Autumn heralds the time of year for planting spring flowering bulbs, one of the prettiest sights in the garden. Favourite varieties to name a few include daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, tulips and snowdrops bring much welcomed colour and glamour to the spring garden. Spring flowering bulbs can be used very effectively in a number of different situations and this article outlines some popular examples to achieve glamour.
Glamour in beds – a formal bed is usually grown intensively and ideally supplemented with plenty of well rotted organic matter especially at root level. Dig the area and mark out the area according to your plan. Good ground preparation is essential, mix in plenty of good quality compost or well rotted manure and mix in some coarse grit or vermiculite to improve drainage. Place and plant the bulbs as recommended in the prepared bed and backfill carefully. Use a proprietary bulb fertilizer or a fertilizer low in nitrogen and top dress the planting area with a layer of bark mulch.
Glamour in groups – when planted in groups, it can be difficult to cultivate the entire bed. In such circumstances, area should be dug deeper, a layer of compost should be added below root level before planting the bulbs. Mix the extracted soil with soil and backfill. Fertilize as recommended for bulb beds.
Natural glamour colonies – to achieve the traditional natural effect in lawns or meadows or indeed under trees or shrubs, simply scatter bulbs and plant. Choose hardy varieties that spread vigorously. Small flowering bulbs like crocuses and muscaris are dependable spreaders. You can also depend on larger flowers such as hyacinths, Iris, and Daffodils to naturalise but slower to spread. Avoid the common error of cutting the bulb foliage too soon after flowering because the following year’s flowering performance will be greatly reduced.
Owen Chubb is Director of Owen Chubb Garden Landscapes Limited, based in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14. An established and award winning landscaping company offering Private & Commercial clients a complete landscaping service including Garden Design, Construction and Planting. A full member of the Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland (ALCI), the professional association for landscaping contractors.
We are proud winners in 2005 & 2006 of the prestigious ALCI Awards for BEST PRIVATE GARDEN Design & Construction.