Dig around now for best spring bulbs

Dig around now for best spring bulbs

Summer’s on its way out so it’s time to get planting those new bulbs, says Hannah Stephenson.

As you plant your new spring bulbs why not turn over a new leaf and try something different?

Bulb specialists and other outlets have a host of options to create a riot of colour in spring, or you could opt for some more unusual eye-catching varieties.

Here are some of the new and unusual spring bulbs.

Fritillaria persica

Known as purple dynamite, this new hybrid of the persica family has wonderful shiny flowers of a deep purple black, and grows to 60cm to 90cm.

It’s ideal for free-draining sunny borders and looks stunning grown alongside Fritillaria persica ivory bells, as the creamy white flowers are such a great contrast. Left to naturalise, it will work well planted with eremurus.

Iris Germanica

Iris germanica or bumblebee deelite is a pretty miniature bearded iris. It bears dainty yellow and purple flowers, producing up to five flowers per stem. 

Grow it in full sun in well-drained soil and fertilise the soil every spring, as these little plants are hungry feeders.

Dig around now for best spring bulbs

Tulipa clusiana

The elegant tulip, also known as tinka, is among those cultivars that are sometimes overlooked but make easy plants for a sunny bed or rock garden, or in a pot. 

They may also thrive without being lifted. ‘tinka and ‘honky tonk’ are two of the newest and among the best. 

‘Tinka’ is an eye-catching addition to a sunny rock garden, bearing slender flowers of pure yellow with deep red outer petals. As the plant ages it develops an apricot hue.

Dig around now for best spring bulbs

Narcissus

Also known as snowy mountain, this new daffodil recently received a five- star rating from Which? Gardening, the Consumers’ Association magazine. 

It reported that this statuesque variety has grey-green leaves and stems which complement the large white flowers very well, creating a cool, colour combination. 

The stems stayed strong and straight when the flowers were open, and the large blooms had impressively long trumpets, blooming for around four weeks.

There are so many daffodils on the market: ‘frosty snow’, is a lovely new large cupped variety that has snowwhite flowers with a soft lemon cup that matures to white with a rim of pale yellow. 

It looks superb grown with narcissi ‘avalon’ or ‘accent’ and sits well in the border or in containers. Feed with bonemeal or tomato food during the leaf and flower stage.

If you want a dwarf variety that packs a punch, look out for ‘double doy’, the double form of the old favourite ‘Jetfire’, which is ideal growing in containers or at the front of borders. 

For a cool white type, try ‘polar ice’, available from Dobies.

Dig around now for best spring bulbs

Eranthis hyemalis

This rare winter aconite, also known as pauline, is pale lemon, with delicate flowers surrounded by deep green leaves. 

Plant it in the shady areas of the garden alongside snowdrops or chionodoxa for a dazzling display early in the spring. 

It should naturalise well and come back year after year.

Gold Waxed Amaryllis

This huge bulb arrives in a golden, waxed coating, so no plant pot is needed to add sparkle to your houseplant.

Start the bulb off in September indoors and by Christmas you should have a large, deep red amaryllis (hippeastrum).

From one bulb at least one large, tall stem will emerge, which may branch and form several saucer-size blooms, just in time for the festive season. 

Flowers continue for weeks for a welcome, long display into January.

Tulipa ‘Brownie’

The rich copper hues of this unusual double tulip makes it one to include in the list. 

It is short stemmed, which helps stop it flopping when the heads become heavy in the rain, and does best in full sun, although try to avoid windy spots.

Don’t plant these bulbs until late October or early November, when frost should have reduced the level of disease in the soil.

More on this topic

Gardening Notes: Your one-stop guide to the week's eventsGardening Notes: Your one-stop guide to the week's events

Don’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winterDon’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter

Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winterRowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

Gardening Notes: Lots to do all over Cork in the coming weekGardening Notes: Lots to do all over Cork in the coming week

More in this Section

You've Been Served:  Sinead McDonald of The River Lee on life as a Brand ManagerYou've Been Served: Sinead McDonald of The River Lee on life as a Brand Manager

Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquilityThe Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

‘Bashing’ invasive plants‘Bashing’ invasive plants


Latest Showbiz

The singer rapped for Barack Obama during his time as president. Lin-Manuel Miranda appalled at ‘swagger’ of White House performance

The pair worked together on US series Suits. Wendell Pierce: Duchess of Sussex has dealt with trolls beautifully

More From The Irish Examiner