Plant your bulbs now and enjoy at least 100 days of cheerful spring colour.

By choosing varieties that flower successively, you can create a palette of your favourite colours in the garden from January onwards.

Even if space is limited, you can still enjoy a succession of flowering bulbs by planting them in layers in your favourite pot.

Easy to grow

Bulbs are amongst the easiest plants you’ll ever grow. Just pop them in the ground this autumn and forget about them until they flower and brighten your days in the spring.

And since most bulbs will re-appear each year, they’re also excellent value.

A DIY plant

The plant team like to describe bulbs as Mother Nature’s perfectly designed DIY plant kit!

If you could see inside the bulb, you’d find that there are already tiny leaves and flowers just waiting to grow and bring you their beautiful flowers.

But how do bulbs know when to start growing? They’re primarily responding to changes in temperature following the long period of low winter temperatures.

After flowering

If you’d like to encourage your bulbs to flower again next year, you should allow them to die back naturally.

It’s during this post-flowering period that the leaves build up food stores and develop the embryonic leaves and flowers for next year.

Once the leaves have died off, their work is done and the bulbs become dormant until it’s time to flower again next year.

A simple way to check if the bulb has entered its dormant period is to very gently pull on the leaves – if they come off easily in your hand, they can be removed; if not, they’re still building their stores and need a little more time.

First spring flowers

The earliest flowering bulbs may have to survive the harshest winter conditions and perhaps that’s why they’re generally smaller and closer to the ground.

So it’s no surprise that the first bulbs to appear each year include the dainty snowdrops (Galanthus), crocus, miniature narcissus and tulips.

Snowdrops and crocus are particularly attractive when planted in drifts and naturally do well in woodland settings where the tree canopy can help protect them from the worst of the winter weather.

Miniature iris, narcissus and tulip are next along, flowering between February and April. With slightly larger, more striking flowers they’re often used in rockeries and are an ideal choice for planters.

Miniature narcissus varieties such as N. January or N. February Gold flower first and add a welcome splash of very early yellow colour. N. Canaliculatus and N. Tete a Tete flower slightly later in March/April and bear attractive multi-headed blooms. Dwarf tulips such as T. The First are amongst the earliest, flowering in March with striking cream and red flowers, or T. Shakespeare with open, orange/red blooms flowering in April. Dwarf tulips are perfect for rockeries, planters and the front edge of borders.


There is an almost endless range of tulips; just think of your favourite colour, the sizes that best suit your garden, when you’d like them to flower and you’re almost certain to find a tulip that matches your wishlist!

After the early-flowering miniature tulips, the more impactful garden tulips can grow up to 50cm (20”) high and flower in April and May.

With the spring winds we often get in East Lothian, taller tulips are best planted in a sheltered spot such as against a wall or fence.

If you’re looking for unusual tulips, you might like to think about doubles, parrots, lily-flowered, species, viridifloras or fringed tulips. Some of these varieties make a remarkable addition to the spring garden, with their own wonderfully appealing characteristics.

So much more

Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas but there’s so much more to tell and we just can’t cover it all here.

You’ll find more online at and the plant team are always delighted to help customers in store.