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When best to plant bulbs e.g. daffodils and snowdrops

WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 215
I want to add some Spring colour to our front and rear garden. I'm thinking daffodils in the rear garden in a sunny border, and some snow drops in the front where it is full shade (part shade in mid summer). I know it varies a lot depending on the precise cultivar, but I'm reading mixed information on when to plant these bulbs.

For the daffodils I'm looking at Daffodil 'Minnow' bulbs which are available to buy now. The website they are being sold from suggests planting them Aug-Oct but another website says they can be planted as late as November. Have I missed the boat?

Snowdrops I'll have to do later next year, as we will be sowing grass seed on newly cleared soil which we will do in the Spring. Is there a better time to sow snow drops and is there a preferable type for shade (as opposed to light shade)?

Posts

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,251
    No, it's not too late to plant daffodils but the sooner the better really. They'll just flower a bit later on.  Snowdrops are much better planted 'in the green' (plants that have flowered) and are usually available late Jan/Feb. More expensive than bulbs though. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171
    You can plant them anytime really - even December. As long as they aren't allowed to get too dried out, they're fine.  :)
    Snowdrops are definitely better in the green. They mainly prefer dappled shade - they're woodland plants, so they get light before trees get their foliage. They'll grow in shadier spots too, and some sun if they don't get dried out too much. You'll get them until about March/April.
    They're barely even flowering here in February @Lizzie27
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 215
    edited November 2020
    Thanks both, I'll definitely order the daffs for planting ASAP!

    Our front garden is mostly in the shadow of the house (north facing) with some early morning and evening sun during the summer months, so we plan to sow grass (a shade loving variety) and some shade loving plants like Luzula Nivea, Cyclamen Coum, Geranium phaeum ‘Album’, Geranium himalayense ‘Gravetye’ and Liriope muscari in a border by the front wall/doorway. Are there any other shade loving spring flowering bulbs (ideally to be placed amongst the grass) we could consider instead of snowdrops if they're not likely to get any direct sunlight?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171
    Fritillaries - snakes head ones, as long as it's damp enough ground. If the snow drops are happy, they should be too. North facing is perfect for snowdrops  :)
    Crocus are fine too, although they generally won't open quite so well.  There are loads of varieties. I grow them in every aspect.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 215
    I will check those out! I absolutely love crocuses but worry about the low-non existent direct light. But I can always try! Thanks again for the recommendations :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171
    Native bluebells are also perfect for that aspect. Same as with snowdrops - deciduous woodland plants  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    Fairygirl said:
    Native bluebells are also perfect for that aspect. Same as with snowdrops - deciduous woodland plants  :)

    Absolutely agree ... but make sure you get the British native one Hyacinthoides non scripta, 
    and not the invasive Spanish one Hyacinthoides hispanica. The latter is not as pretty, is not scented, and is cross-pollinating with the English one and changing them 😢 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 215
    Thanks for the pro tip, @Dovefromabove :)
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