Layered pot

Last autumn I wanted some addition cheer on the patio for the spring and I felt like experimenting with something new.

The basil and lemon balm had finished in a big aluminium tub so I turfed it all out and started to plant it with bulbs to come up in sequence (I hoped).

This was taken on 17 February 2021 and already the garden was starting to brighten up. I was getting slightly impatient with my new planter but now at least I had some crocus and the Hyacinths were poking through.

It was not until 1 March 2021 that I thought – yes this might work.

Three days later and I can even see the tulips coming through.

On the 9 March 2021 I judged the display to be at its height.

Today 19 March the display was starting to go over with the Hyacinths finishing.

I decided to measure the pot (51 centimetres or 20 inches diameter by 29 centimetres or 11.5 inches tall) and dig out my bulb packets as I was sure someone would ask me how many bulbs I had planted.

Starting at the bottom, I planted 8 early pink “Candy Prince” tulips and 8 late “Mount Tacoma” tulips. Hold on! There seems to be an extra packet of tulips unaccounted for. Where are the 8 double white late “Mount Tacoma” tulips?

It looks like there are more tulips to come! Better late than never.

Anyway, after the tulips I put a packet of 10 mixed Hyacinths. Then 10 Muscari and finally 20 Crocus “Sieberi”.

I’ve had a lot of fun planting and watching the bulbs grow. I don’t know whether they should be left until the autumn,then tipped out and sorted for planting elsewhere or whether they could survive to reflower in the pot next year.

I think there are too many bulbs to be left but I would really love to hear from anyone who has done this before or has some experience with spring bulbs.


26 thoughts on “Layered pot

  1. Very nice report of a very successful effort. I have done the same before with mixed results…not as good as yours. You used a larger container with much better results. I didn’t try to reuse the bulbs, just pitched the lot and got new bulbs for the following year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought I would have to do that but worse, I know I will not be able to waste them so I will have to find places to put them in the garden. Here the Muscari spreads nicely in the woodland area and the bees still enjoy the Hyacinths even if the flowers are thiner. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Paddy Tobin

        I’ve also seen it applied to a method of vegetable gardening – covering beds with cardboard and that with compost before planting. I don’t find it a good term.


  2. Eileen Ippolito

    Wow! I just happened onto your site and I’m already hooked! I live in Norway and have only a few snowdrops blooming at present. Your layered container is absolutely lovely! We tried layering daffodils and tulips in containers last year with some success, so we’ve done it again this year. Won’t see much till May though! I’m also interested in your bee boxes. Did you make them yourself? Are the for bumblebees?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband made the bee boxes. He has added quite a few over the years. I do not know if you have bees that nest in hollow stems in Norway, I suppose you do but it would be a good idea to find out what solitary bees you have in your area. It is incredibly hard to encourage bumblebees to nest in artificial bee boxes, I have never tried. Every year though we have one or two nests in the garden that we spot. Some nest in the soil and once we had red-tailed bumblebees nesting in a hole in the stone wall of our house. Amelia


  3. How pretty! Glad it worked for you. I have never tried mixing before but like the idea. I do grow tulips in pots, but I need the pots in summer for my geraniums, so I dry the tulip bulbs and replant them in the garden in autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that Cathy, I thought I could not avoid the garden replant. Wouldn’t it be nice to just leave them in the pot and get them to pop up in the spring? I think I would need to get plastic ones for that to work :). Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is an interesting observation because mine were so unsatisfactory also. They seem to grow like weeds for everyone else. There are some at work that do not bloom profusely, but do not die out either. I try to move some of them, but can never completely get rid of them. I would not mind if they stay, if only they would bloom better. Perhaps, like the hellebore, I should just take better care of those that are established, and not try to move them.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. When you plant bulbes in the garden they go in at different depths according to what sort of flower they are. For instance tulips and hyacinth go in much deeper than crocus. Often if you buy your bulbs in packets they will note what depth the bulbs should be planted at. I used the depths on my bulb packets to decide which bulbs went on the first layer at the bottom, the second layer and so on up to the top layer for my muscari which was just 10 cm. from the top. So each plant went in to a separate appropriate layer. Amelia

      Liked by 1 person

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