Using Spring bulbs to add extra colour

Spring bulbs are the underused category of plants that can really lift your garden and add a pop of colour while everything else is still dormant. No matter how big or small your outdoor space is, there is always room for bulbs!

There is such a variety of Spring bulbs, with different varieties flowering at different stages throughout the Spring months, you can have a beautiful display for several months – and perhaps in an area where other plants may struggle – many bulbs thrive in difficult spots in the garden.

The Early Risers

The first of the early risers, Snowdrops are the herald of Spring, appearing between January and March. They may look delicate, but they are actually very tough little plants. Able to survive under deciduous trees and shrubs, they are best planted in drifts for a snowy white carpet. They can also be planted with other early Spring bulbs for variety, such as the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) – another Spring bulb that flowers at a similar time to Snowdrops.

Another variety that works beautifully planted en masse under deciduous trees and shrubs is Cyclamen. They can give a lovely carpet of pink to what may otherwise be an empty area of the garden. Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen coum are both hardy varieties.

A Colour Combination for Everyone!

Of course, Spring would not be Spring without the Daffodil and Tulip. Staples of the spring garden, they do not have to be confined to pots to give a lovely display. With a never-ending variety of colours and shapes available for both these species, there are so many combinations to be made – a colour combination for everyone! These bulbs can be used both formally and informally to very different effects. For a formal setting, single varieties in a big bold block of colour make an impressive impact. For a more natural look, a combination of colours planted around other plants such as evergreen shrubs, and among newly emerging herbaceous borders as shown in the picture, can create quite a display from Mach right through to May.

Planting borders are not the only place you can add colour to the garden either; consider planting bulbs within the lawn. Spring flowering crocus are perfect for naturalising in lawns as they will normally die back before the first cut of the lawn is needed. They can give you a carpet of pinks, yellows, purples and whites across your lawn or wildflower area – beautiful!

Photo credits: Katie Thomas (ALDA Landscapes), Pixabay

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