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Bulbs and seeds

Hello all,

I've got plants in my new flowerbed, a good mix of perennials and evergreens I'm hoping, and have started thinking about bulbs or seeds I can plant/sow to try to ensure there's colour all year round. 

Here are some photos of what I have so far and a very rough plan of what's planted where in relation to each other. 



Many thought, tips and suggestions will be very welcome!



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    As general advice, I would make the border deeper (as in remove a bit more lawn) Dew_drops.  Once the plants grow they will soon run out of room and overhang the lawn anyway so the grass will suffer where that happens.  The usual advice is to have a minimum border depth of 1 metre.  Making it curvy also always looks better too.  Love the fence colour! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you both!

    I went out and measured the border today, at the narrowest point it is just over 1m wide. I think it'll have to stay that width for a little while, I have arthritic hips (only in my early 30s image), and I don't think I could manage anything much wider at the moment. I've had two hip surgeries in the last year which has made a world of difference in many ways, but it still restricts me in some ways.... if I'm working in flower beds I need to be able to sit and reach everything from the grass or else I might fall and injure the plants (well, possibly myself too!). We've got a bed at the back of the garden that I dug out before my surgeries, and it's a bit of a nightmare keeping up with it at the moment, as to get to the plants at the back of the bed I have to crouch in the bed and it is a struggle to get back up again because the muscle groups I need for that movement haven't fully recovered. I should be able to widen it next year, once all my hip muscles are back to full strength. I guess that will also give me some time to work out what works well in that spot, and what needs moving to other beds. 

    I am planning to plant some allium bulbs, and would like some other tall plants to create a bit of height earlier in the year. What would you suggest? I'm a bit clueless when it comes to bulbs, but I do know we have a squirrel that loves certain bulbs, so I guess I need some bulbs that squirrels don't find tasty (do they exist?).  We also have a real problem with Lily beetles, so I've kind of given up on anything in the lily family.

    Seed wise, I am also pretty clueless and have very limited space for pots in our lean to, so I definitely think I need something I can just put straight into the ground next spring, rather than having to grow in pots and plant out. I've got poppies on the list, but that is it so far! So, any seed suggestions would also be appreciated.

    Thanks again.  

  • I have a pk of poppy seeds if you want them

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,832

    The first bulbs in flower are usually snowdrops but these are best bought as plants in flower or still with their leaves on as the bulbs don't store well dry.   You can also beg some from friends or neighbours next spring as trhey benefit form being regularly lifted and split.

    Crocuses are generally next but need full sun for the flowers to open.  Usually, white, yellow, purple or striped.   Lots of sizes available.

    Daffodils/narcissus come in a wide range of heights and sizes as well as colours now.   They'l be in teh shops from the end of August and can be planted as soon as you've bought them as they'll start putting out roots straight away.  In the taller ones I like Thalia and Ice Follies and in the wee ones I like Minnow.  If your garden is sheltered from strong winds, Pheasant's Eye narcissus has delicate flowers and good perfume.

    Hyacinths come in a wide range of colours now and are usually scented.

    Tulips like full sun and good drainage and are usually treated as annuals but if you plant them deep and choose your varieties wisely they'll come back.   I don't grow many except for some species as my garden is too fertile and moist.

    There are lots of other bulbs to fill the gaps - scillas, chinodoxias, dwarf iris, fritillaries, alliums for later on.

    Have a google round the RHS website for info on cultivation and websites such as this - just to get a feel of what there is and then go to yourlocal garden cnetre or big DIY store from late August on to see which ones they offer.  Too easy to go mad in a catalogue!

    There's some useful info here -

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you both. 

    Thanks for the kind offer Joyce, I have some seeds in a pack already and also plan on collecting some from the poppies that currently grow in the garden. 

    Obellix, thank you for such a detailed post, it is most helpful. I'm sure my grandma has snowdrops come up in her front garden, so I might have to ask her if she wouldn't mind donating some to me.  

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