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Spring AND Summer Bulb Lasagne - too ambitious?

FiddlingOnFiddlingOn HertfordshirePosts: 76
Hello Gardeners,
I have an emptied large pot that I am planning to plant up with a bulb lasagne. At its widest at the top it measures 18" across and is 15" deep. I have bought the GW offer of 30 tulips  I thought, well this pot is big enough to take them so was going to add some other Spring flowering bulbs in a lasagne. Lots of advice out there how to do this, but then I thought what about adding some Summer flowing bulbs but when I look I can't find much on the internet about this. Is it because it's a step too far, in that there'll be too much old foliage getting in the way come Summer perhaps? Has anyone planted both Spring and Summer bulbs together in a container, and was it successful?
Any advice appreciated. Thanks.



  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,320
    Technically you can probably do it - they'll grow and flower. But if you want the spring bulbs to survive, you can't cut back the old foliage after they flower, so you end up with a tatty mess. They never look as good as the theory suggests - better to have a very short flowering season so the first to flower still have fresh green leaves by the time the last to bloom are hitting their peak. Then put the whole lot out of sight to die back over the summer.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,549
    I have done the spring bulb lasagna and @Raisingirl is right.  It's very messy as the foliage on the first flowerers dies down and by th etime the last layer is in flower it's looking horrendous.   Better, in my experience, to go for individual pots that look superb when filled with one flowering type and can be put somewhere inconspicuous while the foliage feeds the bulbs for next time and then dies down.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 4,039
    I’m not a fan. My feeling is that the dying leaves of the early flowers look tatty and detract from the appearance of the later bulbs. Colour coordination also can prove troublesome: my mother was a great fan of the ‘nice splash of colour’ school of gardening, to me it looked akin to getting dressed in the dark.

    My preference is to have just two impactful displays. A single display of daffodils or tulips then, as they fade, put them to one side and then replace with some summer annuals.
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,964
    With bulb lasagne the spent foliage of small early bulbs is hidden by the foliage of the next to flower(which should be larger) and a bit of evergreen foliage planting. But you will not be able to hide the spent foliage of the tulips! At that point the best thing is to put the pots out of sight. 
  • FiddlingOnFiddlingOn HertfordshirePosts: 76
    Ah, well that's been very helpful. I definitely won't be attempting a Spring/Summer combo. Perhaps I'll spread these 30 bulbs between two smaller pots and try to think of something else for the bigger pot. Or maybe just restrict the lasagne to just tulips and something early flowering and small. Mmm. Thanks all for your comments. Much appreciated!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,549
    @WillDB that's the theory but it hasn't worked for me.  Agree about tulip foliage.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,964
    I think I used Iris reticulata, Narcissus 'Tete a Tete', Anemone 'White Splendour' and Tulipa 'Ronaldo', with Carex 'Ice Dance' as a filler. They stayed looking good until the tulips went over.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,944
    I've never been a fan of the layering thing, but I can see why people like it. It needs good planning, and lots of bulbs.
    I prefer pots with one type of plant/bulb. That way, I can move things around accordingly and have a unified, or clashing, look - as the mood takes me. 
    I've made  a slight departure this year as I had a few strong pink bulbs of different types left after planting other areas. They largely flower at the same time though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,490
    Hello @lesleymardell .   I'd plant as many of the tulip bulbs as you can reasonably fit in the big pot, 8" deep and quite close together as a big display would look fantastic. You could then plant a smaller pot (perhaps a matching one if you have one) with the remaining tulips and stand it next to the big one. You need compost with added grit and chicken wire over the top if you are plagued with squirrels. I'm also keeping my pots covered with glass to keep all the rain off temporarily. I've got the same special offer so it will be interesting to know how yours turn out. Last year's offer was really good.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,944
    That's my preference too @Lizzie27. Keep the uniformity by having well filled pots, choose colours which work together, and keep the pots similar in colour/ texture, but differing sizes or shapes. That give far more impact than lots in different colours and sizes in one pot. :)
    It's the same as doing hard landscaping - stick to a few types/colours, otherwise it gives you a headache rather than contentment.  ;)
    Layering needs thought - and a decent sized pot, to look right IMO. That way, you can have a single, big statement which can be replaced, if desired, after it's finished. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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