Get Planting: It's Spring Bulb Time!

Get Planting: It's Spring Bulb Time!

We've teamed up with the wonderful horticulturists at Land Art this autumn season to bring you the ultimate guide to planting your bulbs for the coming spring! What should go into the ground and when can be a minefield for novice gardeners so we've asked the experts to make it as simple as possible. Read on for the top tips from this industry leading landscaping company.

As we enter the autumn evenings with the unmistakable chill in the air, it's clear that we've entered the prime season for planting bulbs. This is the moment to guarantee that your flower beds burst into vibrant bloom come early spring, offering a welcome burst of colour after the extended Irish winter.

Bulbs are an interesting gardening topic as they are equally adored by garden experts as by small children, they are accessible to and appreciated by almost everyone. They are affordable, low maintenance and require minimal effort, & yet they can be an art in themselves. Imagination is the only limit on what can be achieved with bulbs. They are the perfect introduction to planting for budding gardeners and yet have a back catalogue of the most rare and unusual cultivars that you can spend a lifetime enthralled. 

They bring wonderful colour to the garden: from delicate whites to vibrant yellows & bold pinks. The first step is to think about where you would like to introduce these pops of colour. Would you like them to be in blocks of colour? Or planted as a composition of complementary tones? Bulbs can have a Traditional Heritage look or a Contemporary sleekness depending on your preference.

You can opt for the classics, masses of yellow Daffodils, or you can compose unexpected features. For example, Albus Narcissus (white daffodil) used alongside white tulips gives a very clean and minimal look, and lets you add a dash of your favourite accent colour if wanted.  The wide variety of even the common sounding Daffodils is extensive. Daffodils, or Narcissus as is their true botanical name, come in all shapes & sizes. From the classic trumpet cups to ruffles or even doubles, with heights anywhere from 9 to 16cm, their scents too can be as diverse as their appearance, some hold a deep Musky tone while other have a Citrusy freshness.

When planting the key is to remember that Groupings work best. A cluster of bulbs will give more impact and structure to a space rather than too sparse a scattering. Be strategic in where you plant, think about where you would like to bring interest to and what are the views you see most when arriving home or viewed from the most used windows in your home (remember its still going to be chilly outside so most likely this will be your arrival to the front door or view from the kitchen/living room windows). You can use bulbs in clusters either side of a pathway, along a border planted in linear repetition, edging hedgerows or underplanting for a grove of trees. Pots are another excellent option for these early flowers.


Wide Black Planter, €39

Pots allow flexibility and ease of maintenance; you can move them into position as flowers bloom and take them away discreetly as they begin to fade. By having multiple pots at the ready your front door can be picture perfect from February right the way through to May.

Bulbs look best and grow happily together when layered. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘Bulb Lasagne’. Sounds delicious right. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the bulb the deeper the planting depth. So as an example, start with a base layer of soil & your Allium at the bottom, add in some more soil soil and then move on to the Tulips & Daffodils, as you get toward the top of the pot you can still fit in the smaller bulbs closer to the surface, choose your preference of Iris, Crocus or Anemone. Play around and enjoy your own unique look. Our personal favourite combination is a wide pot layered with Tulip at the bottom, then Daffodil & Crocus by the surface.

Smooth Ivory Tall Decorative Vase, €42 | Blue and Orange Textured Vase, €35Smooth Ivory Decorative Vase, €33 | Pink Glass Swirl Vase, €46

One important note is that for bulb flowers they must be allowed retain their wilting green leaves after the flowers have faded, cutting them back too soon or ‘tidying’ them up with the lawnmower will jeopardise their energy stores for the coming year. With pots just tuck them away somewhere discreet and for lawns or flower beds just allow them to have some time in the sun after their performance, so as that they have time to photosynthesise and make the reserves, they will need to see them through the Winter into next Spring. If you want to use your bulbs as a source for fresh cut flowers make sure to plant extra that way you will have enough for next year!

Most bulbs enjoy a well-draining soil with adequate sunlight. 6hrs+ daylight is enough for most varieties but check your particular bulb as you select their exact aspect in the garden. It goes without saying that the higher the quality bulb the better the flower will be.

The last consideration will be to choose your bulbs to ensure interest throughout Spring. The Spring Season starts with the Snowdrops, these will come into flower first with the Crocus soon to follow. Both very small, they are the first signs of Winter easing. The larger flowers will then start to come on as the days lengthen, Iris, Anemone & Daffodils will begin to make their appearance followed swiftly by Tulips and, the largest of all, the spectacular globe Alliums.



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