‘How to’? Plant Now for Spring Colour

Bringing out spring colour in your garden is incredibly satisfying, giving you much-needed glimpses of colour after the winter.

Choosing your bulbs

When choosing your spring bulbs it is important to choose the highest quality. Plant bulbs that are firm and plump that have no signs of damage or bruising. You can be assured that Perrywood stocks only ethically sourced, high quality bulbs from reputable suppliers. Most bulbs can be planted straight after purchasing them but its worth leaving tulips until October or November as they will not begin to produce roots until the weather turns colder.

When to plant

The easiest, most effective way to add colour and drama to your garden is to start planting in the autumn time.

Using a variety of different spring bulbs and plants it’s easy to create focal points. Welcome visitors with cheerful displays and add a touch of bright colour to your beds, borders, and patios (not forgetting next to walls and sheds).

Read our spring flowering bulb guide to see the planting and flowering times.

Creating Dazzling Displays

Bulbs do not like to sit in wet soil so dig in plenty of organic matter and some sand to help improve the drainage, particularly in clay soil. The general rule of thumb is to plant them two or three times the depth of the bulb but packets should normally provide this information.

Bulbs work well in an informal setting, taking inspiration from the woodlands and Mediterranean meadows that many of them originate from. A carpet of Bluebells, Snowdrops, Daffodils, Crocus, or Wild Garlic can brighten a wooded area or a sweeping lawn.

To create a really natural-looking display, near the base of trees or in the grass, simply scatter your bulbs randomly. The aim is to create a display that looks completely natural so throw the bulbs up into the air and plant them where they land. Even the most reluctant gardener will be happy to join in with this exercise!

Smaller bulbs such as Crocus and Bluebells can be planted into the lawn by cutting into the grass and folding the turf back to allow the bulbs to be planted into the soil underneath. Larger bulbs such as daffodils can be planted into a lawn with the aid of a bulb planter. As you should wait for the foliage to die back before you begin mowing the lawn in spring (to put nutrients back into the soil) you may wish to plant your bulbs in a more defined area so you can mow around them.

Container combinations

If you don’t have much space bulbs are ideal for tubs and planters. You can underplant autumn/winter bedding plants with spring-flowering bulbs to get several months of colour out of one pot! Daffodils and Tulips in particular look great mixed with Pansies & Violas, ivy, thyme, and other foliage bedding.

cluster of bulb planting for spring colour

Adding evergreen shrubs like Buxus or Skimmia adds structure, and once spring is over you can leave them in the pot and simply replace pansies & violas, etc. with summer bedding.

You could plant bulbs on their own, then use these pots of colour to fill in gaps in your beds and borders. Pots full of one colour can look very dramatic.

  • Top tip: Check how high the bulbs will grow to ensure they work well with the pot size and height of other plants.

You may also like to create a simple ‘Bulb Lasagne‘ to achieve a succession of colour and interest throughout the spring season – Watch our useful video.

  • Top tip: Combine bright colours – these blood red wallflowers and red and white tulips transform a shady corner into a dramatic focal point.

Ersimum Blood Red mixed with Tulipa Dolls Minuet- spring colour

Bulbs for Indoor Scent and Colour

Some bulbs are ideal for growing inside and bring colour and heady fragrances to your home. They can also be fun for children to grow. Try Hyacinths in growing glasses so you can enjoy the roots as well as the shoots. The ‘pre prepared’ varieties are the ones to go for, as they will flower at Christmas. Amaryllis can be very dramatic in a pot on the window sill or in the empty fireplace. And there are certain types of Daffodils, such as ‘Paperwhites’, which are traditionally grown inside for their lovely scent.

  • Top tip: If you know you will have a house full of visitors at Christmas plant bulbs now for that perfect indoor display.

Right Plant Right Place

Here is our top list of bulbs for planting this autumn depending on your garden:

  • Clay: Tulip, Cyclamen, Muscari, Fritillaries, Hyacinth, Galanthus
  • Coastal or Alpine: Crocus, Snowdrops, Chionodoxa, Muscari, Anemone, Scilla
  • Woodland: Anemone Numerosa, Erythronium, Cardydalis, Ornithnogalum, Scilla, Minature Narcissus
  • Beds: Fritillaries, Alliums, Crocus, Hyacinth, Muscari, Iris, Chionodoxa, Cyclamen Coum
  • Shade: Galanthus, Muscari, Lily of the Valley, Anemone Blanda, Erythronium
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