unnamedAutumn isn’t all about the garden going to sleep – in many ways it’s also a new start, and planting bulbs for the following season can almost feel like a beginning of the gardening year as much as an ending.

With this in mind our Grayshaw & Yeo gardening team attended a workshop with experienced horticulturalist, Tracey Bull of Surrey Hills Gardening School. The course covered a wide range of topics on bulb planting, selection and care – here’s some of Tracey’s top tips!

Bulbs can thrive in a range of situations…

…including in open ground, grass or shade, as well as pots and full sun. You can plant tulips into meadow grass in dappled shade or sun, and place irises in pots and tubs in sunny spots. For shady areas think about planting bluebell, anemone and snowdrops.

Bulbs aren’t just for the spring…

…there’s a range of bulbs, corms and rhizomes that will extend and enhance the garden throughout the growing season. Crosus, iris, hyacinth and daffodil will also flower in spring, while alliums, crocosmia and camassia will enhance the summer garden. Autumn crocus and nerines will also extend the growing season in to the autumn.

Bulbs are low maintenance…

…when purchasing bulbs make sure they are firm to the touch and not beginning to grow or showing signs of disease. Buy bulbs early in the Autumn to ensure that you are getting the best quality as they will have been handled less and go into the ground sooner. Once planted bulbs require wateringin dry periods, or regularly if they are in pots. You need to leave their foliage uncut after it begins to die back for a minimum of 6 weeks to allow the plant to store up energy for the following season. Cut and deadhead flowers. Only lift bu;bs where it is practical – i.e. in pots or dedicated beds. Once lifted discard any that are diseased, trim any left over foliage off and store in a cool, dry, dark place in nets or paper bags. If bulbs are part of mixed planting then its easier to leave them in the ground.

bulb-3What did our team think…

Our team loved the training and found it informative and entertaining. Here’s what they thought…

“I just want to say thank you very much for yesterday, it was really good and has kept me up to date with bulbs! Absolutely brilliant.” – Pippa Beeson

“I just wanted to thank you for the training last Thursday. It was very useful, particularly as this week I am going with a client to select bulbs for her garden.” – Victoria Hazard

bulb-1“The course was great, I’m very inspired! Busy looking at bulb catalogues!” – Sarah Jones

“I just wanted to thank you for organising the training session yesterday. It was really informative and so nice sitting in Tracey’s lovely kitchen with tea and cake than a classroom!” – Deana Horsey

If you’d like to find out more about bulbs then see the link to the RHS here. For more information on Tracey’s excellent courses please see the website here.