by Janis on 12th May 2023 / 0 comments

Was it a resounding success?

Last year we decided that we were going to plant out lots and lots of spring flowering bulbs as our garden and patio lack a bit of joyous colour during late winter and early spring.

We didn’t hold back; we purchased over 400 bulbs. I must admit that once I opened the box to reveal my selection of bulbs from J. Parker’s, I was beginning to regret my decision to buy so many.

Our aim was to brighten up the garden and our courtyard patio from January right through to late May; it’s amazing how much pleasure it brings when you see the first signs of green shoots breaking through the soil.


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A selection of the bulbs we purchased from J Parker for autumn planting.
Bulbs from J. Parker’s
Were we going to see blooming results from the fruits of our labour?

Discovering the lasagne method of planting

This was a big thumbs up

I bought our bulbs from the reputable J. Parker’s website. They were all excellent quality and healthy-looking when they arrived, which I was so pleased to see.

Prior to planting out our patio pots, I had seen an article about planting bulbs using the lasagne method. I read about this in a Gardeners World magazine.

Daffodils sprouting between already flowering dwarf iris plants in a container planted out using the Lasagne method
Lasagne method planting

The theory behind the lasagne method is that you layer your bulbs through the pot to get a succession of blooms from one container. I have since found out that Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands use a similar method to this to sustain colour throughout their spring display. Although I can imagine it would have been quite painstaking as they have over 7 million bulbs to plant

Therefore, after adding compost in the bottom of your container, place your late flowering bulbs, such as tulips, in first, then add further compost and add in your narcissus for mid-spring colour; then, for the third and final layer, add in your dwarf iris or snowdrops, which are early flowering bulbs.

Now, I must say that this method of planting worked a treat, and my pots are still in bloom in mid-May.

Which spring bulbs did we choose?

Did they all show their heads?

Just as the last of my bulbs are in bloom, I wanted to update you on how they progressed through the season.

So, I planted all our bulbs last October, which I had hoped was allowing plenty of time for them to become established in their new home and I think that worked out well.

A close-up overhead view of three pruple iris growing in a container on our patio in springtime
Purple crocus
For the later winter/early spring colour, I chose Galanthus Woronowii, more commonly known as snowdrops. I love snowdrops; when these little lovelies appear, it means spring is on the way.
Now, the snowdrops weren’t a success, unfortunately. What appeared to have happened is that we had snow in the southeast of the UK in early December. Then the weather warmed up, and by late December, the green shoots of the snowdrops began to appear. Then a cold snap came along, and that was it.  The dainty white flower heads never saw the light of day. Even the ones in pots on our patio.
A close-up overhead view of two purple and blue iris with drops of water on them
Dwarf Iris

Next up were the dwarf iris and the Rare Dwarf Iris Collection that I purchased were absolutely stunning. They were so delicate, and the tiny flowerheads were incredibly beautiful.

All the dwarf irises were a success; the only sad thing is they don’t last long. All the effort these little plants expel, and in just a few days, they begin to wilt; however, they are gorgeous while they last.

Three of our hyacinth passion mix, in cerise, purple & red, flowering in a container in the corner of our patio in spring

Our Crocus Species Collection was next, and these were also winners. I planted 100 crocuses, and they certainly added a bright wash of yellow and purple blossom in February and March.

For the months of March and April, the patio was really coming alive with our Rare Double Narcissus Collection and our Hyacinth Passion Mix.

The daffodil collection lasted so well and stood so proudly through the garden and in our patio pots I can highly recommend them.

One of my favourite spring flowering bulbs is Hyacinth; I adore the hypnotising scent that they impart. I put some hyacinths near our back door, and they were magnificent. The only thing with Hyacinths is that they are always top-heavy and start to fall over when they are in full bloom; I had to put little stakes in them.
Multi-layered yellow daffodils in bloom on our patio in april
Double Daffodils

Our following collection was Daffodil & Narcissus Mix; these were supplied free of charge from J. Parker’s, as I spent over £40. But how can you resist more daffodils? They always look so elegant, bobbing in the breeze through March and April.

My next selection of bulbs is the Relaxing Colour Tulip Collection. These were stunning; the enchanting blooms are still hanging in there, and we’re now approaching mid-May. I do love tulips; they are produced in some magnificent colours to accommodate all colour palettes.

A portrait shot of three dusty pink tulips planted in a container in front of a plain grey wooden fence on the patio of our garden
Dusty pink tulips

Last but by no means least are our Allium Sphaerocephalon, also known as ornamental onions. These alliums are just starting to show signs of blooming now and should last through June.

The attractive pink and purple heads are coming out and are standing so elegantly in our garden beds. I can’t wait for them to add a ray of colour to the garden.

So, to sum up, my spring flowering bulb success rate, I would say it was a resounding winner, the only bulbs that didn’t flower were our snowdrops, but hey, there is always next year.

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