1. Spring starflowers
These charming petite plants hail from Argentina and Uruguay and form dense clumps of perennial flowers to chase the winter downers away. If you've never planted them before, don't fret, as they are considered one of the easiest bulbs to grow. All you need is well-drained soil and full sun or part shade.
They make the perfect partner for daffodils. Plant the bulbs nearby clusters of daffodils to create a gorgeous display of white and yellow blooms.
2. Mixed freesias
Do you love thescent of freesia fragrance or is a garden of cheerful blooms your goal for the year? Whatever the reason may be these are the bulbs for you. Freesias are suitable for areas with full sun, ideal in pots or containers and grow to 35 - 60 cm high.
They are available in a range of vibrant colours, including pinks, white, yellow, purple and red. If you want to display these magnificent long-stemmed blooms in your home and not just in your backyard remember to cut your freesias when they are still in bud and they can last in a vase for up to three weeks.
Want the best news? The sweet scented jonquil is the most indestructible and easy to grow of all garden bulbs, often surviving in abandoned gardens. Perfect!
So you can enjoy the pleasures of bulbs every spring, include a few varieties that naturalise in the garden, reappearing year after year. Jonquils are great for this, as are snowflakes (Leucojum sp.), freesias, sparaxis, ipheion and Spanish bluebells. As with all bulbs, remember where they’re planted, so you don’t dig them up during their dormant period over summer.
Choose a location with full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. If your soil isn’t rich in organic matter, work plenty of compost or composted manure into the bed before planting. Sprinkle a small amount of bulb fertiliser over the compost before digging it deep into the soil and you're done.
Snowflakes are often confused with snowdrops. Snowflakes have little yellow dots on their petals, snowdrops don’t.
Under lightly foliaged deciduous trees, where the lawn is thin and patchy, consider creating a woodland planting of bulbs. Scatter them by the handful and plant them where they land (top tip, use a bulb planter to make the job easier). Some of the best varieties for this landscape style are those that are happy in light shade, including bluebells, daffodils, snowflakes and snowdrops. After their foliage dies off at the end of spring, you can start mowing the grass again.
You definitely don't have to be a blessed gardener to have luck with irises. They're everyone's friend!
Most irises flower in summer but the netted or reticulated iris – much smaller than the bearded or Siberian iris – is a spring sensation, even though it only grows 15-20cm high. However, the Dutch iris blooms in late spring, extending the season for longer.
Keep those spring bulbs forever by pressing them onto cards. Try snowdrops, dwarf daffodils, fritillaries, crocuses and irises. You can use them as personalised and unique cards for birthdays, anniversaries and even Christmas!
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