Flower Farmer's Blog: Planning for Spring

Flower Farmer's Blog: Planning for Spring

Even with autumn barely upon us, we must look 6 months forward - Fran is getting on top of her spring bulbs and annuals. Find out what you can sow for spring now.

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With every week that passes, the end of the flower season draws nearer. It will take just one hard frost and for flower farmers across the UK, without poly tunnels, the fresh flower season will finish for the autumn and winter. As flower farmers we are already thinking of spring and planning what to grow (colour palettes, species, shapes, styles). Similarly, gardeners everywhere are likely to be pouring over catalogues planning and choosing spring bulbs.




There are a huge range of bulbs to choose from and they can be grown in every type of pot and in the ground. Snowdrops are the first to appear followed by the whole range of alliums, hyacinths, muscari, bluebells, tulips, daffodils, narcissi and more. For the vase and other flowery offerings, I will be growing mainly narcissi, tulips and alliums. Some of them will go into the ground and others will be started off in pots and crates which will then be sunk into the ground. When they’ve finished flowering, or been cut, I can easily lift them and move them to somewhere out of the way where they can finish their season. That’s the plan anyway.


pink peony headed tulips and purple anemones

Tulips and Anemones

My favourites are multi-headed fragrant narcissus, peony headed tulips mixed with parrots and viridifloras as well as alliums. Do you have plans for spring bulbs and what do you fancy growing? I remember growing some rococo parrot tulips in pots specifically for cutting. When it came to it, I couldn’t bear to cut them and so they stayed in the pots looking glorious for weeks. So, despite my efforts to encourage the growing of cut flowers, not all of them should be destined for scissors, but it would have been quite special to be able to cut a few to go into a beautiful vase.

In the meantime, trays of hardy annual seeds are growing well in the Rhino and I am pricking out and potting on as often as I can. The racking is filling up fast and the cold frame is overflowing. I am hoping to plant out some wallflowers this week, along with some hesperis, more alliums, and the rest of the foxgloves. I also have a few packets of seeds which include some very special sweet peas. My autumn sown sweet peas were fabulous this year and my summer sown ones are still flowering and fragrant. This reminds me that I must collect some seeds from the sweet pea tunnel. They are such great seeds to collect and sow for each year and I understand that they grow true to type.

Start planning for spring, follow the flowers and happy gardening.


Spring Flowers to Plant Now

Some of these spring flowers are getting close to the mark, but if you get them in the ground by mid-October at the VERY latest, you should be ok.

  • Daffodils
  • Crocus
  • Hyacinths
  • Grape Hyacinths
  • Fritillarias
  • Scilla
  • Snowdrops
  • Muscari
  • Iris
  • Lilies
  • Alliums
  • Crocosmia
  • Crepis
  • Hollyhocks
  • Sweet Peas
  • Aquilegia
  • Oriental Poppies
  • Hellebores
  • Foxgloves


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