Monday, 5 November 2007

A Nice Green Leaf: Spring bulb planting

Emma_1_2By Emma Townshend

While writing the piece about cheering up your spring garden I went off to Hillier’s garden centre where they were offering a day of container planting. They provided free compost and planting advice, if you brought your own pots along and then paid for bulbs.

We spent ages choosing – in fact it would have been brainy to have decided a colour scheme in advance, really. But eventually went for quite tasteful whites (tulips) and also blue muscari and dwarf narcissi, with white hellebore plants in the pots to give a bit of winter colour and shape.

You build the pot up in layers. Bulbs can tolerate not being at exactly the right depth, and you need the layers to fit everything you want into the pot – for colour from January until May. Start with a layer of the biggest bulbs you have - probably hyacinths or tulips. Then add another layer, fitting in your plants at the right level.

Put the smallest bulbs in the very top layEmma_4_2
er, and don’t forget some
plant food for best performance. Very satisfying! Look out for similar
offers near you – we made all the mess at the nursery, not at home; and
didn’t haven’t to carry any bags of soil, as well as saving the cost of
the potting compost itself.

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