Maximise your Bulb Garden from Spring to Autumn

23rd Jul 2020

There is absolutely no doubt that bulbs are a vital part of any successful flowering garden, and the key to success is planning early and planting at the right time.

From early flowering bulbs that brighten up borders and beds as Winter gives way to Spring to large Summer blooms that give dazzling displays throughout the heart of the warm season, and late bloomers that give you colour and joy through Autumn, there are plenty of options to choose from.

What should you plant?

For early colour as the ground thaws, the ideal bulbs to plant include:

  • Daffodils
  • Narcissus
  • Hyacinths
  • Irises
  • Crocuses
  • Muscari
  • Snowdrops

As Summer takes hold, there is a great variety of bulbs that will add volumes of colour and depth to your garden. For the best transition from Spring to Summer, the ideal bedding and border bulbs to consider include:

  • Lilies
  • Alliums
  • Anemones
  • Amarines
  • Begonia
  • Dahlias
  • Cannas
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Gladioli
  • Ixias
  • Ranunculus
  • Sparaxis

To keep your garden in full bloom as the Summer passes into Autumn, you can incorporate the following bulbs:

  • Colchicums
  • Autumn Crocuses
  • Cyclamens
  • Nerines
  • Sternbergias

When should you plant?

For early Spring through early Summer flowers, the best time to plant bulbs is generally from September through early-October, with some varieties such as Tulips able to be planted in November before the ground freezes.

More tender Summer-flowering bulbs such as Gladioli can be planted in early Spring, so April and early May, and late Summer into Autumn bloomers can be planted through July and early August.

Where to plant your bulbs

Bulbs have such a diverse range of colours, heights, textures and applications – from borders and pots to full beds, or complementing other flowering plants and shrubs, there really are no limits!

Spring bulbs tend to prefer cooler, moist and shadier areas with dappled sunlight, whereas hardier Summer bulbs prefer warm, sunnier sites with good drainage.

How to plant your bulbs

Ideally, you’ll want to plant somewhere between 25 – 50 of a bulb variety in a bed or border to achieve the best display of colour.

The following planting method can be used for all bulbs:

  • Prepare your bed or border by digging the area and loosening the soil. Add compost to the area, especially to light or sandy soil.
  • Bulbs can be planted at 2-3 times their depth, with the shoot of the bulb facing upwards.
  • Space each bulb at least twice the bulb’s width apart.
  • Replace the soil by crumbling it back over the planted bulbs and then gently firm the soil to secure the bulbs in place.
  • Water straight after planting unless the ground is naturally moist.

If you follow the above guidance you should end up with an absolutely spectacular display for the coming Spring. For absolutely optimal results give us a call, we’ll gladly guide you as to which bulbs to plant when, and how best to plant your bulbs as well.

Contact us on 01205 260412 or