Petal-Packed Power
Better Homes & Gardens Australia|April 2021
Your last chore for autumn is planting bulbs and the payoff will be wonderful

As fragrance wafts from their frilly flowers, spring bulbs are just what you need to turn the winter chills into the thrill of spring. And now – in autumn – is the time to plant your bulbs, while the earth is still warm and soft. Then, when the late winter sun starts to arch higher in the sky, they’ll jump up from their slumber, bringing your garden back to life with vibrant colour, vigour and passion. All it takes is a gentle nudge from that still wimpy sun!

MAKE YOUR GARDEN BED

WHEN TO PLANT

April in cool and cold regions and May in warmer areas when the weather and soil have cooled down.

SOIL

Well drained, because bulbs will rot if they are sitting in constantly moist soil. It should be slightly acidic, so dig in organic fertiliser before planting.

ASPECT

Most bulbs prefer lots of gentle sun, so avoid planting in areas exposed to hot afternoon sun. If you have a shady spot that needs brightening up, plant snowdrops (Galanthus sp) or snowflakes (Leucojum sp).

PLANTING

Check the packet instructions for how deep to plant your bulbs as the depth will depend on the variety. Generally, however, plant at a depth twice the size of the bulb. For a mass effect, plant about 10cm apart. Plant bulbs pointy end up, except ranunculi and anemone poppies. They are corms and tubers, so plant pointy end down.

CARE

Water immediately after planting. Apply slowrelease fertiliser just before spring as the bulbs – which are stores of energy – use much of this energy to produce the flowers. After the flowers fade, allow the leaves to return their energy to the bulb and only cut them back when they go limp.

1 Passion for purples

Can you take six weeks of this every time you step out your front door? That’s how long tulip flowers can last in your garden, especially if you live in a cool climate. These will certainly take the edge off the lingering chill.

2 CASTING SHADE

There’s always a place in your garden where the sun doesn’t shine, but a drift of bluebells will bring light and laughter to that spot. Bluebells also come with pink or white flowers, but how about these striped jingling bells!

3 GO UP A WALL

Hang pots up a wall and fill with daisy-like anemones (A. blanda), crocuses, dwarf irises (Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’) and squills (Scilla siberica), then throw in pots of English ivy, primulas and violas, just for the heck of it!

4 SUCH A ROYAL BLUE

Elegance, grace and regal beauty are the hallmarks of the Dutch iris ‘Blue Magic’. Grow lots in your garden, then cut them for a dramatic indoor display.

5 & 6 SWEET SUCCESS!

If spring has a scent, it’s the one that comes from hyacinths. Make the most of this perfect blend of sweet and spicy by planting along a path, or in a pot close to an open window.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BETTER HOMES & GARDENS AUSTRALIAView All

COOKING WITH KAREN

Add these fresh and fruity beauties to your summer menus

5 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

THE PAST can be PERFECT

LET HISTORY OFFER INSPIRATION FOR WHEN YOU WANT TO ADD TO YOUR GARDEN

4 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

STAND TALL

Create a sculptural storage piece that’s as much a star as the treasured possessions you’re putting on display

2 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

The Great Australian OUT-BAKE

Make a gingerbread homestead and bush critters for an Aussie twist on the traditional

5 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

SPARKLE & SHINE

Set the scene through touches of snowy white, gold and silver, with flourishes from nature for a look designed to captivate!

5 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

FOREVER FESTIVE

MAKE YOUR MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS LAST ALL YEAR WITH A TREE YOU CAN DECORATE, THEN PLANT IN YOUR GARDEN

4 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

GET THE DRIFT WITH BABY BROMS

ENGAGE YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY AND MAKE A NATURAL CRADLE WHERE YOUR LITTLE BROMELIADS CAN GROW AND MATURE

2 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

SNIP IN STYLE IT'S A SNAP

Embrace simple pruning with a twist to create a topiary or two that will work wonders in your garden!

3 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

CONNECTING THE DOTS OF FAMILY

When you gather together to celebrate and share cheer, the simplest conversation can become so much more

2 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
Christmas 2021

FRENCH - DOOR FRIDGES

HARVEY NORMAN PRESENTS

4 mins read
Better Homes & Gardens Australia
December 2021
RELATED STORIES

This Is Your Mind on Plants – A Gardener's Awakening

Michael Pollan is the much-celebrated, much-discussed author of many books that explore the relationship between humans and what we consume, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma. His latest book is This Is Your Mind on Plants. It explores the relationship between humans and three plant products that have shaped human culture and history: caffeine, mescaline, and opium.

10+ mins read
Spirituality & Health
July/August 2021

Botanical Garden

Jen Urquhart depicts scientifically accurate florals and botanicals in colored pencil

7 mins read
International Artist
June - July 2021

Grow Anywhere

Tips and tricks for modern container gardening

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Best of Both Gardens

Greg Loades’ book outlines how to fuse the elements of a traditional and new-age landscape for the perfect modern cottage garden.

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
April - May 2021

Bonding Through Birds

Kindness spreads through this Kentucky nursing facility, but it starts with feathered friends at a window.

3 mins read
Birds & Blooms
December 2020/January 2021

Junco family tree

Meet the many variations of this beloved snowbird and popular wintertime visitor.

4 mins read
Birds & Blooms
December 2020/January 2021

What is your favorite owl and why?

Readers share special memories and the species they think is most interesting.

1 min read
Birds & Blooms
October/November 2020

At the Edge of Lake Erie

Try these three activities at Point Pelee National Park.

1 min read
Birds & Blooms
October/November 2020

How Birds Get Named

Meet the committee in charge of naming and organizing birds.

3 mins read
Birds & Blooms
October/November 2020

Prime Time For Planting

Find Out Why Fall Is Perfect For Late-Season Gardening.

4 mins read
Birds & Blooms
October/November 2020