Bulb lasagnes. Bulb lasagnes. Bulb lasagnes...
And, as it's all to do with planting spring bulbs, it couldn't be more timely, either.
So, what is a bulb lasagne?
The term 'bulb lasagne' has steadily been growing traction on TikTok this month, but it's actually been popular with gardening experts for a while.
'A bulb lasagne involves planting layers of spring flowers – daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs, grape hyacinth bulbs, you name it! – in a single container or garden bed to create a beautiful layered display of blooms,' explains Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors of Gardens Revived.
A gardener with over a decade of experience under his belt, Christopher set up Gardens Revived with his brother, Andrew, in 2018 to create a thriving family business. Together, they have worked on residential gardens, listed buildings and gardens, flower shows and large estates with some exceeding 70 acres – many with historical significance.
It's a technique that Zoe Claymore, who recently won a gold medal at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, is very fond of.
'Now is a great time to start making a pot bulb lasagne,' she says, adding that gardeners can get a 6-month display if they go about the planting process correctly.
Zoe Claymore is a multi award winning garden designer based in London. She focuses on creating outdoor places with emotional connection and ecological integrity, for her private and commercial clients.
So, how does one go about making a bulb lasagne?
'Get a container and plant the bottom with spring bulbs in layers, such as tulips, daffodils, and crocuses,' says Zoe.
'Top this off with a potted plant mix of things like ivy, skimmia, cyclamen, pansies and santolina for a vibrant colour display.'
To break things down a little further for you, we've pulled together an easy how-to guide to planting a bulb lasagne.
It's going to be bellissimo!
What you will need:
To create an effective bulb lasagne, you'll need to source the following:
- A container with drainage holes/garden bed
- Well-drained soil/three parts John Innes No 2 compost mixed with one part grit
- A selection of large bulbs (daffodils and tulips are both excellent options)
- A selection of medium bulbs (hyacinths and crocuses are ideal)
- A selection of small bulbs (think grape hyacinths and snowdrops)
- A mix of potted plants and winter flowers
Now you've sourced your tools (and are surrounded by what feels like hundreds of bulbs), it's time to get cracking with our bulb lasagne – ideally before that all-important autumn date and its big weather shift rolls around.
Ready, set, go...
1. Choose the right setting
You need to make sure your container has drainage holes, or your chosen garden bed has good soil drainage. We won't bore you again with our warnings about overwatering your plants, but you get the picture: you don't want your bulbs to sit soggy.
2. Get layering
As the name bulb lasagne suggests, you want to plant your bulbs in layers (just imagine them as pasta sheets, we guess), with a couple of inches of compost between each layer.
'Plant large bulbs that require deep planting, like tulips and daffodils, at the deepest level,' says Christopher. 'This should be around 8-10 inches deep.'
Next, you want a layer of bulbs that require a medium planting depth.
'That's your hyacinths and your crocuses,' says Christopher, noting these should sit at around 5-7 inches deep.
'Finally, you want your top layer to be your shallowest bubs, such as grape hyacinths. Keep these close to the surface, around 2-4 inches deep'
3. Water and mulch
You'll definitely want to water your bulbs after planting, to settle the soil and promote good root growth.
Christopher also advises applying a layer of mulch to help regulate soil temperatures and conserve moisture over the winter.
4. Top it off
Finally, so long as you adhere to the specific planting instructions around your bulbs and plants in terms of spacing and timing, Zoe says you should top them with a few potted plants for added interest: aim for a mix of winter flowers and foliage.
And just like that, we're craving Italian food every bit as much as we're dreaming about spring flowers blooming in the new year. We're off to source a snack...
What is a bulb lasagne?
A bulb lasagne is a planting technique that involves layering spring bulbs in a container or garden bed, to create a vibrant and colourful display that spans several months.
While many aim for a three-layered bulb lasagne, you can drop it down to two layers if you need to.
What bulbs to use in a bulb lasagne?
The best bulbs to use in a bulb lasagne are a mix of large bulbs (such as daffodils and tulips), medium bulbs (hyacinths and crocuses), and shallow bulbs (grape hyacinths and snowdrops).
What do you put on top of a bulb lasagne?
Pansies, cyclamen, heathers, and other winter flowers are excellent options for the top of your bulb lasagne. It's also a good idea to mix in some foliage, like ivy, to add a little extra lushness.
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Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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