Rebecca's garden
Rebecca's garden
A guide to Spring Bulb Planting
spring planting
spring planting
A guide to Spring Bulb Planting

A Guide To Spring Planting

Author: Lauren Coleman

You may remember earlier this year we featured the stunning home of Rebecca from Roses and Rolltops. Rebecca doesn’t just have a beautiful abode, she also has a gorgeous garden filled with flowers all year round. In our recent survey you told us you’d like to see more gardening posts on these pages and with the days turning cooler there’s never been a better time to get planning for next year. Whether you’ve got a teeny balcony or a football pitch sized plot, Rebecca’s back on the blog today to share her tips.

Spring planting is my favourite kind of gardening, mainly because it’s so easy. In essence you just put some bulbs into compost, cover them up, leave them all winter and by spring miraculously you’ll have beautiful blooms to spread some cheer without really doing anything. So even if you haven’t gardened before, it’s foolproof if you follow a few basic tips.

I normally plant all my tubs up in the autumn, you can plant bulbs any time between September and November but I tend to do mine at the start of October once most of my summer flowering plants have finished. I’ve been collecting galvanised tubs over the years from vintage markets and car boot sales so have quite a big collection now but you can plant bulbs into the ground or any containers of your choosing, terracotta pots, even old flour tins look good!

I buy bulbs from a number of places, last year most of mine were from Costco which have big packs of daffodils and tulips from America but I’ve also purchased from local garden centres before, Homebase and Wilkinson’s. Sarah Raven has some beautiful specialist bulbs too if you want to splurge. I mainly just go for tulips and daffodils in containers but there’s also hyacinths, ranunculus, anemones, alliums, crocuses and snowdrops that you can also plant now {although most of these would be better in the ground}. I want to plant extra bulbs this year in spare pots to then dig them up when they’re flowering and bring them indoors for displays next spring so consider this if you’re planting them and maybe buy extra.

Last year I just bought mixed bags of daffodils which did look pretty having different sizes and types but I’m a bit ocd and some flowered before the others so this year I think I’ll plant the tubs with only one variety in each. Daffodils tend to flower before tulips so if you plant a mixture you’ll have a succession of flowers. There are so many pretty varieties to choose from, some frilly, some double headed and so many different colours of both daffodils and tulips. The little narcissi daffodils and paperwhites tend to be highly scented which I love. And if you’re short on pots or space, take a look at Monty Don’s bulb lasagne!

In terms of planting, get a tub {which has drainage holes at the bottom and a couple of crocks/stones so it doesn’t fill with water} and fill about 1/3 full with a layer of compost. Standard garden compost or soil will do, the bulbs already have their nutrients and energy stored within them. You can read the instructions on the back of the pack but I just space them out in the tub fitting as many as I can in without overcrowding. Then cover your bulbs up with soil making sure they’re deep enough. I then always cover each tub with chicken wire as squirrels have a tendency to dig them up or eat the young shoots so try and protect them if you can. You can then just forget about everything until the spring when they start shooting up. You won’t need to water them, it usually rains a lot through the winter. And don’t worry about the cold, it helps them wake up.

Once they start growing through the chicken wire you can remove it and wait for the buds to open. Crucially once they’ve finished flowering, make sure you deadhead the flowers and leave the greenery until it dies back naturally or they won’t flower again next year. You can either leave the bulbs in the tubs and plant on top of them or plant them in the ground somewhere and then dig them up again next Autumn and start the cycle all over again!

If you want to find out more about Rebecca’s garden and its transformation then head over to her blog.

Anyone else inspired to go and grab themselves some bulbs and start planting in a couple of weeks? Definitely an idea to pop on to your weekend to-do list.

{Contributors}
Author
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
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13 thoughts on “A Guide To Spring Planting

  1. This is such a super feature, if only we have ruddy moved house! Desperate to get planting but absolutely no point as we’ve sold 🙁

    A beautiful garden Rebecca – and I’ve seen it real life and everything 🙂 x

    1. Ah can’t believe where the year has gone to since April when you guys were here shooting! Thank you Charlotte and Lauren, {and Adam}. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask away xx
      And you could plant bulbs into cheap tubs for now Charlotte so they’d easily transport then dig them up to move them.

  2. Such a helpful post! Thanks! My husband and I tried a scattergun approach to planting seeds and bulbs in our borders for summer, with the idea we wanted ‘an unstructured cottage garden’ look. Error. Big error. Even unstructured cottage gardens need a bit of structure. Ours looked like everything was growing and dying at the same time. Gladioli were falling onto the dahlia, the sweetpeas took over… Nightmare. It looked like the ‘before’ section on Ground Force. (Brilliant programme!)

    Will not make the same mistake in spring planting! Thank you! Love the tip about lasagne planting. And how to stagger bulbs between daffs and tulips. Do you remove the bulbs if you’re intending to plant in summer flowering stuff or leave it all in there for the year?

    1. Ah I’m sure it still looked pretty! You can leave the bulbs in there and just plant on top of them, daffodils will flower for years but tulips may need replacing after 2 years you’ll find the flowers get smaller and weaker. Happy planting x

  3. Great feature! Currently thinking about what I’m going to plant and where…..though mine will all be tubs and planters as I have a patio. On the upside these are great if you move house as you can take them with you.

    I happened to be on Moneysavingexpert yesterday and they have an offer, 450 spring bulbs (a mixture of 5 different types) for £9.99 inc delivery. The offer is on until tonight I think.

  4. This post has got me trying to remember if I left the spring bulbs in when I replanted my pots for summer. I hope so but I’m very tempted to add in some tulips too after reading this post.

  5. Brilliant feature Rebecca! I’ve got a brand spanking new garden to sort out. So can’t plant anything until we figure out where we want the lawn, shed, beds etc. I will definitely be planting some pots up though, so the patio will look less Somme like in Spring. 🙂 x

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