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Sandhurst Garden Design

Tulips in the garden

As I sit here writing my column for the October issue of the magazine, it is 29 degrees outside, and does not feel one little bit like autumn!

Choosing my spring bulb selection is always an exciting time of year – planning all those gorgeous combinations of tulips and daffodils to create a dazzling spring display, is one of the best things about autumn time for me.

Bulbs, and that includes tubers, corns and rhizomes can be planted in the autumn for spring flowering and in the spring for summer colour, making them a very versatile way of adding lots of plants to your garden that are relatively inexpensive to buy.

Plant spring flowering bulbs anytime from September to November, choose a time when the soil is still warm but not frozen, we tend to wait until mid to late October to ensure our spring display lasts for a nice long time, when all that lovely colour heralds the beginnings of spring in the garden.

Colourful tulip grown from a bulb

Bulbs can be planted in borders, containers, hanging baskets, window boxes or naturalized in lawns. Container grown bulbs allow you to grow an eye-catching display to place on a patio or deck or to brighten up a gloomy spot in the garden.

Ensure your container has drainage holes and add some grit to your peat free compost so that the bulbs are not sitting in water that will cause them to rot. Plant your bulbs 2-3 times the bulb depth with the growing point facing upwards, making sure the bulbs don’t touch each other.

One of my favourite things to do is create a bulb lasagne, but before you ask, no I am not disappearing off into the kitchen to whip up an Italian taste sensation, but more of a feast for the eyes.

Pink flower

Select a suitable size container and add a layer of peat free compost mixed with grit about 4 inches deep to the base. Add your first bulbs, the biggest ones in size from your selection and cover with compost.

Then add your second choice and cover as before. Don’t worry about the bulbs at the bottom of the container not being able to find their way through, they will.

Finally, add your smallest bulb to the top and cover with approximately 4 inches of compost, firm down gently and water. Place in a sheltered spot and water regularly when you start to see shoots appearing.

One last tip, I like to add some winter flowering pansies to the top of my bulb lasagne as a ‘garnish’, and to provide colour to enjoy until the bulbs start to peep through.

Happy Planting – until next time Julie

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