Spring flowering bulbs are one of the gardening year's real delights, out of the depths of winter dormancy come fresh bright and unfeasibly huge and exuberant flowers powered by the energy stored the previous summer. I can't imagine a garden without spring bulbs, and I can't imagine a late winter / early spring without indoor hyacinths that I prepared the previous autumn. For me at least it's a defining part of being a gardener, the annual autumnal bulb potting ceremony.
If you start before about the middle of September (but the sooner the better), you can have Spring Flowering Bulbs for the house in flower at or just after Christmas. If you can get them planted before November, then they will have a chance to start growing before it begins to get very cold which will help them to flower all the earlier, they'll certainly be up early in the new year and long before the outdoor ones have woken up.
Planting in containers
The key point to remember is that these are temporary plantings, so you can plant the bulbs very close together, almost touching, for the maximum density of flowers. Buy the largest bulbs you can afford, smaller ones just don't perform as well and the smallest may produce lots of leaves but no flowers at all. After flowering plant them in the garden as soon as you can, they won't perform as well next year, you need to start with large bought ones again.
Bulb fibre is often recommended, but is only really necessary if the bulbs are to be planted in bowls without drainage. I've always treated bulbs like any other container plants and use ordinary potting compost in containers that have drainage holes and get excellent results.
Winter scent and flowers outdoors
Many plants outdoors will continue to grow until the frosts start in October or maybe even November (it seems to get later every year), so you can plant shrubs now to get them established and ready to perform as soon as the alarm clock rings next spring.
It's well worth putting a winter flowering shrub in now to appreciate it's efforts when much of the fruits of your gardening efforts are still distant hopes. To get much flower the first year, they need to be fairly biggish specimens already. Plant them near to the door or along well used paths, You're going to be less inclined to traipse down to the bottom of a wet and largely dormant garden to smell one particular bush, however tempting it may be.
Garden Supplies Online
| Design |
Buy plants online |
Garden buildings |
Copyright © Paul Ward 2000 - 2013