Create Beautiful Pots of Bulbs

Bulbs grown in containers are especially effective, since the colour is concentrated in a small space. It's even more attractive if the bulbs are combined with colourful bedding display plants to completely cover the planting space.


Begin by selecting your containers. By using three pots with similar shapes but different sizes, you can form an effective pot massing. A single large container can look good too. Small containers don't allow a really impressive display, so use the largest you can.


Make sure your containers have good drainage holes. As for your potting mix, use Debco BulbDebco Bulb Mix Potting Mixture for the best results. Not only will this mix provide the right blend of particle sizes but also the nutrients to support your bulbs and bedding display plants. Debco SaturAid is included in this mix, to ensure an even distribution of water and prevent water run-off which inhibits water penetration to the root zone.


Pour Bulb Potting Mixture into your container. Don't firm it down but gently rock the container to settle the mix. The quantity you use will depend upon the depth of your container and the bulbs you wish to use.


Select your bulbs to offer effective planting combinations. Firstly, colours should offer either harmony or contrast. For harmony, try yellow tulips with yellow daffodils; for contrast, perhaps pink or red tulips with white daffodils. Now choose your bedding display to match the bulbs. In the first case you might use yellow pansies, say 'Delta Yellow', with orange and yellow violas - 'Petite Citrus' would be perfect.


In the second case, Primula 'Ruby Lace' and P. 'Gilhams White' would augment the colours to create a fascinating colour scheme.


Secondly, use bulbs with different heights. A tall, elegant yellow tulip, say 'Monet Gold', would combine well with a shorter daffodil - Narcissus 'Jetfire' is a good choice. The aim is to create different layers of colour.


Thirdly, consult your nursery staff about bulbs that will flower according to your wishes. It may be that you want succession, with an early daffodil flowering before the tulip, or, as I prefer, both plants flowering together for maximum effect.


What is most important is that in the surface of your container, your chosen bedding plants will provide great colour while your bulbs are still growing. The bulbs will spear through your plants without any problems. Bulbs need to be planted at different depths. As a guide, plant them at a depth equal to twice their width, say 150mm for daffodils and 120mm for tulips.


Plant bulbs in containers more densely than in the garden, but not touching. If you can see the nose of the lower bulb through the mix then you can see where to place the upper bulbs. They should not be directly over each other for obvious reasons.


If the depth requirements of your lower bulbs mean that the nose of your bulbs is likely to be covered by mix before you plant the upper layer, it is important to note the location of the lower bulbs. A simple tip is to use satay sticks placed beside the lower bulbs to indicate their position and place the upper bulbs accordingly.


Fill your container with mix to within 75mm of the top. Plant your chosen display seedlings into the container and top up the mix to about 20mm from the top. The mix will settle a little with watering.


Soak the containers well and put them outside to grow. The result will cheer you in spring and give great colour to your garden.