21 Nov Get ready for Spring 2024
Preparing for the year ahead
As Autumn starts to take hold its time to start thinking about getting Spring bulb planting & the fresh gardening year ahead. There’s simply nothing like having the colour & beauty of bulbs come on in Spring after the long winter months. Bulbs are a great addition to any space, whether your a seasoned gardener or a budding novice, bulbs are for everyone. They can be a really nice introduction to gardening, one that is extremely rewarding and may lead to bigger things. Online Garden Designs are here if you have big ambitions, but lets start at the begining . Bulbs are the first signs of life to emerge from the winter months, they need to get established before the Winter months to be hardy and ready for any conditions they may face. So how do we get ready for sowing bulbs?
Simply choose your favourites and let your creative side run free. And don’t worry there are no rights or wrongs with bulbs, having said that, if your someone who likes a framework to refer to work to then we’ve got you covered.
Some key principles from our designers Joe & Kathryn :
- One of the most effective ways to create impact with bulbs is by Colour Blocking. Set your colour palette and stick to it.
- Although there is a world of choice in bulbs try to be selective, you will achieve a more harmonious and cohesive look for your garden. Work in Groupings, go big & bold with your blooms.
- Cluster them in groups of at least 5-7 bulbs to get a really decent volume of flowers. Repetition, working in a linear repetition is one of the best ways to detail the length of driveways, road verge or pathways. For planters however the best approach is by creating a Bulb Lasagne.
Bulb Lasagne Is a gardening technique that layers your bulbs to give a continuous display of flowers, right through from early Spring to the start of the Summer months. You achieve this by vertically layering the planting of different types of flower bulbs in the one planting area you can create a composition that changes through Springtime. It helps to visualize how they will look.
Combinations we love at Online Garden Designs :
A palette of early blooms in soft purples progressiving into lemons & pink & finally purple globes of Allium in summer.
Bottom layer : Crocus Sativus with Muscari Night Hood
Middle Layer : Tulip Apricot Parrot with Narcissus Bridal Crown
Top Layer : Allium Purple Sensation
For a very contemporary take on bulb combinations try a monochrome palette
An elegant succession of pure white :
Galanthus, Tulipa Catherina, Allium Mount Everest
This could as easily given a punchy colour palette using vibrant purples:
Muscari, Tulipa Bleu Aimable, Allium Purple Sensation
When to plant & when will they flower
Bulbs need to go into the ground before the first frosts, this will allow the bulb to put out root prior to cold dormancy. By gettings bulbs into the ground by Oct/Nov ensure they are well established and will be ready to come up in more favorable conditions come Spring.
Flowering calendar for some of Ireland’s favorite bulbs :
Late Winter – Early Spring
- Snowdrops & Crocus
Mid Spring – Late Spring
- Daffodil, Tulips, Hyacinth, Muscari, Allium
Late Spring – Early Summer
- Allium giganteum ( Globemaster)
The Nitty-Gritty of How-To
When planting bulbs, it’s important to consider the recommended planting depth and spacing for each type, double check your packet instructions before you start.
For lawn planting, dig out 3 sides of a square & flip the sod over so as that you have a neat opening for the bulb and a lid to close over on top- no soil or mess and a seamless finish.
You can stagger your bulbs, every 1m or so you will want to have a grouping of bulbs on each row. Start on the lower row and roughly every 600-800mm alternate from top to bottom. This will give a really full look while still being practical for lawnmowing. Top Tip : Check the width of your lawnmover & set your spacing accordingly, Husqvarna robot mowers can be as narrow as 330mm while a ride on mower will need much more space to get in between your groupings.
For pots & planters follow the ‘Lasagne’ method above
Choosing your Bulbs
Bulbs flower early February onward, specific varieties do vary,
but in general, bulbs will flower in the following order:
- Galanthus aka.Snowdrop
- Narcissus aka.Daffodils
- Muscari aka.Grape Hyacinth
- Tulipa aka.Tulip
You have a choice beyond these staples, they will be a little more specialised in their needs & care : Anemone, Paeonia, Fritillaria, Iris, Ranuculus, the list goes on.
We’d advise start at the start with the above and explore from there year on year.
Caring for your Bulbs
Bulbs are winter hardy by nature. Pop them in & wait for them to bloom.
Two things to note are that for bulbs sown in planters it will be important to ensure they have adequate water, especially while flowering. For bulbs sown in grass it is after they bloom that is crucial, their foliage must be allowed to die back naturally, it is these leaves that store energy ready for next years blooms.
And don’t forget to share with us, we’d love to see pictures of your chosen flower combinations as they begin to show this Spring