Colourful bulbs are the early bloomers of spring and summer! Flower bulbs are very easy to maintain and will bring colour to your borders - or in decorative pots on your patio or decking. We supply only top quality bulbs, so Bakker gives a 100% flowering guarantee. The earliest bulbs will flower at the very end of winter and the bulbs last well into the autumn. Choose the prettiest types of bulb for the garden, or make up some pretty pots and planters with them for on the patio or decking. Order now, today!
Summer flowering bulbs like amaryllis, begonia and gladioli are always planted in the spring. The best time to plant your summer bulbs outdoors is after all chance of frost has passed. You could of course plant them up in pots from the end of March – this will have them shooting up by May so they will flower earlier. Tulips, crocuses, alliums and hyacinths are your typical spring flowering bulbs. These need to be planted the previous autumn. Order your spring bulbs now and they will be delivered to you from the end of August. Some daffodils, lilies and irises can be planted in both spring and autumn. Begonias, gladiolas, crocuses and anemones are actually tubers and not bulbs but their care and use is, practically speaking, the same.
You can achieve wonderful results with bulbs in pots but they come into their own planted between perennials in the border. Flower bulbs are very easy to grow and will actually thrive in almost any type of soil. They will always flower the first year after planting but best results in the long term will be achieved if you plant them in a sunny spot in loose, fertile soil. So, before planting aerate the soil by loosening it with a fork and adding a mix of well-rotted manure or potting compost through it. This will ensure that your summer flowering bulbs thrive and allow extra water to easily drain off.
Dig a hole in the loose soil with your trowel and plant the bulbs gently in the hole, pointing upwards. Here’s a tip on how deep to plant bulbs - check the size of the bulb - the depth of the soil above the bulb should be twice as deep as the size of the bulb. So large bulbs like the dahlia are then often planted 15-20 cm deep and smaller bulbs like the freesia go at about 10 cm deep. Check the label on the pack for the best planting distance per bulb as this can vary from 3-20 cm. The planting depth is also shown on the label. Cover the bulb with soil and water them in if the soil isn’t already wet.
Want to enjoy the flowers from your bulbs for longer? We suggest layering them! This is when you plant a layer of bulbs, cover with soil and then plant another layer on top… and then again if you want more layers. Plant the ones that will flower latest, at the bottom and the earliest ones at the top. Check the pack to be sure. If planting various bulbs that flower around the same time, plant the largest ones at the bottom and the smallest in the top layer.
Mixing with other plants and taking care of your bulbs
An already existing perennial border can be transformed into a wealth of colour thanks to bulbs. These flower bulbs always look really lovely when mixed in amongst other plants. For instance, you could make a pretty border filled with lilies, butterfly tulips (Calocorthus) and catnip. There are so many varieties that make great cut flowers, like the dahlia and the iris. Tall flowering varieties giant dahlias and lilies will require support as they grow. Use made-for-purpose plant supports, or tie them up to loose canes. While bulbs of course don’t like to be too wet, there is also the problem of them getting too dry in a warm summer so water them regularly, always checking to see that the ground drains off well.
Getting through the winter
Many summer bulbs are not completely hardy although there are some that will manage through a mild winter if you give them a mulch of leaf litter or straw. To be sure though, it’s often best to just dig them up before the first frosts (mid-October). Check them over to see they are firm and healthy, clean them up and allow them to dry out. Store in a cool, dry and frost-free area and they will be fine to plant out again next season. If you would like more tips on planting and caring for your bulbs, check out our gardening advice pages.