It’s hard not to be enchanted by autumn. The falling leaves, chilly mornings and low, golden sunshine, long and leisurely Sunday strolls complete with all the knitwear, not to mention crumbles! The only thing we're less enamoured with is how the garden is suddenly lacking colour and interest, thankfully, we have the promise of spring blooms!
Dry October weekends are the perfect time for dusting off those green fingers and doing some spring planting. A little bit of time and care now will lead to huge reward at the end of a long winter, and I’m fairly sure we’re all going to need it! Spring planting is one of the easiest garden tasks and it’s great to get the children involved with too to encourage a bit of outdoor time. With that in mind, today we’re taking you through our plans for bulb lasagnes which we’ll be planting over the coming weekends in preparation for the seasons ahead. Hopefully you’ll feel inspired to do the same!
SPRING PLANTING: WHAT YOU’LL NEED
When thinking about spring bulbs, most of us instantly imagine daffodils and tulips and whilst these classics are springtime must haves, we also love mixing it up with hyacinths, snowdrops, crocuses, anemones, alliums and fritillaries.
The beauty of spring bulbs is they’re really accessible; it’s super easy to grab some as part of your food shop thanks to supermarkets stocking more and more options. Do head to your local independent garden centres if you’re looking for some more unusual varieties, small businesses need your support more than ever right.
Have a rummage around your garden and see what you’ve already got in the way of pots. Of course, all bulbs can be planted directly into borders, but we particularly like containers which you can move about. Nothing says "welcome" like a doorstep adorned with pots of spring blooms. If you’ve not got many containers and don’t want to fork out a lot, have a look for things you can repurpose and don’t forget about places like Facebook marketplace for people getting rid of galvanised pots, buckets, baths even! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, after all.
SPRING PLANTING: A BULB LASAGNE
Once you’ve chosen a variety of bulbs that you like it’s time to get planting. One of our favourite ways to make the most of your blooms and space is with a bulb lasagne - and yes it is a real thing!! By layering bulbs in one container you can ensure a cheerful display of successional flowering throughout Spring, plus you get to experiment with combinations, much like when mixing your favourite Liberty prints.
Choose a large container, the bigger the better in this instance. Drainage is key with bulbs, so make sure your container has a few holes in the bottom to prevent rotting and waterlogged bulbs. Your first layer will be things which also help with drainage; pebbles or broken old pots work well in stopping the holes becoming blocked.
TOP TIP - A healthy bulb should be firm and plump!
Make a layer of compost before adding your largest and latest flower bulbs. Take a look below for some ideas of which bulbs should go in which layer. Pop the bulbs about an inch apart and make sure they don’t touch the sides of your container or each other. Cover these bulbs with a couple of inches of compost then repeat the process with your next layer of bulbs. The idea is you’re moving from your latest flowering bulbs at the bottom of your lasagne to your smallest and earliest flowering bulbs in the top layer. Once you’ve layered it all up, add four or five of inches of compost and give it a good water.
TOP TIP - Adding a bit of grit in with your compost provides extra drainage which is particularly helpful in preventing waterlogged bulbs during British wet winters.
SPRING PLANTING: BULB LASAGNE LAYERS
Bottom Layer: Tulips, hyacinths.
Middle Layer: Daffodils, hyacinths, fritillaries, anemones.
Top Layer: Irises, muscari, snowdrops, narcissus, crocuses.
Water your bulb lasagnes regularly in the first few weeks when their roots are forming, your compost shouldn't ever feel completely dry. If you have wildlife visitors in your garden then make sure you cover your pots to stop them foraging in your pots! Chicken wire works well. Will you be planting some bulb lasagnes in October? We’d love to hear you plans below.
Images by Lobster & Swan.