With autumn here, it’s time to start thinking about getting your garden ready for spring. Autumn offers optimum conditions for some of the most popular spring flowers and with our expert guide, you will have a blooming garden come March next year. In this article, we will be covering everything from when you should look at planting yours spring bulb, what flowers are some of our all time favourites, and how you can prepare your outdoor space 

When Should Spring Bulb Planting Take Place?

If you are looking to prepare your garden for spring next year, now is the perfect time. Autumn offers the optimal conditions for spring bulbs – the soil is still warm enough and the bulbs will be able to develop a root system which will allow them to bloom when spring rolls around. After all, your spring flowers popping up signals the rebirth of your garden and the start of a fresh new growing season. 

Typically, spring flower bulbs are planted between the months of September and November. This can depend on the variety of plant you are wishing to grow, but for most spring bulbs, we would recommend this time of time. If your gardening team were to  plant daffodils, tulips, fritillaries or crocus, now for example, you will find that your garden comes alive with flowers come spring.

The Most Common Spring Bulbs & What Gardens They Suit Best

As gardening experts, we understand what a pop of colour can do to a landscape. As well as a lush grass lawn, you will also want to scatter a collection of different flowers to ensure all year round beauty. But, what are the most common spring bulbs, and what garden do they suit the best?

1. Tulips

When you think of beautiful flowers, do you think of tulips? We definitely do. Tulips are popular for a reason – they come in a variety of colours which are sure to spruce up your garden in the springtime. According to Home & Garden, tulips are ‘one of the most versatile of spring-flowering bulbs. You can plant tulip bulbs in containers where they look as good as they do in borders.’

Once planted, tulips tend to look their best between April and May – they are also commonly deemed the most ‘versatile’ of spring flowers as they not only come in an array of colours, but also have varying flowering heights and flower forms. No matter your garden design style, there will be a tulip that will suit your planting schemes. 

As gardening experts, we can confidently say that tulips will fit a contemporary, minimalist or modern garden alike. When working with your gardening and design team, be sure to have your tulips planted in the full sun in the North or particle shade in the South. This is the optimal amount of sunlight for your plants. The bulbs of the tulips will also need to be planted pointed end up in well-drained soil which has a pH between 6 and 7. It is also recommended to plant your tulip bulbs in November, as it can reduce the overall risk of the dreaded tulip fire disease – a fungal issue caused by Botrytis tulipae. Tulip fire disease can not only kill your flowers, but also cause them to produce brown spots and become twisted.

2. Crocus

Another popular go-to is the breathing crocus flowers. Similar to the tulip, the crocus comes in a variety of colours which will work really well with any designed landscape. Shaped like small goblets, these flowers bloom in early spring and will light up your garden space with fanatics colours. Not only are crocuses beautiful, but they also provide many wildlife advantages. For example, they provide extremely valuable nectar to bumblebees – perfect if you are looking to make your garden more biodiversity-friendly. 

Whilst the classic crocus looks breath-taking in most gardens, we would recommend planting them in swathes. These plants are small but mighty – by planting them in groups you can be sure that they will make the desired impact you are after. Also, if you opt for crocuses, then you can be assured you are getting some resilient bulbs – they will continue to pop up year after year.

3. Daffodils

Now, would it truly be spring without the mention of daffodils? They are better known as the ‘birth flower’ of March and symbol new beginnings – much like the arrival of spring. Not to mention, their eye-catching yellow will add a pop of colour to any flower display. 

The daffodil, or as they are sometimes called in the UK, lent lilies, are best planted in early autumn or September. Whilst daffodils can take a while to establish themselves, they can be planted right up until Christmas time. 

4. Bluebells

If you are looking for a classic UK addition to your garden,  then you can’t go wrong with some bluebells. Like their name, you can expect a beautiful display of blues and purples upon planting these Hyacinthoides non-scripta. 

