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Flowering Bulbs

The buried treasures in your garden…

Flowering bulbs offer a wealth of colour, form and structure to the garden. Many bulbs are fragrant and others leave attractive seed heads at the end of their flowering season. Versatile and easy to grow, the vast range of bulbs available provides flowers from across the colour spectrum for every month of the year.

Whether you carefully plan your planting to create a spectacular vision or less strategically scatter some of your favourites for a surprise appearance, as the seasons change, watch your garden come to life with the colour and interest flowering bulbs have to offer!

What are Flowering Bulbs?

Bulb is a general term used by gardeners for plants with a food storage organ that allows them to grow and flower once the optimum conditions occur.

Aylett’s Top Tips!

  • Buying – When buying, choose bulbs that are firm, fresh and feel heavy for their size. Avoid any that are damaged, soft, shrinking or showing signs of mould.
  • Planting depth – Bulbs generally need to be planted about twice their height depth.
  • Group together – Plant flowering bulbs in groups; odd numbers of bulbs in each group work best. Generally, the larger the group, the better the display looks.

Our Summer range is now available!

Summer bulbs take up so little space in the garden but add a real ‘wow’ factor, be it with punchy colour or exotic blooms and some have wonderful fragrance too.

Flowering bulbs can be used in containers, baskets and borders to add summer-long interest to your garden. We have a lovely selection of hardy perennial, or tender bulbs, tubers or corms for you to choose from, either by colour, in colour combinations or in themed collections.

Anemones – growing from small black, knobbly tubers, these flower through Spring to Summer in a range of vibrant colours. The flowers may be used as cut flowers. Likes a hot sunny spot. Hardy.

Begonias – ever-popular and reliable, these are grown for their abundance of single or double rose-like flowers, and their green or bronze foliage. They may be either upright or pendulous growing too, which lends them to being grown in containers and hanging baskets. They will also grow in sun or shade.

Canna – tall, upright stems of large paddle-like foliage in either green, black, bronze or variegated colours, with lush exotic blooms in a range of bright clear colours. Grow them in containers or the borders in a sunny position with moist well-drained soil. Deadhead regularly.

Crinum – this looks really exotic with long lush strappy foliage and 1-meter tall fat stems carrying pink, trumpet-like flowers. Likes it warm and as much water as is available – and it’s hardy.

Crocosmia – tall, arching, wiry stems carry long tubular flowers in yellows, oranges and reds, over green foliage that is ribbed or pleated. Sun or part shade in moist well-drained soil. Hardy.

Eucomis – named after the tuft of leaves on top of the cylindrical flower stem. An interesting late summer bloomer, flowers are white, cream pale green or purple, over green or purple strappy foliage. Likes sun and moist soil. Hardy.

Freesia – jewel-bright, trumpet-like flowers with a lovely scent in late summer. Grow them in a pot over winter, in a cool frost-free place, for spring flowers.

Gladioli – not just the flower spikes beloved by Dame Edna, and they are lovely as cut flowers, but dainty G. nanus varieties that are hardy and G. muriiielae, formerly Acidanthera bicolor with its heavenly fragrance from white flowers in late summer.

Hedychium – ginger lily, butterfly-like, lemon yellow cylinders of delicately scented flowers top tall of long stalks of paddle-like foliage, that can grow to 2m tall. Sunny site in well-drained, moist soil.

Hymenocallis – with soft yellow or white spidery, exotic daffodil like flowers, growing up to 80cms tall.

Lilies – beauty, elegance, grace and even some with fragrance, what more could a gardener want?

Mirabilis – four o’clock flower, so-called, as the flowers open late afternoon and have faded by the morning. Makes a bushy perennial with clusters of long tubular flowers in red, pink, white, yellow or magenta, with all colours appearing on the same plant sometimes.

Nerine – need to be at the base of a hot sunny wall to produce an abundance of sugar pink flowers from late September. Hardy.

Triteleia – dainty Agapanthus like clusters of rich blue/purple flowers in June. Likes a warm sunny spot. Hardy.

Zantedeschia – exotic wrap around flowers in a range of bright colours, the foliage of some varieties speckled white. Suitable for containers or borders.

Flowering bulbs to provide colour and interest during every season…

Flower: Feb-April/May
When to Plant: Autumn – for best results plant spring-flowering bulbs in September (Tulips can be planted as late as November)
Examples: Narcissi, Tulip, Alliums, Bluebells

Flower: mid-June onwards
When to Plant: Generally speaking, summer flowering bulbs are tender and should be planted after frosts have passed in spring
Examples: Allium, Lily, Gladioli

Flower: August onwards
When to Plant: Summer – plant in August for flower shortly after – foliage will follow in summer (August)
Examples: Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Colchicum, Dahlia, Eucomis

Outdoor Examples: Snowdrops, Winter Aconites (Eranthis), Cyclamen Coum
Indoor Examples: Prepared Hyacinths, Prepared Narcissus

Purchase flowering bulbs for every season at our St Albans based garden centre. Visit us in-store or contact our friendly team for more information.