Garden ideas using flower bulbs
Did you know that flower bulbs are the very first plants to add colour to the garden? They will add to the beauty of both large and small gardens and also contribute to improving biodiversity. Right: it’s time to plant flower bulbs! Get going with one of these four ideas this autumn and enjoy the results early in the spring.
Flower bulbs in pots
Flower bulbs will grow well in the garden but will also thrive when planted in pots. Nice for on a patio or another paved area. How can you do it? In this case, it's important for the pot to be deep enough and have a hole in the bottom to allow excess water to drain out. And the pot should be at least three times the height of the flower bulb.
- For proper drainage, put a layer of old pot shards, expanded clay pellets or gravel in the bottom of the pot.
- Scatter a layer of potting compost over the pot shards, expanded clay pellets or gravel.
- Plant the flower bulbs in the potting compost. For a colourful result, use lots of flower bulbs. They can be planted closer together in a pot than in the garden so keep the distance between them no greater than the diameter of the bulb.
- Put a layer of potting compost on top of the bulbs and tamp it down firmly.
- The last step is to provide some water.
- Make sure that the pots are protected from severe frost by wrapping them in straw or bubble-wrap. You could also place them in a shed during the coldest months when temperatures drop below freezing.
Lasagne planting (planting in layers) is one way of planting flower bulbs. With this method, you plant the flower bulbs in layers, one on top of another, just like you make lasagne. When you do this right, the ones that flower early like crocuses (Crocus) will bloom first. These are then followed by the flower bulbs with later flowering periods. With this successive flowering, you could sometimes enjoy flowers from as early as January until as late as May.
- Plant the first layer of flower bulbs. Plant them closely together for a rich display of flowers.
- Cover the first layer with about 5 cm of potting compost, and then plant the next layer. These flower bulbs can also be planted closely together, but leave a few millimetres free for the young leaves.
- Sprinkle potting compost over the second layer of flower bulbs and then plant the third and last layer.
- Finally, fill up the pot with potting compost.
- Gently tamp everything down and give the flower bulbs some water.
Mixing flower bulbs yourself
Flower bulbs play a crucial role in the garden because they are the first plants to add colour to it in the new year. A mix of flower bulbs lets you enjoy all this beauty for even longer. Instead of a few weeks, planting various kinds can sometimes make your garden sparkle for a number of months. This is because various kinds of flower bulbs will flower at different times. So, what are you waiting for? Choose your flower bulbs and then mix, scatter and plant them!
You can choose from ones used as annuals, used as perennials, and ones that produce more bulbs every year. Annual flower bulbs, such as tulips (Tulipa) are known for their bright colours. But maybe you’d rather plant flower bulbs in your garden that will emerge next year in all their glory. If so, choose perennial ones like Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa). You could even choose bulbs like the Siberian Squill (Scilla) that naturalise. This means they will increase in number year after year.
Magnets for insects
Your green oasis will provide for birds, hedgehogs, bees and butterflies and many other kinds of animals and insects. They can’t do without plants: they depend on them for food. In other words, having lots of plants means lots of life in your garden - and that’s good. Flower bulbs are important elements for creating a living garden. When you plant them in the autumn, you ensure that bees and butterflies can start foraging even early in the spring.
You can choose from many different kinds, such as flower bulbs that produce tall flowers like ornamental onions (Allium), tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus). But you could also choose flower bulbs that produce flowers with shorter stems such as grape hyacinths (Muscari), Grecian windflowers (Anemone blanda) or crocuses (Crocus). Actually, all bulb flowers make tasty treats for bees. For butterflies, ornamental onions are definitely in first place.