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Bulbs for a large 'plant and forget' pot

Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 887
This is the pot in question, now empty. It's big, plastic, and not very attractive.

Given I won't be using it for any proper display on the patio with my nice pots any more, I have thought about sticking it down the far end of the garden and filling it with MPC and a load of bulbs.

When I say 'plant and forget' I'm meaning to leave the compost for years untouched. (the heather and leylandii that were in the pot were doing ok for the past 8 years since I moved here and who knows how long they were planted before that)

Given that lazy treatment, what bulbs might pack a punch and cope better than most? Can still feed them obviously.

Thinking alliums at the minute.


  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,942
    Don't know enough about alliums to comment although my chives etc never get divided or otherwise tended & they're ok (in the ground though). How about Tete-a-tete daffs & snowdrops or crocus for spring with oriental lilies for summer and cyclamen hedi for autumn? 

    I have much smaller pots than yours and the bulbs in those seem to come up each year in spite of all the neglect I can throw at them. The lilies haven't even succumbed to the dreaded beetle this year.

    You might want to bury a layer of chicken wire just below the surface to stop squirrels and mice digging up the smaller bulbs.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,312
    If it's going down the bottom of the garden, I'd put slightly larger daffs in as they are reliable and would make more of a show. Their leaves are tidier dying down than alliums as well.
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 887
    Yes it would have to be something on the larger size for sure, no dwarf varieties or crocuses.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,127
    Allium foliage looks dreadful after the plant flowers, so I would avoid those.  We have Nerine bowdenii in pots, the foliage looks good (if unexciting) for most of the year, and the flowers arrive later in the year, when there is often not much other colour in the garden.

    Another idea for you is Eucomis Sparkling Burgundy.  We have grown this in pots and in the ground.  The foliage is a dramatic deep burgundy, from the minute it comes into growth, and the flowers are very exotic.  The bulbs do grow in size and clump up (same for Nerines), so you may need to divide them after 3-4 years.

  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 887
    edited July 2020
    Hadn't thought of those nerines, always had it in my head they weren't hardy but RHS lists H5.

    Only thing might be the level of sun if I have it right down the far end against the wall, especially for when they flower. Are they a proper 'must be in sun all day' type of plant?

    On the daffodil front, this looks to be a new one and oddly enough one for the bees apparently-

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