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Planting Bulbs

Most bulbs like a sunny place your garden, though lilies like their roots to be shaded by surrounding plants. Other bulbous plants, like: narcissi, hardy cyclamen and snowdrops, will thrive in light, dappled shade, for example under trees or shrubs, where they will make stunning carpets of color before the trees or shrubs will come into leaf.

Use spring flowering bulbs like: snowdrops, narcissi or Anemone blanda, in borders for an early start of your perennial borders. After flowering allow the foliage to die down naturally. You can mask the untidy foliage of larger bulbous plants by planting them towards the back of the border, with perennials in front. When planting bulbs in borders, space them about half as far apart as the height of the flowers to allow room for clumps to spread for several years before they will get overcrowded and need lifting and dividing. Snowdrops need to be moved after flowering but while the leaves are green, any other spring flowering bulbs will be moved in late summer. Remember to mark their place so you know where they are when the time to move them will come.

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To create a random effect when you want to naturalize bulbs in your lawn it is a good idea to drop some handfuls of bulbs from waist height and plant them where they land. Strip back a section of turf, improve the soil, plant the bulbs then lay the turf back over the top. Do not cut the grass for at least six weeks after the bulbs have finished flowering or until the bulbs foliage has died down naturally. If you cut them too early the next year flowering will be impaired. Feed both lawn and bulbs in spring and autumn with a lawn feed that does not contain a herbicide. Avoid planting bulbs too close to a hedge or they will starve.

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For formal bedding displays is good to use bulbs that are lifted annually and stored during the summer like: hyacinths, tulips or any others like those. After summer bedding is cleared, prepare the soil by forking in superphosphare then plant spring flowering bulbous plants. You can plant them in rows or in geometric-shaped blocks. After they finished flowering, dig the bulbs out while the foliage is still green to make the beds available for summer bedding. Heel the bulbs into any spare place in your garden to complete their grown cycle, then after their foliage has died down, dig them up, dry them off and store for the summer in a cool, shady place until you will replant them in your garden in autumn.

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Bulbs can be grown in containers: pots, tubs troughs and window boxes. They can be grown together with other spring flowering plants or alone. For planting bulbs in containers use soil-based compost. Plant bulbs close enough together so they are not quite touching and so the tips of bulbs are level with the surface of the compost. Place containers in a cool place in your garden for several months after planting while the bulbs are forming roots. Take care to avoid heavy rains and the risk of water logging. Move the containers to their final positions on your patio, terrace or by the front door once the weather has turned colder.

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Naturalizing Bulbs

One of the most effective and easiest way to grow bulbs is to plant them in a natural setting where they can be left undisturbed to spread and multiply. The bulbs will flower year after year with the minimum of maintenance, adding interest to otherwise dull areas. Bulbs can be naturalized in lawns, in borders or under the canopy of trees.

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