Brighter Bulbs

September 22, 2012

I think that this time in the gardening year is so exciting with the new season of bulbs coming into the shops and garden centres. I’ve just recently treated myself to a bag of tulip bulbs aptly named ‘Red Riding Hood’ which will be a rich red colour with flamboyant bold wide leaves which will have dark maroon markings.

Other bulbs that I’ll be looking out for will be a tall variety of the purple Allium, which is the Latin name for “garlic” and these bulbs are part of the ornamental onion family. I’ll be planting these so that they’ll grow through some silver foliaged plants to make what I think is an attractive colour combination of the lilac-purple and silver colour scheme.

I think planting in combinations can have a stunning effect and it’s fun to experiment with different contrasts, foliage, colours and shapes.

One combination I have in my own garden at the moment consists of black grass, Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ planted together with the almost black coloured tulip ‘Queen of the Night’.

You can tell I love black flowers and plants.

Bulbs are so useful in the garden as they take up little space and are super to use as fillers amongst other plants and like I said, you can create decorative planting combinations with them. Another way to use bulbs is to plant them into pots or containers and use them in the borders where you have gaps and after they have finished flowering you can simply move them elsewhere.

Another interesting way to use bulbs in the garden is to naturalise them into a grassy area. Daffodils, Crocuses and the small variety of Fritillaria with its delicate nodding bell flower heads are great for this.

The secret to planting these bulbs is to just get a small handful of bulbs and throw them down onto the ground and where they fall is where you plant them. This way you will get a more natural look as opposed to planting them specifically in a set pattern.

For those of you without a garden, you can still make use of bulbs, as there are so many that can be grown indoors.

One indoor bulb that’s familiar to many is the Hyacinth, which is often grown in a glass container filled with water so you could see the roots growing. Hyacinths have a wonderful strong scent that can certainly fill the house.

Many indoor bulbs come already planted up in containers and are all set to grow without much preparation, however you can easily plant up your own container with spring-flowering bulbs of small daffodils, tulips, crocuses and irises. Plant some small leafed ivy into the container to add extra foliage interest and voila, you have your own instant indoor mini spring garden.



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