advice needed re bulbs

(8 Posts)
NotAnEMERGENCY Mon 07-Nov-16 13:20:39

Some questions:

1) I am interested in getting the following bulbs: crocus, snowdrops, tulips, cyclamen, muscari armeniacum and allium? When is the latest I can plant them? The B&Q website seems to suggest Dec for all (except no info for cyclamen). Crocus website suggests Oct for crocus & snowdrops, Dec for tulips. (Also no info for cyclamen.) Does that mean I've missed the boat?

2) Where is my best bet for buying bulbs/corms etc? I'm a novice and I don't need anything fancy. I just want something reliable and easy. For this reason, I am getting a lot of the perennials for my new border from Crocus. I know it's a bit more pricey but it feels 'safe'. Should I just get bulbs from there too or is there another place that would be better for bulbs? (The supermarkets don't necessarily have the specific colours I want.)

2) Crocus sells both cyclamen bulbs and cyclamen plants in 9cm pots. Are the pots likely to only have one bulb? Is there an advantage to buying them in pots? I am starting from scratch with this border and it is completely empty so for the shrubs/perennials I decided it was worth spending a bit more on bigger pots (2l geraniums, 7l viburnum...) Would the same apply for bulbs?

3) I already have loads of bluebell bulbs that I lifted from the border in June before it was renovated. I've been storing them in pots and quite a few have started sprouting over the last few days. Does this mean they won't be flowering in spring next year? Is there anything I should be doing to discourage the remaining ones from popping up now already?

aircooled Mon 07-Nov-16 14:27:58

If you're planning to buy lots of bulbs you could place an order with Parker's wholesale section, they have a great selection of tulips and many other bulbs. It's not too late, I'm only just planting my tulips now! In the spring they have dahlias, iris, gladioli etc. Don't bother with any of the nursery stock though, I've found it disappointing.
www.dutchbulbs.co.uk

For perennials I would go to a local nursery (rather than garden centre) in the spring, it should be cheaper and they will be more knowledgeable.

Sosidges Mon 07-Nov-16 14:38:00

It depends how wet and cold it is. I am close to London so very warm. I always leave my planting until late November.I once found some forgotten daffs in January. I took a chance and they still came up.

Crocus have lots of offers on bulbs at present. Just don't do what I did and fill up A shopping basket completly missing the Out of stock sign.

Big stores have lots of bulbs on offer at present.

PurpleWithRed Mon 07-Nov-16 15:10:23

In my experience bulbs are very tolerant of planting dates and you can shove most of them in up till the end of january if you find them forgotten in a corner of the shed.

Agree with Parkers for bulbs. Sarah Raven for bulb porn, her selections are excellent but pricey, see if you can source the varieties elsewhere but if you want to splash the cash that's where I get special tulips and dahlias. Crocus are very good for perennials, and do sales a few times a year that are well worth attending.

Cyclamen bulbs can be unreliable and fail to establish but are lower priced. Pots give instant gratification and you can see the colours. Up to you.

It is generally not worth buying bigger plants - the smaller ones will establish more quickly and catch up with the bigger ones in no time. Sorry.

The bed is still likely to be full of bluebell bulbs, the ones in pots should be fine if you pop them in the ground now. Were they English bluebells?

Trethew Tue 08-Nov-16 00:13:47

I used to use Sarah Raven but had too many wrong varieties, and they are extremely expensive. I now use Peter Nyssen. Never had a duff bulb from them, and they are reasonably priced
www.peternyssen.com/

shovetheholly Tue 08-Nov-16 07:38:15

I agree with Parkers being bargainous - though I have had the odd bulb from there that was in the wrong box, they are so inexpensive that I haven't been able to muster much annoyance!

I think people are spot on that the window for bulbs is quite large. I ordered 300 crocuses late last year - bought from Parkers - and then couldn't get them in until early December because I was really unwell. They were absolutely fine, though they did flower slightly later, as you might expect.

Also, they were planting tulips on GW, and saying how it was important to wait until after the first few frosts to avoid fire blight. I think I'm only just at that point in my northerly garden now - suspect that some of you in the balmy south may have yet to reach it! (But snow is coming).

Secret Gardening Club are fab for perennials. Not so much for bulbs. www.secretgardeningclub.co.uk/

Sosidges Tue 08-Nov-16 08:51:00

Van Meuwan have an offer of 200 bulbs for £5.

NotAnEMERGENCY Tue 08-Nov-16 12:16:38

Brilliant advice (as always)! I will look up your suggestions online. Thank you!

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