The Promise of Colour… It is time to get stuck in with some bulb planting for next year’s display.
Choosing your bulbs
When choosing your spring bulbs it is important to choose the highest quality. Choose bulbs that are firm and plump that have no signs of damage or bruising. 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.
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 three or four times the depth of the bulb but packets should normally provide this information.
Bulbs work well in an informal setting. 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.
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.
In more formal settings tulips can be planted beneath wallflowers to create a regal display. Try non-conventional colour schemes such as lemon yellow wallflowers with dark tulips for a stunning show piece. Tall Alliums can be planted above spring bedding, or amongst formal flower beds for dramatic effect.
If you don’t have much space bulbs are ideal for tubs and planters. Dwarf Daffodils and Iris go really well with Winter Pansies and Aubrietia, and peep out suddenly when you have forgotten all about them. Put drainage ‘crock’s in the bottom of your planter so the bulbs do not sit in excess water, if this happens they will rot away.