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Perennials and bulbs:

ElothirElothir Posts: 94
edited February 2020 in Plants
Last year I planted a hundred or so bulbs around the garden. This year I was hoping to either try starting some perennials from seed or buying some potted plants depending on the type.

However, whilst I was intending to just sow a mix of annuals over/around the bulbs for the most part, there are a couple of spots I wonder about trying to get some perennials going. However before attempting that, I'd like to ask if anyone has any experience with the ones in question, and whether they would pose a problem in combination with the bulbs.

So for completeness sake, the bulbs/tubers/corms planted were:
Crocus (both winter/spring flowering and autumn flowering), Daffodils, Tulips (the small 'botanical' ones, but who knows if they'll stick around), Anemone Blanda & Coronaria, Snowdrops.

And the perennials we have thought about:
Echinacea, Coreopsis, Scabious (Mostly thinking the smaller Small/Columbaria types, but have wondered about the larger/wilder ones like Knautia Arvensis or Ochroleuca), Chicory, Musk Mallow, Aquilegia.

On a related note I have also wondered about Campanula trachelium for a shady spot where unlike the actual flower beds, the clay soil has not been loosened/improved at all, but as always there is conflicting information over it's thuggishness (or lack thereof).


  • I have aquilegia growing in flower beds where spring bulbs are planted and they don't seem to upset each other. Aquilegia are also great at self seeding, and they have a lovely cottage garden feel to them, if that's the sort of look you like then I'd say go for it - I really like them 🙂
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,007
    I plant bulbs among the summer flowering perennials. Works well as when the perennials come up the leaves help to hide the dying bulb leaves. Snowdrops are good with hostas as hostas die down completely in winter so I know where they are. I have daffodils between coreopsis, rudbeckias, phlox and knautia. But I have to cut down the perennials' dead foliage before the daffodils come up. In some places I leave the dead foliage until spring for wild life.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,815
    I think most of your bulbs would cope with any of your perennials as long as they are not planted too close. Crocus are more delicate however and won't cope with any over-wintering branches flopping over them. As long as you keep an eye on things when the
    bulbs start appearing and cut back the perennials if you need to, they should be fine. You might want to put some indicators where the bulb clumps are (if you can remember!) so you don't dig them up by mistake. I find wooden kebab sticks are cheap and unobstrusive.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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