Sept 11 – ‘Why Bother With Bulbs’

People often ask us how they can add season long interest into their gardens. Well bulbs are the answer. They are probably one of the most easiest and rewarding plants you will ever grow. They can perk up any area of your garden and there are bulbs that will flower every month of the year.

 Bulbs come in all shapes, sizes and colours form the rare and unusual to our firm favourite daffodils and tulips.  The garden centres and DIY stores are packed full of spring flowering bulbs at the moment and there’s a wealth of lovelies to choose from. For September / October planting there’s the daffodils, snowdrops, scillas, crocus  and hyacinths and for November planting there’s the tulips. (You don’t need to plant summer flowering bulbs such as lilies and gladioli until the spring)

 Bulbs are surprisingly versatile and will do well in pots, containers and hanging baskets as well as your borders. My favourites are miniature daffodils, ‘tete a tete’ and  ‘jet fire’ and the wonderful little blue scillas which sparkle like stars in the spring. I must admit I’m not a fan of hyacinths but they will reward you with an intoxicating sweet scent next year and many people love them.  Tulips are a wonderful addition to your garden; plant the purple ‘Negrita’ variety with the white tulip ‘White Dreams’ for a striking elegant contrast.

 Tips for choosing your bulbs

  1. Look for a nice large, firm bulb
  2. Give it a sniff. You don’t want it to smell musty.
  3. Make sure there’s no sign of damage or disease
  4. If you want something different try a mail order or online bulb specialist. Often you’ll get better results.


Tips for planting bulbs

  1. Bulbs do prefer good free draining soil so if your soil is very heavy and boggy you may need to mix it with grit or gravel to improve drainage and stop the bulbs from lying wet and rotting.
  2. Dig your hole wide enough and deep enough for at least 5 or 6 bulbs. Bulbs always look better if planted in groups. You should plant the bulb at a depth of at least 3 times the size of the bulb. Fort instance if your daffodil is 2 inches high then it should be planted 6 inches deep. This simple measure goes for all bulbs
  3. Each bulb should be a couple of inches apart from each other and planted with the narrow tip of the bulb (the nose)facing upwards.
  4. Fill in with soil and firm into place. Mark with a stick where they are and avoid walking on them as you may damage the bulb.

 Whatever you do try to make time for planting some bulbs now. You are investing in the future and on those dull, wet spring days next year when your daffodils are smiling radiantly you’ll be pleased you bothered.