A flower bulb garden on a balcony or patio
If you’d like to start enjoying flowers on your balcony or patio in early spring, you’re in luck! That’s because flower bulbs are both the earliest harbingers of spring and create wonderful displays in flowerpots and plant containers.
No garden? No problem!
Planting flower bulbs in pots gives everyone a chance to enjoy gorgeous flowers early in the spring - even if you don’t have a garden. They’ll fit just fine onto any balcony or patio, no matter what its size. Even a windowsill, balcony or threshold will do. When you plant flower bulbs this autumn, you can expect a balcony or patio bursting with colour next spring.
Flower bulbs will thrive in pots, but how should you plant them? It’s important for the pots 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 good drainage, put a layer of old pot shards, hydroponic clay pebbles or gravel at the bottom of the pot.
- Scatter a layer of potting compost over the pot shards, hydroponic clay pebbles or gravel.
- Plant the flower bulbs in the potting compost. For a colourful result, use more flower bulbs than usual. They can be planted closer together than in the garden: no farther away from each other than the diameter of the bulbs.
- Put a layer of potting compost over the bulbs and tamp it down firmly.
- The last step is to add water.
- When the bulbs start to grow in the spring, don’t let them dry out. This is because having enough moisture stimulates growth and flowering.
- Make sure the pots are protected from severe frost by wrapping them in straw or bubble wrap. During icy-cold periods, you could also place them in a shed or against the side of the house and cover them with a blanket.
Any kind of spring-flowering bulb will perform well in pots. If the pot is located in a very windy location, plant it with shorter flower bulbs such as Crocus, Siberian Squill (Scilla), Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa), Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) or mini-daffodils (Narcissus). They don’t grow very tall so they won’t get blown over or break in the wind easily.
If you want a massive colour effect, plant lots of the same kinds of flower bulbs. Tulips (Tulipa), hyacinths (Hyacinthus) and daffodils (Narcissus) are perfect for adding lots of colour such as yellow, red, orange, pink, purple and white. They come in both bright colours and soft pastels, and some even feature two colours on a single flower! Choose the ones you like best and be amazed at the cheerful flowers they produce.
If you want to enjoy flowers even longer, why not try lasagne planting? This involves planting flower bulbs in layers, one over the next, just as you would make lasagne. The earliest to flower will emerge first. These will then be followed by the kinds that flower later. With this successive flowering, you can enjoy flowers from January until sometimes as late as May.