BLOG: Bulb planting for Spring

Our volunteers help us in our dementia sensory garden

Our lovely gardener, Lisa Lempsick gives us some advise about planting bulbs:-

As the dark nights appear and the cold snap approaches, it is worthwhile making sure that you have got your bulbs in for the Spring.

The great thing is, compared to many plants they are an inexpensive way of brightening up your garden or outdoor space at the beginning of the year when many people are struggling to get any real colour in their garden.

If you do a bit of research you’ll find you can actually put together a series of bulbs that will give you continuous colour from January through to June. This will of course depend on what you actually like bulb-wise but I’ve put together some ideas here for you to pick and choose from or use as a framework. I’ve chosen bulbs from the J. Parker’s catalogue.


Month Name Height Flowering Period 
January Giant snowdrops 15-20cms Jan – Mar
Winter aconites 3-5cms Jan  –  Feb
February Single snowdrops 4cm+ Feb – Mar
Double snowdrops 10-15cm Feb – Mar
Crocus  ‘Barr’s Purple’ 10cm Feb-Mar
Crocus  ‘Ard Shenk’ 10 cm Feb-Mar
March   Crocus fuscotinctus 10cm Mar – May
Muscari azureum 15cm Mar – Apr
Narcissi bantam 30cm Mar – Apr
Double daffodils mixed 25cm Mar – Apr
Hyacinth ‘ Blue Jacket’ 30cm Mar – Apr
April   Muscari armeniacum 15cm Late Apr- Early May
Narcissi double Campernelle 30cm April
Jonquilla Narcissi mixed 25cm Apr-May
Tulip ‘Ad Rem’ 60cm Mid- Apr
May   Tulip ‘Black Parrot’ 55cm Mid-May
Tulip ‘Black Hero’ 60cm May
Tulip ‘Salmon Parrot’ 55cm Mid-May


If you want your snowdrops and winter Aconites to flower this coming January I would buy both of them ‘in the green’ as it’s called. That means you can see the flower you are buying, and check it has been correctly identified.

But there are drawbacks: plants sold in the green are often freshly dug, and haven’t benefitted from proper establishment after potting the previous autumn. Also, when digging plants grown in the open, roots can be severed, causing a check in growth.

If you’re happy to wait a year or two for your snowdrops and winter aconites to appear then your patience will be rewarded. You can then divide your clumps of snowdrops and you’ll find you have plenty to fill your garden.