Unlike the flowers above, bluebells can take a long time to establish themselves and their rooting patterns. Once planted, these robust bulbs can naturalise freely and will continue to spring up over the years. They compliment tulips and crocuses extremely well as well as being useful to bumblebees and other pollinators too.

5. Grape Hyacinths

Another popular flower to plant in time for spring is the grape hyacinths.  The low-growing bulbs are a perfect design choice if you are looking for a dense mat of colour along the borders of your garden or in the flowering beds. For an expert gardening team, these flowers are easy to care for, as they are known to be unfussy and efficient in their own right. 

Alongside bluebells, these will create a beautiful cottage-style garden, which will invite wildlife in the springtime. If you are looking to offset the extravagant colours of your tulips and crocuses, then grape hyacinths could be an ideal addition. With their blue, pink or white varieties, you can add a specific colour to your ever-growing design.

What To Consider When Preparing a Garden For Spring Bulb Planting 

Choosing The Right Bulbs

It can be a difficult decision as there are so many beautiful options to choose from, but firstly you will have to decide with your design team what plants you are after. As well as choosing based on a colour scheme and general vibe you would like your estate, you can also think about diversity. 

As we’ve mentioned above, some flowering options are ideal for inviting wildlife into your garden. Your gardening team will consider the climate and growing conditions of your land and can recommend bulbs which they know will thrive as well.

What Location To Plant Them In

After narrowing down what plants you would like in your space, your team of gardening experts can start to look at the locations in which they will be planted. For most spring bulbs, they prefer a well-drained soil and locations with a good amount of sunlight. You may also be specifically picking plants to line a border of your garden or to fill a flower bed. The bulbs listed above typically require six hours of direct sunlight a day, which will also need to be taken into consideration.

Preparing Your Soil

With the locations chosen, your local gardening service will then begin to prepare the soil. This will determine the pH level of the ground and ensure that your plants will truly thrive. In general, bulbs prefer a slightly more acidic soil over neutral. This is because, in slightly acidic soil, bulb roots tend to function better, meaning that they take up water and nutrients more efficiently. If your soil is either too acidic or alkaline, then the experts will be able to amend it with the appropriate materials. This will adjust the pH of the soil and allow the new bulbs to flourish.

Also, they will take notice of how well the area drains water. In these beginning growing stages, it’s vital that your new plants don’t become waterlogged. By overwatering plants with there being no way for the liquid to move away will cause the bulbs to rot. Your gardening team will assess the situation and deem if it’s appropriate to add organic matter like compost which will improve the overall drainage of the area. 

The Timing Of Your Planting

We would always recommend planting your spring bulbs in autumn to ensure you have a garden full of beautiful flowers come March 2024. Between September and November is perfect for most bulbs, as this allows an ideal amount of time for the plants to establish a complete root system before winter hits. 

Spacing & Depth

The spacing and depth in which your bulbs are planted will be determined by the type of flowers you are using. As a rule of thumb, we would recommend that most bulbs be planted at a depth equal to about three times their flourishing height. However, your professional gardening team will be sure to utilise their knowledge when it comes to planting, to ensure that your outdoor space both flourishes and looks breath-taking.

Watering Your New Bulbs

Finally, watering your new bulbs is of the utmost importance. It’s vital that you have your new plants thoroughly watered to ensure they settle into their new surroundings well. Keeping the ground consistently moist (but not waterlogged) will allow the soil to settle around your new seedlings. 

To improve your plants potential, you can ask your local garden service to incorporate a balanced, slow-release fertiliser. This can provide necessary nutrients for the bulbs and help them bloom after the winter passes. 

BZ Gardens: How Our Local Gardening Services Can Help You

At BZ Garden, we truly take pride in offering our wide range of local gardening services. Not only can we aid in landscape design and planning, garden maintenance and general lawn care, but also want to enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space. No matter the season, our team of skilled and experienced gardeners are here to assist you in achieving your landscaping and gardening goals. If you have any questions or want to speak to one of our team directly, feel free to contact us on 01483 967160 or drop us an email at info@bzgardens.co.uk.