Bulbs are king in Spring – Plant in Autumn
It seems a long way off to be thinking of Springtime now however if you spend a little bit of time now you will reap the benefits of having a lovely colourful garden in Spring next year which will be a welcome change from those dark winter days.
Bulbs take centre stage in Spring with a large selection of flowers to choose from starting with snowdrops and aconites popping up in January and February, followed by the familiar crocuses and daffodils. Try adding some different varieties such as Crocus Crysanthus Blue Pearl or Crocus Orange Monarch.
Following crocuses there are the daffodils and tulips. Look in brochures and on the internet for different flowering times so that you get a flow of daffodils and tulips from March to May. For example, with daffodils you could use a combination of Bestseller, Carbineer and Lothario to give a show of colour from March to May.
Tulips are such a wide subject that I will cover these on another day as I wanted to mention Alliums. These have really grown very popular in recent years and are so useful as they pop through other plants for added interest in a mixed border. Popular varieties are Purple Sensation with its balls of Lilac/purple heads 75cm high or one even higher, Ambassador, which towers 120cm high and if you want a white variety go for Mont Blanc. Two new quirky varieties to look for are Miami and Art.
Planting bulbs is easy. A rule of thumb is to plant the bulbs about double the depth of the size of the bulb and plant with its nose (pointed end) in the air, spacing at least twice the bulb’s width apart.
Bulbs can be planted right up to the end of November/mid December dependent on the weather so go and get yourself some Spring colour now. If anyone is interested I can order bulbs and plant them at lower prices than Garden Centres, give me a call if you’re interested.
Things to do in the Garden in October
- Cut back any perennials that have finished flowering and you will probably see new growth coming through underneath, leave this on. If you want to make more clumps of the same plant, dig up and divide up the clump replanting some back, using the rest to make a new plant. Water in well.
- Net ponds to stop leaves dropping in.
- Trim evergreen hedges.
- Tidy up your greenhouse, removing any vegetables that are finished.
- Do some work on your lawn – scarify which means raking up any dead grass that builds up as this makes way for new growth. Give your lawn an autumn feed.
- Clean patios to stop them being slippery in Winter.
- Keep watering if you still have sunny days to prolong baskets and pots display.
- Buy new or extra compost bins to make use of all the leaves that have fallen, annuals and perennials that have finished flowering.
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Gardens Designed by RHS Gold Medal and Best in Category winner, RHS Tatton Park show July 2016
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