As the days draw in, temperatures start to fall and the leaves begin to turn, a new chapter begins in the garden. Now is the time to plant pansies, violas, cyclamen and autumn pinks to provide a splash of colour, whilst the spindleberry, smoke bush and Rhus really come into to their own. But even though winter is just over the horizon, it is also the perfect time to begin looking ahead to Spring. Planting Spring bulbs from September to November will ensure your garden welcomes the Spring with both colour and creativity.
Spring bulbs make a fantastic addition to any mixed herbaceous border, providing a burst of colour weeks before even the earliest perennials begin to emerge. Plant snowdrops, aconites, chinodoxa and grape hyacinth to provide little spots of interest in January and February before the season really gets going as daffodils and tulips, irises and foxtail lilies take centre stage. Planting a mixture of these early and later flowering bulbs means you can enjoy a mass of colour right through until April when the Aubretia Erysimum and doronicums begin to show.
For a really impressive, long lasting display try a border scattered with Crocus, triteleia and leucojum toward the front, daffodils and gladiolus in the middle and eremerus, allium “Ambassidor” and irises toward the back.
Whether you have a large open garden, courtyard, a patio, balcony or simply a window ledge, Spring bulbs can be enjoyed by all. Daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, fritillaria, iris, scilla, anemone and cyclamen all make for great displays when planted up in a container. Planting seperate layers of different varieties can create displays that go on and on, with early flowerers such as ‘February Gold’ daffodils providing the initial blooms and later on, ‘Cheerfulness’ offering just what the name suggests. Tulips too are perfect for succession planting. Try combining ‘Czar Peter’, which bust into flower in April, with ‘Maureen’, which go on throughout May. Or for a statement display, nothing matches the splendour of Imperial Fritilleria.
Spring bulbs are a great way to brighten up any lawn, with crocuses, miniature daffodils and scilla providing an easy means to transform any dull lawn into that carpet of colour which we all associate with Spring. Scattering bulbs randomly over the grass will provide a natural effect that is simply a pleasure to behold. Snowdrops, erythronium and anemones are perfect for adding that splash of interest around the base of a tree, as these love the dry, shaded conditions.
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