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layering for pots including allium bulbs

Hi everyone,have just bought a 37cm vintage look pot and some allium bulbs but would like tips and ideas for other bulbs  and plants to provide some interest all year round. Haven't grown alliums before so a little unsure how to layer the pot and what with.The alliums are just a mix of smallish bulbs,no large ones in there I suspect.Your help would be much appreciated as a pot just filled with compost will look pretty boring until the alliums come through,thanks in advance.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,811

    Hi Linda, when you say 37 cm, is that diameter? The volume of the pot will determine just how much you put in. image

    Having said that, the rule of thumb for bulbs is that you bury them twice to three times their depth - a 2" daff will need about 4" soil above it, so the hole will be 6" deep. The smallest bulbs will therefore be nearest the top of the pot. If you have a mix, layer them according to size, but as most alliums are summer flowering, you might want to add some crocus or dwarf Iris in the top layer which will flower late winter/early spring.

    If you want something to last right through till the alliums are ready, you could use native primulas. These will give you a display in early spring and the foliage will last well  too. Mine flower on and off for ages. They prefer shade so you may need to have them in a slightly different spot - near a window is good so that you can see them - and then move the pot to a sunnier site when the alliums start to come through. Some of the grasses would also do the job. The more 'mop headed' kinds are ideal, like Festucas ( there are many blue varieties readily available) or Carexes (Evergold is a good green/gold variety). They will give you cover right through the winter and spring, and the alliums will grow through them. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you fairygirl for your response.I will certainly try the suggestions and am now off out to see what I can find to try out your ideas


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,811

    The dwarf Iris are particularly nice. I love the really dark ones. They tend to deteriorate a bit with time - fairly short lived bulbs - but lovely when they're in flower.

     I think this one's Purple Gem but there are lots in that sort of colour

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,574

    Whatever you do, make sure daffs are earlies and tulips late. Last year i had tall tulips flowering before short late daffs. It got a bit messy.

  • Anyone  any tips on planting bearded irises. Please.


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