A SUREFIRE – and easy – way of bringing colour and texture to the garden in summer is to plant bulbs. Ruth shows you how


A LARGE clump of colourful perennials, such as gladioli, agapanthus, dahlias or nerines, is a joy to behold.

I planted a batch of Gladiolus callianthus ‘Murielai’, because I love their delicate, star-shaped blooms with dark purple insets.



Here’s how to do it….

Step 1 – Before planting bulbs, prepare your soil by firstly hoeing away weeds, then forking it over to get rid of stones and roots, taking care not to disturb bulbs already planted. Finally rake over the soil to get a fine tilth.



Step 2 – This preparation may seem time-consuming but it’s worth it – look at these whopping pieces of flint I removed from the border!

getting rid of stones


Step 3 – Then dig your hole or trench. Because the soil in my border is quite stony and not particularly rich, I added some Growmore to give them an extra boost.

Adding some Growmore


Step 4 – Whether planted singly or in a clump, bulbs should be planted at three times their own depth – and a bulb’s width apart if in a group.

Placing bulbs


Step 5 – Cover the bulbs and lightly firm down the soil with the back of a rake, but not too heavily. Avoid treading on the soil as this can damage the bulbs.

Covering bulbs


Step 6 – Finally, mark where you have planted your bulbs so you don’t accidentally disturb them later on. I threaded a thin bamboo stake through the picture on the bulb packet. Then make yourself a well-deserved cuppa!

Labelling bulbs and cuppa

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