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Combining flower bulbs

Spring-flowering bulbs bring cheerfulness to the garden from January until Ju-ly. So why not plant them this autumn?

Colour for months on end

Flower bulbs provide colour in the garden when the rest of the plants are still deep in hibernation. The fun starts as early as January. Did you know that there are also varieties that continue to bloom until early summer? With a combination of the right flower bulbs, you can bring colour and cheerfulness to your green oasis for the first six months of the year.

Flowering period

The best-known spring-flowering bulbs are tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus), crocuses (Crocus) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus). But there are many more absolute gems with beautiful flowers, such as grape hyacinths (Muscari), lapwing (Fritillaria meleagris), snowdrops (Galanthus) and alliums. If you want to find out when they will flower, just check the calendar.

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Combinations

Most flower bulbs bloom for several weeks. So how can you make sure the different flowering periods align nicely? By choosing the right combinations! An example of such a combination is snowdrops (January), crocuses (February), botanical daffodils (March), grape hyacinths (April), tulips (April / May) and alliums (June). If you plant them now, all that's left for you to do in the spring is just enjoy them.

Planting

Consider planting flower bulbs a good way to end the garden season, and turn it into a celebration. Do make sure your bulbs are in the ground before the first frost. Flower bulbs need the cold to grow and bloom properly. Planting flower bulbs is done in three steps:

  1. Dig a hole for a large group of bulbs, or individual holes for single bulbs. The rule of thumb is to plant the bulb three times as deep as it is tall.
  2. Place the flower bulbs in the soil with the tips facing up. If you're not sure which way is up, don't worry: the bulbs will grow and flower even if you plant them upside down. Large flower bulbs like to be seven to twenty centimetres apart and small ones three to seven centimetres.
  3. Cover the bulbs with soil and water them if the soil gets dry.

Tips

  • The range of flower bulbs is extensive. Always check the packaging for the correct flowering period, so you can make the right combinations.
  • Many spring-flowering bulbs enjoy a sunny spot or partial shade. Check the packaging for the correct location.
  • Flower bulbs will grow in almost any type of soil, provided it is not too wet. Avoid places where water tends to pool, such as the bottom of a hill or under drains.
  • If you have a balcony or terrace, you could plant your bulbs in pots using the lasagna method, by planting the flower bulbs in layers. Put late-flowering bulbs at the bottom, and the early-flowering ones at the top. If you plant the layers in the correct flowering order, the early bloomers will flower first, followed by the bulbs that bloom at a later time.

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