We get a lot of e-mail from people wanting to receive tulips in April. Wild about those beautiful flowers in the garden of their neighbours they run to our shop hoping to create their own little paradise within two weeks. Alas, tulips, like all spring flowering bulbs, have to be planted in autumn. But April is not such a bad time to order your spring flowering bulbs. Planning is also about combining. Take a good look at your garden today and picture what you could add next season.
The 3 step approach
The following 3 steps will make sure that you select those bulbs that match your garden conditions and wishes.
Step 1: select a wizard
Together with garden designer Jacqueline van der Kloet, TulipWorld has developed two wizards to assist you in selecting the perfect bulbs. You can either select on specific features such as fragrance, height and whether the bulbs will reproduce or perennialize. Or you can select on style features such as the appearance of the flower (cute, elegant, impressive…) and the style of your garden (romantic, modern, natural…). Use the Bulb Advisorto select on bulb features or Style Advisorif you want to select on style features.
Step 2: indicate your site conditions
Bulbs are probably the least demanding of all plants but there are some limitations. We have designed our wizards in such a way that you can easily filter those bulbs that will do well given your conditions. Simply indicate your climate zone, extreme soil conditions if applicable, amount of sunlight and the application (garden, pot or indoors…). The wizards will do the selection for you.
Step 3: indicate a flowering period
Bulbs are for all seasons. They are so predictable that we can chart them on timetables. In general one could say that the season starts with snowbells and goes from crocuses to daffodils and then from the early tulips to the late flowering species. Then it is time for the summer bulbs to show their colourful flowers. The summer season starts with calla lilies and goes from gladiolus to lily and dahlia. The year closes with autumn flowering crocuses and colchicums. Both our wizards give you the opportunity to indicate the flowering season. Select some species for every period and your garden will be colourful the whole year through.
When to order and plant
Bulbs need some time underground before they show their lovely flowers:
Spring flowering bulbs should be planted late autumn and can be ordered until the end of September
Summer flowering bulbs should be planted late spring and can be ordered until the end of March
Autumn flowering bulbs should be planted early summer and can be ordered until mid August
You will receive your bulbs just before the ideal planting time. It is however, possible to store them in a dark, cool and dry place that is well ventilated. Make sure that the temperature is constant. Do not delay planting the bulbs any longer then is necessary 14 days at the max. Remember your bulbs long for some cool, moist earth and they should be planted at least six weeks before it starts to freeze. For warmer climates or extreme cold climates specific instructions apply. See the section about lifting.
Prevent drying out
Some bulb varieties are quite susceptible to drying out, for example the Allium ursinum, Anemone nemerose and blanda, Eranthis, Erythronium, Fritallaria, Galanthus (snowdrops), Leucojum vernum and Lilium.
If your shipment contains bulbs that dry out fast and you want to store them, keep them in a pot or bag full of peat-dust or sand until you plant them. Anemone, Eranthis and Cyclamen need, in addition to this, the treatment of being soaked in water for 24 hours prior to planting them.