Our Favourite Spring Flowering Bulbs

30/09/19 News

Autumn really is a wonderful time of year for gardeners and garden centres, the spectacular array of rich golden colours that litter our streets and lawns are pretty awe-inspiring, encouraging many of us to get back into the great outdoors. Whilst this may well be a glorious sight it is never too soon to be thinking about how you would like your garden to look and feel next spring, in fact now is the perfect time. Here at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres, we are excited to announce the arrival of our fabulous selection of spring flowering bulbs which are now available to purchase across our Paradise Park, South Downs Nurseries, Mayberry and Old Barn Garden Centres. So whether you’re after some striking tulips, delightful hyacinths or bold daffodils, the team at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres are ready and waiting to help you find the perfect spring flowering bulbs for your garden.

Gardening With Spring Flowering Bulbs

We know that the arrival of spring is an exciting time for almost every gardener, a time when those small brown papery bulbs that were last seen in October transform into a blooming array of sparkling colour. To get the best possible results, October is the perfect time for green fingered enthusiasts to get out into their gardens and start planning their springtime blooms. This month the weather should be just about holding out before the winter cold sets in, making it a great time to get spring flowering bulbs planted in containers or straight into the ground. 

Each species will prefer a different type of soil and so it is certainly something to look into before planting, but as a general rule of thumb most will flourish in a well drained soil that is free from risk of waterlogging which could make them susceptible to rot. When planting, be sure to place the bulb into the ground with the point facing upwards, in some cases this may not be entirely straightforward – if so, the safest option is to place it on its side. Choosing to plant your bulbs in containers gives you a great freedom to proudly display your blooms when they are at their best, and hide them away when they become dormant. For a beautifully natural display try scattering the bulbs amongst grasses and plant where they land, especially amongst some of the more ‘informal’ unmown areas which the foliage dies back. Another thing to consider when planting spring flowering bulbs is the depth of planting, which will of course alter between species but on the whole you will be looking at planting at around three times the depth of the bulb. 

Some Of Our Favourites

If you are thinking about how you would like to welcome the Spring of 2020, why not have a look at some of our favourite spring flowering bulbs for a little gardening inspiration:


The tulip is a bit of an all-round favourite amongst those with a keen eye for bold and beautiful colours, it’s bold and striking appearance can make a beautifully dramatic addition to any gardens or beds in need of a little extra ‘wow’. One of the fantastic things about tulips is that these spring flowering bulbs are available in a huge array of outstanding colours such as reds, yellows, pinks and purples even a dramatic black could make its way into your rainbow display. Here at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres, when it comes to choosing your spring flowering bulbs we would recommend an ‘everlasting mix’ to give a display that is varied in colour as well as weather resistant. 


An iconic image of springtime, the somewhat ‘classic’ daffodil is an extremely popular spring flowering bulb amongst gardeners. Guaranteed to stir up excitable spring feelings as soon as those green shoots begin to emerge, daffodils are a beautiful and perhaps even quite an emotive flower, signifying the arrival of a new season. Daffodils are well loved for their beautiful yellow colour and trumpeted blooms that are so uniquely delicate in appearance. 


The delicate crocus is a beautiful little flower that can look truly stunning nestled in amongst its natural surroundings, whether that be an undiscovered woodland or scattered across lawns. Known for their ‘jewel-like’ appearance, the crocus is a spring flowering bulb that bursts into an array of elegant purples, lilacs, yellows and whites that can cheer up even the dreariest of days. The crocus ‘ruby giant’ is a purple variety is fairly hardy and can be expected to bloom around February time, a little earlier than some of the other spring flowering bulbs. Not only does the crocus look wonderful it is also an incredible nectar source for all those wildlife gardens out there, extremely popular with pollinating insects. 


Hyacinths are known as one of the easiest spring flowering bulbs to grow at this time of year, being incredibly compact in nature they are a great option for those gardeners looking to fill containers.  Standing tall and straight, hyacinths really do look rather impressive in any garden giving off some delightful fragrances and blooming into a delicate array of pinks and purples. Whilst some people may grow these hyacinths on windowsills, these spring flowering bulbs are actually fairly hardy and will do well in the great outdoors, especially if you are lucky enough to find a sunny spot. 


Protected by the Wildlife and Country Act (1981) bluebells are a really rather treasured beauty in the UK, their iconic colour does of course give way to their name and their beautiful shape is truly a majestic sight. As the temperatures start to change, these spring flowering bulbs can flourish in damp and shady areas, giving way to incredible blankets of bluebells in many of our English woodlands. When choosing bluebells, we recommend trying the English variety – others such as the Spanish bluebells can be rather invasive which could then have an impact on other flowers in the garden. As with some other spring flowering bulbs, bluebells have a delicate scent and are known for attracting pollinating insects which makes them perfect for a slightly ‘wilder’ garden. 

Russian Snowdrops (Puschkinia)

For something a little unique and elaborately striking, why not try the russian snowdrop. This spring flowering bulb delivers an array of beautiful star-shaped flowers, each with small and delicate white petals that have a rather bold strike of blue running through them. Russian snowdrops certainly make for a slightly different type of spring flowering bulb, and promise to provide quite an interesting display to your garden. These flowers tend to thrive in particularly sunny spots and will make the most of any summer sunshine that comes their way, perfect for gardens with access to sunlight. 

Winter Aconite

A member of the buttercup family, the beautiful yellow winter aconite flowers grow spectacularly in the spring time to form a delightful carpet of delicate yellow flowers in many woodland areas. Despite its wintery name, this spring flowering bulb is a firm favourite with many gardeners and can make a fantastic addition to a mix of bluebells or snowdrops, especially if you are after a stunning springtime display. Not only do winter aconites look wonderful they are also particularly attractive to pollinating insects such as bees, making them quite a special addition to any garden. 

Gardening With Tates Of Sussex 

Here at Tates of Sussex Garden Centres we are more than happy to help guide you through the process of getting your garden fit for spring. Our garden centres proudly stock an extensive range of gardening maintenance products and supplies, and with a highly experienced team across our centres you should be able to find what you are looking for in no time. Buying spring flowering bulbs from Tates of Sussex Garden Centres means you can rest assured that most of the plants we sell come from our very own nurseries in Sussex, or else carefully selected nurseries in the UK. This means that the number of plant miles are reduced significantly to ensure only the highest quality plants to our customers. Our garden centres offer more than simply a plant buying service – we regularly publish gardening tips, as well as grow your own guides, and plant guides. If you have a specific question or query in mind why not have a look at our plant finder for more information on a huge variety of species, or else call in to visit our very own plant doctor at our Paradise Park Garden Centre.