I can’t help myself when early flowering bulbs come into the garden centre. I’ve always room for a few more and I can work out where by looking at photos that I’ve taken when my garden was looking very pretty early this year.
I find taking photos is a good way of recording plants that go dormant during the year and it helps me plan ahead.
I have most colours of crocuses except orange and have spotted some called Crocus ‘Orange Monarch’. These will contrast beautifully with the bright purple ones in my woodland/wildlife garden. Any early bees shouldn’t miss that colour combination!
Bulbs are a great way for brightening up your garden at ground level in late winter and early spring when most other plants are resting. A great moral booster too!
The cheapest time to buy them is from now as dormant bulbs and get them planted as soon as you can. Later you will be able to buy some potted up ‘in the green’ but these always cost a bit more. Still a great way of filling in those gaps though.
Its best to think carefully about where to plant because you don’t want to put them next to something that is going to grow permanently over their space.
In my woodland garden I have to mind my epimediums and self-set pulmonarias because they tend to get in the way of bulbs if growing too close, self-set pulmonarias get moved elsewhere. Hostas are okay because they are dormant below ground level when the bulbs are coming up.
The snowdrops buried near the path that runs through my flower borders have annuals planted above them. Regular watering keeps the annuals alive and also ensures that the snowdrop bulbs don’t dry out during summer allowing them to grow and fatten up before dormancy.
Bulbs like snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils etc. will always look better planted in groups and over time if you’ve provided them with the right growing conditions many will naturalise making the garden look better every year.