Autumn is here. It’s getting cold, it’s getting dark, and the leaves are falling from the trees. As summer fades, you can afford to start winding down your daily gardening chores. You can even be forgiven for thinking that your planting for next year can wait. However, there is no such thing as jumping the gun when it comes to your garden. The number one way to prepare your garden for Spring is to plant some fantastic Spring flowering bulbs. They make a fine display when flowering in either containers or flower beds, and are easy and rewarding to grow. Thames Valley Landscapes have put together a list of five of the best Spring flowering bulbs for you to plant this Autumn.
Planting time – September and October
Flowering Time – February to May
Hardiness – Mostly hardy
Grows in – Sun or light shade
Long considered the heralds of Spring, the Daffodil is one of the most widely recognised flowering bulbs on offer. Its beautiful yellow flowers are always a welcome sight wherever they are planted, bringing a cheerful hue to every garden. Daffodils usually grow to be between 5cm (2 inches) and 50cm (20 inches) tall and can thrive even when slightly shaded.
Planting time – October to November
Flowering time – March – May
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Grows in – Full sun
Arguably the most popular spring flowering bulb, Tulips are a colourful addition to any garden and come in an astonishing range of colours and shapes. This allows you to mix and match different looks to create a unique planting scheme that can be added to year after year. Tulips usually grow to be 15cm (6 inches) to 75cm (30 inches) tall and grow best when exposed to full sun. Try planting en-masse in pots and tubs for bringing a real impact to gloomy corners of your garden.
Planting time – Early Autumn
Flowering time – Spring, but can be forced to flower earlier indoors
Hardiness – Fully hardy in ground but can be frost tender when potted
Grows in – Sun, or partial shade
If you are looking for a beautiful bloom with a powerful fragrance, then you can’t beat Hyacinths. They mostly grow in flower beds, but you can grow heat prepared Hyacinths indoors which bloom early for a lovely Christmas fragrance. These bulbs grow tall and slim, to around 20-30cm (8-12 inches) with a showy bloom top. If you are looking for a wonderful visual display and amazing scent whenever you walk by, the Hyacinth is the perfect choice.
Planting Time – Autumn
Flowering Time – Spring to mid-Summer
Hardiness – Hardy to borderline hardy
Grows in – Sun
Sometimes called ornamental onions, Alliums are a wonderfully architectural bulb that come in a range of colours to add impact to any planting scheme. Even when these plants eventually die back, the dried flowers can still be an attractive addition to your outdoor space with their elegant pom pom like heads. These spring flowering bulbs can grow to an astonishing 6 feet tall and will provide a fantastic visual effect all the way through summer. If you are looking to add a wow factor to your garden, then choose Alliums.
Snakes Head Fritillaria
Planting time – Autumn
Flowering Time – April to May
Hardiness – Hardy
Grows in – Sun or semi-shade
Easily recognisable by its distinctive snake-skin markings, the snakes head fritillaria is a bulb that grows a bell-shaped flower in various pinks and purples. These unusual flowers are perfect for filling in gaps in your flower bed thanks to their elegant colour markings and short stature. The average snakes head fritillaria stands at around 30cm (12 inches) and are perfect for accenting areas of your flower bed that need more attention. A beautiful and rare plant that should be on everyone’s essential Spring bulb list.
Ensuring that your garden is ready for Spring will give you a head start in the coming year. This can be achieved by planting some spring flowering bulbs now, before the winter chill sets in.
For more garden maintenance advice and help with designing a Spring planting scheme please feel free to contact Thames Valley Landscapes on 01628 629720.