Bulbs are some of the easiest plants to grow and can make dazzling displays in containers or borders. They’re also a great source of nectar for butterflies and moths.
There are all sorts of bulbs available, in a variety of colours and flowering at different times of the year. Those that flower in late winter/early spring bring a welcome burst of colour and are particularly helpful to butterflies and moths, providing vital food for hungry butterflies that have been hibernating all winter, such as Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and Brimstones.
Here are some to try in your Wild Space:
These classic white flowers are the first to appear after winter, usually between January and March. Plant them in a partially shaded spot in April or May for flowers the following year. Choose a variety with single flowers, as insects find it easier to access nectar in simple flowers.
Some crocuses flower in spring, whilst others flower in autumn. Plant the spring-flowering varieties in the autumn, and the autumn-flowering ones in the late summer. Most crocuses like sunny and well-drained sites.
These small purple flowers are related to bluebells. Choose a spot with full sun or partial shade and plant in the autumn, for flowers the following spring.
With beautiful pom-pom flowers, Alliums are ornamental onions and come in many varieties. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil and most flower in May and June. You can buy ornamental varieties, but if you’re growing any onions, garlic, leek or chives, you could also leave some of these to flower for butterflies and moths.