When?

If you want to fill your garden with colour next spring, we can plant bulbs from October to December, before the first frost.

Some of the best are the likes of daffodils (obviously), tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths and fritillarias.

Which bulbs?

We tend to find that our customers prefer one of two ways options.

They either like to go round one of the many local garden centres and choose the species, varieties and colours themselves or, more usually they give us an idea of what they want and the mix they want and leave us to buy the bulbs ourselves. That way if anything goes wrong it's our fault!

If you want to buy bulbs for us to plant we recommend that you check they're as healthy and fresh as possible. This way there's a good chance that your new spring display will happen!

Picking bulbs is a bit like choosing avocados: avoid the squishy, the damaged and the shrivelled. Go for the firm and the plump. If we're planting for you make sure you let us know that you've bought them, otherwise there's the danger that they'll start to sprout before we've got them in the ground!

Location

There's a number of places where spring bubs can be planted:

Herbaceous borders

Planting bulbs here helps you to fill in the gaps. If other flowers and shrubs have not spread as you wanted, or you've deliberately left gaps, or waited to see how your garden is growing,, then biulbs can be the perfect choice. Spring bulbs will allow you to add a multitude of colours prior to the rest of the garden coming into bllom.

Thanks to Wordsworth, Cumbria is famous for its daffodils, so that is a must have. The other favourite alongside daffodils are tulips which come in a variety of colours. We can advise on other species.

Depending on the effect that you want to create you might want us to plant the bulbs in groups of single colours, or to mix the colours. You may want them to form a contrast with other flowers and shrubs you have or to augment the colours. You may want to take a mix and match approach, either in terms of species or colours.

Formal planting

If you have a formal garden (which the RHS defines as ones that "have a balanced design symmetry and a clear floor plan") the use of spring bulbs can have a huge impact. They can be used to provide the prelude to the later flowering plants, especially if they fill the space available, rathr than just in small clumps.

The 'natural' look

At the opposite end of the spectrum to the formal garden is the garden that looks as if it's natural, albeit one that 's surrounded by a hedge or fence!

With this kind of garden you can use bulbs scattered around (and this can be done literally if you wish!). If you have a garden that includes trees, then have us plant the bulbs at the base of the trees to, again, add colour prior to the tree coming into leaf and flowering.

You might want us to break up a large lawn by having small defined beds within the lawn. These beds could be either regular shapes with edging to stop the grass encroaching or small 'rockeries' which would give a more natural feel to the lawn. Or have a small number (say one to three) bulbs planted directly into the lawn. Or be like one of our customers and have crocuses growing in the gravel path, preferably away from the feet of the postman!

Bulbs in pots

A patio can be enhanced by the simple addition of a number of pots with various bulbs in them.

Think of this as two main choices:

At one extreme, identical pots and displays. At the other each different pots, different displays.

Then you can consider all the other choices! Pots of the same shape and size, but different colours, pots of the same colour, but different shapes and sizes! The choice is yours!