This Week’s Guest Blogger is Raine-Clarke Wills, a RHS Award Winning Garden Designer based in Guildford

Why We Should ‘Bee’ Planting Bulbs in Autumn

People often leave it far too late to plant their bulbs ready for spring. As the nights draw in and autumn begins to wrap us in its orange, effervescent glow, you likely have the taste of pumpkin spice on the mind, alongside the promise of cosy autumn walks, bundled up in your best coat. Spring certainly feels far away currently. However, there is exceptional benefit to preparing for this season now.

Autumn offers the perfect conditions to plant your spring bulbs, to give them the best chance of blooming in spring rather than summer. During September and October, the soil still preserves some of summer’s warmth, meaning the bulbs roots have the advantage of fully integrating into the earth, before lying dormant throughout winter. It’s currently November, but it’s not too late! As a general rule, planting bulbs up until December should still be sufficient, it just means waiting a little longer for your blooms.

When done right, one can delight in the sight of bulbs beginning to spring up from February onwards. The season opens with the exquisite beauty of snow drops (Galanthus nivalis), their delicate, pale petals a whispering hint of the stunning, visual cacophony to come. Following closely behind, the bodacious brightness of daffodils (Narcissus) begin to scatter in charming clusters, their tender, buttery shade a reflection of the much-anticipated spring sunshine. Hyacinths chase the daffodils with their charming, multi-colour hues and enchanting, textural beauty. Tulips (Tulipa) in hot pursuit, possessing the very essence of springs sensuality within their luscious buds. Before long, grape hyacinth (Muscari) enters, with her precious plumb tinged, indigo florets. Finally, Allium joins, a little late, a mesmerising orb, bold and elegant, she stands tall above the rest, her willowy stem swaying gently in the early spring breeze.

If this hasn’t persuaded you to spend a few hours flexing your green thumb, then it’s worth bearing in mind the beauty is not just a feast for the eyes of human beings, but the nectar produced can provide vital sustenance for our friends, the bees. You get to spend rest of winter in delicious anticipation, content that your actions have contributed fruitfully to natures remarkable eco-system.