With Autumn being nature's natural time to plant, now is the ideal time to start planning your spring garden.
Under the 'Plan it, Plant it this Autumn' campaign, the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is encouraging gardeners to start bulb planting now to ensure a colourful spring. Research commissioned by the HTA revealed that 45% believed that spring bulbs should also be planted at this time, when in fact autumn is the key time to do both.
HTA member Taylor's Bulbs have put some information together on the most popular bulbs to get your spring garden started.
Hyacinths are a favourite because of their scent. They are pillars of delicious fragrance in many different colours. Try planting them near an entrance door or along a footpath so you can enjoy their perfume.
These are the stately globes of the bulb world. Large heads or small, they are all magnets for pollinating insects. Try planting purple and white together, or for something a bit different, try Nectaroscordum Siculum which is loved by bumble bees.
Other bulbs which are good for wildlife, particularly insects, are Eranthis Cilicica (Winter Aconites), all crocus and snowdrops. These bulbs are particularly important as they flower early in the year when not much else is in bloom. On a sunny February day, you may see bumble bees searching for nectar. By planting a few of these bulbs, you can make a big difference to your local insect population.
Snowdrops signal the end of dark winter days, flowering in January and February when not much else is in bloom. They are an important source of nectar for early emerging insects, particularly bees. They come in various heights and sizes.
Again, early flowering and available in many different colours, they are a great source of nectar for insects. Nothing looks better than a carpet of crocus on a sunny February or March day, flowers fully open, showing their inner beauty. They are excellent for naturalising in grass or in a border.
The range alone makes them a favourite. If you are careful with your selection, you can have narcissi in flower for up to 5 months of the year from January through to the beginning of May! They come in all different heights and colours, single-headed, multi-headed and fragrant. What more could you ask for?
The elegant 'ladies' of the bulb world, there is a tulip for every situation. Short or tall, single-headed, multi-headed and fragrant, pastel, primary and bold colours are all available.