Add a splash of colour to your front door or patio
A show of colourful spring bulbs in containers on a patio or by the front door makes a real statement after a drab long winter. The container concentrates colour and is a real focal point and they are moveable delights so if in late April the weather is unusually warm they can be easily moved to a shadier, cooler spot to lengthen flowering time.
Keep planting simple is our best tip and always pick a container that is the right size and will complement your chosen bulbs so smaller ones if you’re planting bulbs like snowdrops, tete a tete daffodils, crocus or muscari and if you are planting a lot of taller bulbs like daffodils and tulips work with large containers that don’t dry out too fast like oak half barrels.
Bulbs are easy to plant so just fill your pots with a multi-purpose compost like John Innes , Groves own or a special container one like Gro Sure and mix with a handful of horticultural grit for better drainage. Follow the planting instructions and then water. One tip, it’s fine to plant them closer together in containers than in the ground for a fuller display.
You will find bulbs in pots need a bit more attention than if they were in the ground so you will need to keep the compost moist and protect from any frosts over the winter with fleece or bubble wrap. If you have a problem with mice or squirrels it’s advisable just to cover with a piece of chicken wire to stop them digging out your bulbs and then when the first shoots appear you can remove it.
What to Plant
Bulbs tend to look best when you choose ones that flower at the same but If you want a variety of spring bulbs that will flower at different times choose a mix of daffodils, which flower from March or sometimes earlier, with tulips, which won’t flower until April or later. Use crocus or grape hyacinths to fill the gap between these two big-hitters. Take a look at our guide on layered bulb planting
to get this longer display
If you love tulips on their own then go for a colour theme rather than lots of different colours that can look messy. Dark and pale ones look good together as do a hot sultry combination of oranges and reds and a more delicate combination of pale and interesting colours especially if you use two or three varieties.
Hyacinths are also a good choice as they are packed with fragrance so are ideal by a door but they tend to look best when just one or two complementary colours are packed into a pot.
Another great feature about growing bulbs in containers is that after flowering the containers can be moved out of view while the bulbs die back and become dormant and can be replaced with another container full of summer bedding but feed them with a liquid feed to ensure they are good for next year and don’t disturb until the leaves have died naturally then the bulbs can then be planted out in the garden for next year or left in the pot to flower again