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I have just had this months edition of GW magazine drop onto my doormat and I see from the front page it is all about buying spring bulbs. In the past I have bought from Parkers and have had mixed results with some not flowering at all and others being quite poor. This I put down to me maybe planting too deep, not deep enought etc etc
From reading past forums I had saw that Parkers have had some mixed reviews which has got me thinking that maybe it was not me and could it have been due to the bulbs not being in tip top condition.
So wondered where all you gardeners on the forum buy your spring bulbs from and what kind of results have you had.
I've always found Bloms very good, plus Thompson & Morgan, although they can be pricey.
I use Avon bulbs. Not the cheapest but very good quality.
Parkers are fine if you can visit one of their GC, I can, to prod & poke! J.
Not had any problems with J Parkers bulbs - tend to do really well I found, though mainly the spring ones. The only bulbs that did not do well were the African Flag Lily that has done nothing this year - pretty sure they only produced leaf last year (looked like the leaves of Gladioli). I dug them up and they seem to be OK - dividing, so perhaps next year, sigh.
T&M are fine and there are offers all the time for Spalding. Tesco, Sainsbury and the likes of B&Q and Homebase do well as well - just make sure the bulbs look OK.
Just remember that bulbs need drainage, so add grit all around where you plant them with some bonemeal and they should be fine. Digigng a tiny hole and expecting them to grow can end in them rotting.
I find any bulbs from Taylors (a Lincolnshire company) are always good. Most garden centres stock them. I have ordered online from 'Garden4less' and have been very pleased with my purchases.
Has anyone bought from Sarah Ravens - been looking at her website and good selection of tulips etc ?
I get some cheap ones from Wilkos & B&M if I want to get the show going. I also buy from a local nursery. I'll probably buy a bag of cheap daff bulbs as well.
Lavender Lady- I 've looked at Sarah Ravens site a few times. Whilst I'm in no doubt that the quality is great, it is very expensive
Personally I would never use an on-line or mail order for bulbs unless you need something extra special that the garden centre doesn't have-far better to "see and feel" the bulbs
I notice that next week Lidl have big bags of tulips and daffodils for mass panting at around £6-you could pay that in P&P -it just depends on what you want/need and how big your wallet/purse is
I cannot resist cheap bulbs either. As long as they are turgid they tend to grow! January is a great time to buy spring bulbs cheap.
I've used Sarah Raven. Stuff can be a bit dearer than else where but there is a 10% discount for GW magazine subscribers and there are sometimes offers like free P+P or free bulbs. I have bought bulbs and plants and they have always been very good quality. Any mistakes are always rectified easily.
Oh, forgot, there is a 20% discount code for SR in this month's GW magazine!
I've always taken advantage of the special offers in GW mag who usually use T & M- although not spring bulbs, their lillies have all grown and been excellent this year despite the weather. Also purchased gladioli and they wouild have done really well if it wasn't for caterpillars eating their leaves
Bulbs like daffs, crocus and tulips I've purchased locally from GC, wilkinson's, Aldi and Lidl - you can see the bulbs and there's no P & P.
Mine have mostly been planted in pots. Planting at the right depth improves the chances of the bulbs growing. FB and B mixed in the compost at the bottom of the pot also helps, along with perlite and a good watering at the time of planting. They are then put in a spot out of direct sunlight and forgotten about until bulbs start appearing in the garden-usually crocus first and then all the pots are brought out from their winter hiding place.
My spring bulbs did really well this year.
Mail order I have found to be good if you want named varieties are Pottertons, Broadleigh Gardens, Miniature Bulbs of Knaresborough, Pitcairn alpines, and Kevock Gardens, all of whom have web sitesAs others have said the supermarkets can be excellent and towards the end of season have stock reduced. As long as the bulbs are sound late planting will not be a problem
Have bought once or twice from mail order but prefer to buy locally or where I can see the bulbs, then you know the condition they are in. I also have problems when planting in the garden as to which depth to put them in at. Maybe this explains why some don't appear.
Ive bought bulbs from wilkinsons, not a huge selection but mostly good quality and no postage. Only problem i have now is where to put them all, think i will dig up a bit more lawn so i can have bigger flower beds.