Now is the time to plant bulbs if you want to give your garden a splash of colour next spring. Bulbs are really easy to grow; once you’ve planted them they need very little attention, and will reward you with colour, and often scent, when the rest of the garden is looking bare. Provided you plant them at the right time of year, at about the right depth, they’ll reward you with beautiful flowers year after year.
When to plant?
The planting time for bulbs depends on their flowering time. Spring-flowering bulbs should be planted from early autumn, so they have time to produce new roots before the onset of winter. Summer-flowering bulbs are best planted from late spring onwards. To get a better idea what to plant when, take a look at the table below:
To achieve a natural-looking group of flowers you’ll need to plant the bulbs in irregular blocks at variable planting distances. If you find this difficult, try scattering the bulbs and planting them exactly where they land.
All bulbs should be planted with the ‘nose’ (pointed bit where the shoot comes out) at the top and the ‘basal plate’ (flat bit where the roots are produced) at the bottom.
A lot of varieties will flower year after year, giving great value for money. At Homebase, we have over 80 varieties of bulbs to choose from. With such a wide selection of bulbs available, you can have flowers from January through to May, whether they’re in pots, borders, sun or shade.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing your bulbs by giving planting ideas on each pack. For a romantic, scented border combine the pinks and whites of Hyacinth Fondant, Narcissi Thalia and Tulip Angelique.
Daffodils are probably the best known and loved spring flower. They are also one of the easiest to grow. Just plant the bulbs in the ground or in pots between September and December and you’ll be rewarded with spring flowers year after year.
Top 5 Daffodil varieties
- Tete a Tete. This favourite dwarf variety produces scented flowers, tough enough to withstand the early harsh spring weather.
- Saint Keverne. Great as a cut flower as it has a long sturdy stem.
- Early Flame. Flowering from February onwards this classic looking daffodil will cheer up your winter garden with its vibrant orange trumpet.
- Golden Ducat. With gorgeous double flowers in late spring, this is a good variety to plant with Early Flame to give you a long season of flowers.
- Rip von Winkle. Hardly looking like a daffodil, this unusual dwarf variety produces striking flower heads resembling a star-burst.
Encouraging pollinating insects
Spring bulbs are a great way of providing early nectar for pollinating insects, especially when there is little else flowering in the garden. Look for the ‘perfect pollinator’ logo on the front of the packets, or for ease we have a specially selected collection called ‘Bee Happy’.