If you thought slow cooking was the latest thing, what about slow gardening? Immerse yourself in the world of nature and be amazed. That’s because when you plant flower bulbs, you can follow a fascinating natural growth process for months.
Connecting with nature
Let your bare hands get into contact with earth still warm from the summer sun. Every flower bulb you plant in the autumn has everything it needs to produce a dazzling flower. Awesome! After planting, you have to be patient. This is where slow gardening comes in. But when temperatures start to rise, you can start enjoying those sparkling colours and sweet scents of spring.
Mix it up!
In a natural environment, you don’t see flowers neatly arranged according to variety, let alone all lined up in rows. It’s all a big jumble – exactly what makes it look so irresistible. If you want to experience this beauty of nature in your own garden, choose a mixture of varieties, colours and flower shapes. Give the leading role to small-flowering varieties such as small-flowered daffodils (Narcissus), Chequered Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) and botanical tulips (small, short-stemmed tulip species) that will provide a very natural look. By sticking close to nature, your garden will be the perfect spot to retreat and unwind.
Wild and easy
Many spring-flowering bulbs are suitable for naturalising. These ‘naturalising bulbs’ automatically increase in number under the ground. What could be easier? Some good examples of these are crocuses, the Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica), the Camas Lily (Camassia) and starflowers (Ipheion). Plant naturalising bulbs in a location where they can be left undisturbed (a place where you won’t be spading or digging later). The use of naturalising bulbs will produce beautiful displays under trees and shrubs that are still bare of leaves in the spring, and also in grassy areas.
Not only you but also the bees will enjoy the use of slow gardening in your garden. Bees have to forage for food even early in the spring. Good sources include spring-flowering bulbs such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses and grape hyacinths (Muscari). Even more life in your garden! By planting many different kinds of bulbs, you also contribute to biodiversity. If you find it difficult to plant flower bulbs to make them resemble a natural environment, use the scattering method. Buy various kinds of flower bulbs, mix them all up, and scatter them nonchalantly over the grass or in a border. Next, use a trowel to plant the flower bulbs wherever they landed. Then, all you have to do is wait. You’ll see the results next spring!
- Create your own cutting garden by planting spring-flowering bulbs like tulips (Tulipa), grape hyacinths (Muscari) and ornamental onions (Allium). So pretty in a little vase along with a few flowering sprigs.
- Combine flower bulbs with perennials and annuals for a beautiful natural effect. Plant ornamental onions (Allium) so that they pop up above Cranesbill (Geranium), or combine grape hyacinths (Muscari) with forget-me-nots (Myosotis). If you have a landscaper or garden designer make a planting plan, be sure to ask for spring-flowering bulbs.