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In pots and containers

 

It would be hard to conceive of urban environments without these elements. After all, they can perk up a spot almost instantly. Pots and containers offer hundreds of ways to make these sites attractive. The only condition is that the plants have to tolerate wind. Besides Crocus, Scilla, Chionodoxa and Grape Hyacinths, other good choices would be the shorter tulips and small-cupped daffodils:

- planted with a single variety of dry bulbs especially intended for a massive colour effect.

- planted with several kinds of dry bulb that have successive flowering periods. This will mean planting the bulbs in multiple layers, one over another, according to the “lasagna system”: early-flowering bulbs in the upper layer, bulbs that flower later and last in the middle and deepest layers. Result: weeks of colour!

- the use of “instant planting”. This method uses bulbs that have been forced in pots and then planted as mature plants as soon as their shoots become visible. Planting a number of these pots containing the same variety creates containers full plants ready to burst into bloom. Instead of using potted bulbs of the same variety, it would also be possible to combine varieties that will look nice together in patterns such as concentric circles. An example, from outside to inside, could be made up of Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades', Muscari armeniacum 'Album' and Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier', or an edging of Scilla mischtschenkoana with a cluster of Narcissus 'Jack Snipe' in the centre.

- Another way to use pots and containers that takes a bit more effort but provides a very attractive overall picture is the concept of “mini-gardens”: pots and containers filled with a number of small early-flowering shrubs accompanied by an underplanting of instant bulbs and biennials such as pansies, Bellis and Myosotis. The shrubs and biennials will remain attractive for at least 6 to 8 weeks. In the meantime, the bulbs will have to be replaced once, but the result is worth it.