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Get ahead and plant these spring flowering bulbs this autumn for a brilliant display of blooms next year.

Before you get planting, be sure there’s the perfect spot ready to suit the plants as some bulbs need a specific home.

Most hardy bulbs like daffodils and tulips like a warm and sunny spot with good drainage, and those plants that are from cooler habitats need to be grown in similar conditions. Before planting, improve light, sandy soils with garden compost and add compost and grit to heavier soils.

For a colourful spectacle, planting groups of 6 more bulbs, is a great idea and when they bloom next year, it’ll be a welcome display.

Vibrant varieties

Tulip ‘Black Parrot’

Firstly, for dark and dramatic colour, this bulbous perennial can grow up to 50cm in height. The deep purple to black flowers with frilled margins will add plenty of interest to contrast with your other bright blooms.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – South, West or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Loam, sand or chalk

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Allium hollandicum (Dutch garlic) ‘Purple Sensation’

Next up, is a must-have bulb for rounded umbels of purple flowers, this perennial grows up to 90cm to provide some height to your border. Whilst you enjoy the magical texture and the scent of garlic, pollinators will love the flowers too.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – South, West, North or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained or well-drained
• Soil – Sand, clay, chalk or loam

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Ranunculus (Persian buttercup) ‘Aviv Red’

Rosy red flowerheads that are larger than average flowers will add some vibrancy to the display, complementing purple, orange, and yellow blooms. They are long lasting flowers, so will continue to provide rose-like blooms if spent flowers are deadheaded.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – South, East or West facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Moist but well-drained
• Soil – Clay, loam or sand

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Fritillaria imperialis (crown imperial)

A hardy perennial with upright stems that are topped with an umbel of bell-shaped orange flowers beneath a crown of bracts that rise upwards. They are stunning ornamental plants that will without a doubt add intrigue and interest to the border. Alternatively, use them to contrast with traditional native plants in a cottage garden.

• Sun – Full sun
• Position – South, North, East or West facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Chalk, loam or sand

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Pretty picks

Muscari azureum (azure grape hyacinth)

The flowers look small and delicate, but the plant is very hardy and low maintenance, perfect for cottage gardens, courtyard gardens or in containers on a patio. In addition, they are very popular with pollinators, especially bees when they flower in April or May.

• Sun – Partial shade or full sun
• Position – North, East, South or West facing
• Exposure – Sheltered or exposed
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Chalk, loam, sand or clay

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Erythronium revolutum (mahogany fawn lily)

The brown and green mottled leaves are joined by nodding pink, dainty flowers that bloom on thin stems. In a rock garden, or wildflower meadow they will grow well, as well as underplanting of shrubs or roses.

• Sun – Partial shade
• Position – South, East, North or West facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Chalk, sand, clay or loam

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Hyacinth ‘Pink Pearl’

Pretty and pink, these hyacinths are perfect for the front of a border where they will grow to 30cm tall. Flowering in March or April, they’ll be around in time for the spring pollinators who are attracted to the nectar and pollen rich flowers.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – North, West, East or South facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Clay, chalk, loam or sand

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Cyclamen coum (eastern cyclamen)

Bringing early spring colour to the garden, blooming between December and March, these perennials can grow to 10cm with flowers 2cm in width ranging from pink and purple colours. Brightening up the front of borders, these may be little, but they are hardy flowers.

• Sun – Partial shade
• Position – North, West, South or East facing
• Exposure – Sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained
• Soil – Loam, sand, clay or chalk

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So, get planting your bulbs this autumn to have dramatic displays in spring and summer. Without a doubt, these plants will add something special to your garden, and they’ll be worth the wait!

Spring is here, see my post on spring pollinators:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

spring pollinators
Spring pollinators
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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