Planting bulbs in one of the most satisfying things to be done in the garden; they’re easy to put into place and they’re easy to grow.
After planting, bulbs will lay dormant in the soil for a while, but when they come up above the soil the following spring or summer, they always seem to put a smile on my face.
When planting bulbs in and around your holiday home, you want to consider the season you’re planting for. There are two main seasons for bulbs: spring and summer.
Spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and snowdrops are planted in autumn for them to flower around March. Summer bulbs such as gladioli, begonias and iris are planted early on in the year, around January to March for them to flower during the summer.
Bulbs are brilliant. They’re like little batteries with flowers inside, and when placed in the garden they eventually naturalise with the surroundings. By this, I mean that they reproduce more and more, year after year. So planning a load of bulbs together is definitely a long term investment for the garden.
I’ve always believed that you should plant bulbs in mass. Don’t just plant one tulip here, or two daffodils there. Ten or twenty bulbs all planted in the same space is much better to give a powerful visual display, and they’ll continue to grow every season, bringing some amazing colour into the garden.
There are so many different types of bulbs that you can purchase. One of my favourite is a type of tulip called Red Riding Hood. This is a lovely bright red, flute-like flower and looks amazing planted on mass. You can combine bulbs too, Red Riding Hood looks great with golden daffodils, and grape hyacinths’ purple colour looks great with white tulips.
I’ve designed some great planting combinations that you can purchase from John Lewis to make the choice that little bit easier.
Planting couldn’t be easier. Generally, if you plant bulbs two and half times the height of the bulb’s depth – you’re onto a winner!
The main thing to do to is to make sure you bed bulbs well into the soil. I liken it to a lightbulb, to put a lightbulb in, you push and twist. The same applies to flower bulbs. The base of the bulb should hit the base of the soil to stop any water getting in and causing any rot. If you find squirrels are an issue in your area, you can grate a little bit of soap in the hole to deter them. You can get soap free from most hotels.
Bulbs can be planted where ever, they work well in the ground but also in containers, hanging baskets or window boxes. You can companion plant too. For example, if you’re planting up tubs and containers with some shrubs or bedding plants, under plant with bulbs to make sure you get an extra bit of colour too.
Some bulbs that come in different sizes can be planted together. Place big bulbs at the bottom of the soil, medium sized bulbs can be placed just above and smaller ones can be planted at the top. This is called layer planting. This means you’ll get lots of different colours and height flowers coming up at the same time, or by choosing different flower times, you can have successional colour from one pot.
A little tip from me: when your bulbs have finished flowering, take the heads off, but leave the foliage! Put as much liquid feed as you can into the soil so you’re refeeding the bulb underneath the ground and preparing it for the next flower.
With all this in mind – there’s no reason you can’t have a spectacular bit of colour in your holiday home’s garden every spring and every summer.