Bulb season is in full swing in April, with beautiful and varied bulbs to be seen in bloom, from magnificent swathes of bluebells, to richly perfumed lily of the valley – the ideal bulbs for April flowers.
A bonus to many bulbs is that they’re low-maintenance. Many native bulbs, including snake’s head fritillaries and wood anemones are generally problem-free and will largely take care of themselves once planted. They’ll also lend themselves to pot and container displays, where you can layer them to create a successional display of blooms.
Discover five beautiful bulbs for April flowers, colour and scent, below.
It’s this time of year that bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are carpeting woodland floors and springing up in the garden, creating a beautiful display. Bring a slice of woodland to your own garden by naturalising the bulbs beneath deciduous trees, or try growing them from seed.
The variation of tulips (Tulipa) is such that there are varieties to suit the punchiest planting schemes out there, as well as the most elegant. Happy in pots, beds and borders, most will be coming into bloom in April, plus they look marvellous in cut flower displays. ‘Jan Reus’ has deep, chocolatey flowers, while those of ‘Aladdin’ contain fiery reds and yellows.
Wood anemones (Anemone nemorosa) are charming UK native perennials that flower from April to May, beneath deciduous trees. Plant the pure species or cultivated forms like ‘Vestal’ en masse to create a sea of white, or combine with other woodland flowers like bluebells.
Lily of the valley
Renowned for its beautiful fragrance, lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) produces pretty, bell-shaped flowers from April to June, which appear amongst attractive, richly coloured leaves. Just as impressive grown alone as a useful ground cover plant, as it is combined with other plants. Here’s how to grow it.
Snake’s head fritillaries
Unusual and unmistakeable, native snake’s head fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) form pretty groups of nodding purple flowers, dotted with lighter patches. Tough and troublefree, they can be used to create bee-friendly pot and container displays, as well as looking beautiful naturalised in lawns.
Look out for mouldy bulbs
Before planting your bulbs, inspect them for any signs of mould. Any that feel soft or are visibly mouldy should be thrown away.