Just as small spring bulbs arrive in the garden before the daffodils, you can have a
succession of bulbs in a container replicate the flowering. The key is to layer the bulbs in
the container with the smaller or early flowering bulbs above the later flowering bulbs.
Containers that are filled with bulbs can be displayed indoors or outdoors.
To have a succession of bloom from your bulbs you need to have a container that is large
enough to have several layers of bulbs. Typically that would be a container that has a depth of
at least one foot. The container should also be quite wide so that all the bulbs will fit in
and grow together.
When you pick the bulbs for your container Ðchoose early, mid and late flowering flowers. A
good example would be a few early blooming crocus and snowdrops alongside early miniature
daffodils with miniature iris. The early blooming crocus would be placed above the later
When you have chosen your container, put a layer of potting mix into the bottom. The level
should be approximately where the normal planting depth for the largest bulb or about six
inches below the top of the container for large daffodils. Place the largest bulbs upright on
the potting mix, and then cover them with more mix. Place smaller, earlier blooming bulbs on
the new, higher surface and cover these too. Finally add some small bulbs to the top of the
container and finish with a layer of mix that is just below the rim of the container. Water the
container well and place outside until spring warmth brings the top bulbs out of dormancy.
For indoor planting, or for those in warm climates, you can chill the bulbs for 3 months in
your refrigerator before planting.
Designing the layers is a very individual matter but aim to have one plant in bloom as the
other is going past bloom as well as fresh new growth to hide decaying brown leaves. You also
want to see as many blooms as possible, so aim to have later growing bulbs growing behind the
ones that are in bloom. One way to design the whole assemblage is to turn the empty container
upside down on a piece of paper and draw around the circumference. Remove the container and you
will be able to place the bulbs onto the paper and see where the individual bulbs need to be
placed to get the best effect.