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Annuals and spring bulbs

Hi! My hubby is building me two raised beds at the bottom of our garden. The house faces north but in summer the bottom of the garden gets a decent amount of sun as it’s away from the house. I’m thinking of trying some spring bulbs and hardy annuals as I’m new to gardening and my budget is fairly limited after renovating the garden!! How and when do I plant the bulbs and annuals in together? Probs a daft question. Or should I do bulbs in pots and annuals in the borders? Any suggestions for a newbie most welcome! I’m happy to experiment with which flowers will work in my garden as the cost of bulbs and seeds is quite low. Don’t want to shell out on lots of expensive plants til I’ve figured out what I’m doing etc. Thanks! X


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,687
    Bulb planting season is upon us so you can start planting now. The bulbs and annuals will be quite happy to share the same space though you will have the problem of foliage from things like daffodils slowly dying away after flowering and looking slightly untidy for a while, but foliage from other plants in the bed should hide that.
    Choose the site for the bulbs carefully because they will be staying in situ for some years. I always like to have some bulbs in planters because they can be moved about the garden to bring colour where needed and once they have finished flowering, the bulbs can go in the garden and carry on bringing spring colour for years to come.
    Some annual seed can be sown now or you could wait until spring to get started on those.
    Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003
    Bulbs need planting in autumn so you need to get them in asap except for tulips which are best planted in November to avoid problems they can get if planted too early.  If you're on abudget, stick with plants like daffodils/narcissus which come in various heights and colours from white thru yellow to orange and mixes and will give you a long flowerung season if chosen carefully.  Read the packs for this info.

    For best effect, plant clumps of them in groups pf 3, 5 or 7 and put them in deep - at least twice their height of soil on top of them.

    Crocuses tend to flower earlier and be very short so you could plant those in groups along the front edge of your raised beds.  The same rules apply about depth of soil over the bulb.

    Other bulbs are available but can be more expensive.

    Annuals are best sown or planted in spring, by which time you'll see where the daffs are and can plant around and thru them.  There are some hardy annuals that can be sown for autumn planting but I think it's too late for this year.  However, you'll probably find some cheap trays of winter floweriing pansies that will fill gaps for now and provide colour in milder spells thru winter as long as you keep them dead-headed to stop them diverting energy to seeds.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    You could sow some calendulas now. Now is the time when they naturally self-seed in the garden (and they do it a lot). Once you get them going, you don't need to ever sow them again, they will give you a lot of late summer colour on a budget.
    Nigella should be also OK if sown now and is a great self-seeder.
    Alyssum can be sown now or in spring and also self-seeds.
    Then you can add more in spring - for example zinnias or sunflowers - both easy and can be direct sown, or cosmos or whatever you like.
    Also look for something for bridging the gap between the bulbs and summer flowering annuals.
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