What should I be doing in the Garden this month?
A Bulb Border
Spring flowering bulbs are an essential part of all gardens, every year bringing the first colour to the border after the largely dormant winter months. They are most often used to plant between shrubs and herbaceous plants or to fill any gaps. Another less used approach is to plant a bulb border. Bulbs can be just as permanent as our herbaceous plants as most will increase year on year adding more and more colour over time.
Many bulbs can be planted in the partial shade of trees and in cold northerly positions where few other plants will thrive. When planting a bulb border I try not to plant too formally, but plant in drifts or clumps trying to achieve a natural effect. To stick with your plan it is useful to mark the areas for planting with lines of sand. As a general rule taller varieties are planted at the back slowly graduating to the shorter varieties at the front.
Don’t be too rigid in your approach. Taller plants placed strategically towards the front or middle of the border help draw the eye and add important depth perception especially when viewed from different angles. A few taller alliums planted in a drift of shorter varieties can be quite stunning.
Many of the more inexpensive bulbs can be planted in large drifts to compliment some of their more expensive hybrid cousins. Particular genus to consider are species tulips, dwarf daffodils, alliums, fritillaria, muscari, leucojum, camassia, anemone blanda, ornithogalum and scilla.