Spring bulbs

spring bulbs to plant with children

We are really enjoying gardening with our children and want to carry on growing through autumn and winter. Last week we listed our winter/early spring vegetable suggestions to start planting now, but there is of course the other plant to think about at this time of year, the spring bulb. This is an important one as a colourful display of flowers can lift mood and incite promise and enthusiasm for the coming year after a dark dormant winter. Planting spring bulbs is a fun gardening activity for children and these bulbs should be fairly easy for young ones to plant, just make sure they go in right side up and the soil is worked and light. Turning the soil and adding compost is great preparation for new spring bulbs going in and will help them get established before winter.

Planting spring bulbs with children

Puschkinia:
Sometimes referred to as a russian snowdrop, the plants don’t have variations as far as I’m aware but their blue striped flowers are a welcomed sight in spring. This is one of our favourites although not a traditional British flower associated with spring.

Puschkinia spring bulb
The Puschkinia is named in honour of the Russian botanist Apollo Mussin-Pushkin.

Double Snowdrop:
The snowdrop is well known as being the first flowers to appear in the year and are a sign that the seasons are changing and to be ready for the spring time. This double flowered cultivar might not appeal to some as the regular snowdrop has a kind of elegance but our daughter always prefers double flowered types, the more petals the better and I think most children are the same.

double snowdrop spring bulb
The double snowdrop is a hardy spring bulb that will flower at the first sign of spring.

Crocus:
A favourite of our daughter, they come in a range of colours with pretty thin green and white leaves. These are very compact plants and fit in well amongst others plants.

purple Crocus spring bulb
Crocuses are cultivated for their flowers which can appear in autumn, winter and spring adding a touch of colour to a winter garden.

Dwarf Daffodil:
These are a lovely classic flower I think all gardens should have and the dwarf cultivars are so much more interesting to young children being a convenient size for picking. In addition to dwarf flowers there are also strong scented cultivars and many others in a variety of pretty colours. Some of my personal favourites are not in the dwarf varieties but this is for the kids.

dwarf daffodil spring bulb
The Dwarf Daffodil will happily grow in a small pot indoors. This would make a nice growing project for the kids to do over winter.

Hyacinth:
Well known for its’ scented flowers and short height this is a great one for kids to sniff and enjoy and helps remove some of the gloom still lingering from winter with it’s bright colours. The bulbs can be a mild skin irritant so gloves are advised for young ones planting these.

Purple Hyacinth spring bulb
Hyacinths come in a range of colours including purple, blue, white, orange and red.

Lesser Celandine:
OK so this one isn’t a bulb but we ¬†love how easy it is to grow, it will either come as a tuber or plant. I tried to pick the easiest plants to grow with pleasing results for kids. However this is the only plant on the list I would call ‘fool’ proof. The plant itself is mildly toxic and illegal in some countries for its’ invasiveness and toxicity to grazing animals. This is by far the toughest plant on the list and I once saw it dominate a patch of nettles and even a lawn. It spreads fast and multiplies by seeds and tubers, so once it’s in it’s highly unlikely you will get it back out again. With warnings out of the way, I can’t more highly recommend a plant for extremely difficult growing areas. It produces stunning yellow, white or orange flowers every spring and there are even double flowered cultivars. The official Latin name is Ficaria verna but some still refer to its’ former name Ranunculus ficaria.

lesser celandine
Lesser Celandine is considered by horticulturalists as a garden weed but we love the bright yellow flowers it produces

As you probably noticed I left a number of the more common spring flowers off the list. This is both a personal preference and that of our children. If there are any you prefer please share on our social media pages.