Preparation for a spectacular spring display starts this month
- Credit: Pixabay
Just when your garden is overflowing with shrubs, perennials and possibly even some fruit and veg, suddenly it’s time to be thinking ahead to next spring and planting bulbs.
After a dark, drab winter there’s nothing more uplifting than the sight of snowdrops popping up in the borders.
Garden centres are full of ideas, from cheerful daffodils and fragrant hyacinths to stunning tulips and shade-tolerant camassias.
When choosing bulbs, always buy large, firm ones, avoiding those that look shrivelled or show signs of mould. And once you have your bulbs, start planting straightaway to give them plenty of time to get their roots established - the exception being tulips, which shouldn’t be planted until late October or November to avoid tulip fire disease.
When planting bulbs in the ground, dig a hole three times the height of the bulb, place the bulb in the hole with the pointy end facing upwards, then backfill with soil.
If you can’t make out which is the pointy end, simply place the bulb on its side, Mother Nature will work out which end is up. Remember to place the shorter-flowering bulbs towards the front of your borders and the taller, showier varieties, such as alliums or eremurus, further back where they can add real impact.
If you haven’t the space in your garden for bulbs, why not try your hand at a bulb lasagne? Take a large pot (or two or three), making sure there are drainage holes in the bottom. Add a layer of grit then place a few inches of compost on top.
Add a layer of tall-flowering bulbs before covering with more compost, now add another layer of slightly shorter-flowering bulbs such as hyacinths or narcissi. Cover with more compost before adding your final layer of bulbs - crocus or muscari would be ideal. A final layer of compost finishes off your pot.
So don’t delay. Whether it’s a swathe of daffodils or a stylish bulb lasagne, a little preparation now could bring months of colour to your garden next spring when you really need it most.
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Amanda Armstrong, North Somerset gardener.