SPRING BULB FEST
Right now is the perfect time to plant bulbs for spring. An hour out of your busy schedule this weekend will mean you will be delighted by a dazzling display of flowers in a few months time. Three bits of good news for you – it doesnt take long, you cant mess it up and a huge range of bulbs are on special offer in most garden and diy centres around London right now.
So, here’s what you need to do now to enjoy a dazzling display this spring.
Its really easy.
1. Pop into your local garden centre or diy shop on the way home from work and buy a LOT of bulbs. Each bulb usually only sends up one flower so if you want to be able to see them from the house you will need at least 50. I recommend planting 100 or more. The more you put in, the better it will look.
2. Which bulbs to buy? Well, snowdrops are the first to flower, usually by the end of January, so definitely get lots of them. Crocuses are next in February and March, so get them too. Then come narcissus and daffodils and finally tulips in April and May.
3. How many and what combination? My recommendation for the maximum effect, get 100 snowdrops, 100 crocuses and as many narcissus, daffodils or tulips as you like. A handy tip when buying bulbs, don’t go for those bags of mixed colours, they are low quality and look rubbish. Instead, pick one colour, it will look much more stylish. White is the best to go for if you want them to really stand out, cant beat it. I only put white ones in my garden for this reason.
4. Where to plant them? You probably want to be able to see them from the house, a spot you can see through the windows.
5. How to plant them? You can dig a little hole for each bulb (and garden centres do sell a special tool to do this) but its a chore and takes forever. What I do is dig a shallow trench about 70cm x 30cm and about 8 cm deep. Thats enough space for 50 bulbs or more. Put the soil to one side. Then just place your bulbs in the hole randomly, with the pointy end sticking up (that’s the end that the flowers come out!). Mix up snowdrops, crocuses, narcissus if you like, that way you will have a succession of flowers over a few months. And put them close together, it will look a lot better.
6. Now just shovel the soil in on top and pat it down. That’s it.If you are feeling energetic, do several patches of bulbs in different spots in your garden, get creative and plant them in arcs, or in pots if you have a balcony or terrace. Just make sure you plant them 8cm deep in the pots.Now just sit back, probably forget you planted them until spring when one morning you will be surprised and delighted to see the first flowers poking up through the soil.