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When to plant

If you want to fill your garden with colour next spring, plant bulbs from October to December, before the first frost. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths and fritillarias are just some of the plants to choose from.


Where to plant

Choose bulbs according to location and soil type. Most hardy bulbs originate from the Mediterranean, thriving in a warm, sunny climate in freely draining soil. Good drainage and plenty of sunshine is key, since most bulbs are prone to rot while dormant.
 

Herbaceous borders

Planting bulbs in a herbaceous border will help to fill in gaps and provide colour and interest before perennials and shrubs begin to grow in early spring. Plant daffodils, winter aconites, tulips and fritillarias for outstanding colour. Drifts of single species can be planted to blend in with the general planting scheme of the garden, or try mixing different varieties to create an even and striking effect of bright colour.
 

Formal planting

When planted en masse, spring-flowering bulbs make a valuable contribution to formal bedding displays. Try growing groups of early-flowering tulips in a bed which will be occupied by annuals later in the summer. As a general rule, the larger, showy varieties are better suited to a formal position in the garden.
 

Naturalising bulbs

Many spring-flowering bulbs are ideal for brightening up the base of trees before they come into full leaf. The soil beneath trees is moist and light, offering the perfect growing conditions for scillas, anemones, erythroniums and crocuses.

Bulbs such as dwarf daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and winter aconites can transform a dull looking lawn into a wonderful display of colour. To achieve a natural look, throw bulbs up in the air and plant them exactly where they land in the grass. The aim is to make it look as though they have decided to grow there by themselves. Allow plants to die down after flowering before mowing over the lawn. Alternatively, plant bulbs in defined areas so that it's possible to mow the lawn around them.

Bulbs in pots

If you want a great patio display, try growing bulbs in pots. Keep it simple by planting a variety on its own or several of the same variety packed closely together for a bumper show. Several types can be planted together, but it’s tricky to get the flowers to appear at the same time.


What to do

How to plant

Bulbs in lawns

Bulbs in pots

Aftercare

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