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First Time Bulb Grower

I am thinking of buying some bulbs...recently received the Sarah Raven catalogue. Two questions.
1. Are Sarah Raven bulbs any good...they do seem expensive. 
2. Any hints and tips for growing bulbs for the first time?
Thank you.


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,308
    I'm sure they'd be good enough. Personally I'd go with a bulb specialist like Peter Nyssen as can imagine Raven must outsource the bulbs to a company like them and just add their own mark-up. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    edited August 2019
    For many years I’ve been very happy with Bulbs from J. Parker.
    If you subscribe to the Gardeners World  magazine you can get 10% off or you can look online where there’s always an offer to be had. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    If you're thinking of buying and growing tulips, be warned that many only flower well in the first year.  In the second year, you get maybe half as many, third year none.  Look for the ones that are sold as species or perennial tulips.  The flowers are smaller and less showy, but they keep going for years.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198
    It's easy to generalise about bulbs, but they do have different requirements - depth of planting, location, soil preference etc, depending on the type, so it's best to do a bit  of research before buying. The specialists offer that advice.

    I'd personally never buy anything from Sarah Raven because of the price. You'd get twice the amount of plants/bulbs from someone like Peter Nyssen, as @amancalledgeorge has already mentioned. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,722
    I started adding things to my basket on the Peter Nyssen site yesterday, then I had to pop out to the shops and BM had bulbs in, so I bought loads! 40 Thalia narcissi, 30 tete-a-tete, 15 nectaroscordum, 24 allium Purple Sensation, £20 for the lot :)
    They're most likely smaller than the ones from Peter Nyssen, Sarah Raven etc but are a lot cheaper too, and look to be in good condition (they weren't there on Monday so are new in).  Horses for courses.  I also regularly buy bulbs from DIY sheds and supermarkets if I'm not after anything special/unusual.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149
    I've bought bulbs from these people a couple of times.
    To be honest I just found the name really funny but they do have a good selection of bulbs on offer.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you all. Does anyone have any tips when planting to ensure a good success rate?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286
    Make sure you plant them deep enough ... at least as deep as the guidance on the pack. ✅ 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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