Flower bulbs have the kind of energy it takes to add colour to a garden before any other plants. Winter aconites and snowdrops flower as early as January; close on their heels come crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips – to name just a few. Flower bulbs continue to bloom until June when the ornamental onions appear.
Flower bulbs are available in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes. The choice in flower bulbs is so great that it might get your head spinning. But not to worry: here are two sample recipes using spring-flowering bulbs: a multicoloured mix and a mix of yellows.
Recipe for a multicoloured mix
- 30 tulips (Tulipa) ‘Strong Gold’
- 30 tulips (Tulipa) ‘Couleur Cardinal’
- 60 daffodils (Narcissus) ‘Petrel’
- 25 Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’
Put all the flower bulbs into a container or basket and mix them up. Scatter the mix evenly over the border and then plant them at the spots where they landed. The amounts given here are based on a border measuring six square metres.
Recipe for a mix of yellows
- 30 tulips (Tulipa) ‘Spring Green’
- 30 tulips (Tulipa) ‘Yellow Spring Green’
- 15 Fritillaria imperialis ‘Maxima Lutea’
- 60 daffodils (Narcissus) ‘Hillstar’
Mix all the flower bulbs in a container or basket and scatter them over the border or among perennials. Plant them where they land in order to create a natural informal look. The amounts given here are based on a border measuring six square metres.
To enjoy these beauties in the spring, plant your flower bulbs in the autumn: a nice little job while readying the garden for winter. They have to be planted then because they need a cold period to provide the best display in the spring.
Make planting your flower bulbs a moment to enjoy: the autumn is a wonderful time of year to be busy out in the great outdoors. Yet planting isn’t the only time to enjoy them; later, it will be amazing to watch the centimetre-by-centimetre growth of the flower bulbs. Follow these three steps for a stunning result:
Dig various holes for planting the flower bulbs. The size of the flower bulb determines how deep it should be planted. Large flower bulbs (5 cm or larger in diameter) should be planted 15 cm deep and small flower bulbs (2.5 – 5 cm) 7 to 10 cm deep. If better drainage is needed, add some garden mould to the soil.
Place the flower bulbs gently into the soil with the point on top. Large flower bulbs should be planted 7 to 20 cm apart and small flower bulbs 3 to 7 cm apart.
Cover the flower bulbs with the soil dug from the hole. If the soil is dry, give the flower bulbs some water.