Top 10 autumn bulbs and tubers

Top 10 Autumn Bulbs and Tubers

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, September 05

Top 10 Autumn Bulbs and Tubers

As the garden begins to wind down and the days shorten we say farewell to summer. Now the time has arrived to fill the gaps left by fading perennials and plant some tough little bulbs, happy to brave the cold and brighten the days to come.

Top 10

Dahlia's at their best in September1. Crocus is the best known of autumn bulbs for the garden and these little jewels will push through fallen leaves to create a festival of colour.

2. Dahlia blooms start to open in summer but are at their best from August to September. They come in a range of rich colours and are ideal for creating an exotic effect in hot coloured borders.



Nerine ends the season in style3. Nerine will give a dramatic end to the season giving a breathtaking sight on an autumn morning when planted in a bold block. Easy to establish and hardy in the UK.

4. Sternbergia closely resembles the crocus and is surprisingly vigorous in the right location. Plant either in rockeries or in large naturalised groups for big impact.

5. Cyclamen is a delight when seen as a carpet of sugar pink and white blooms. Particularly good in dry shady areas under trees and make excellent woodland autumn bulbs. Giving jewel colour through winter before dying back for a dormant summer.

6. Gladiolus murielae is the most elegant flowering autumn bulb. The flowers are wonderfully fragrant, beginning to form in late summer. By September this species has really hit its stride. With a delicate disposition they prefer to spend winter in a cool dry shed.

7. Begonias are the most glamorous for adding bright colour to shady patios. Their flowers are produced all summer and through to the first frosts of November. Perfect candidates for a window box or hanging basket.

8. Cyclamen coup braves the cold winter weather as early as January and the pretty pink blooms emerge before the foliage which will later form a carpet of silver marbled leaves.

9. Winter Aconite is a cheery bulb that gives golden cup-shaped flowers surrounded by a collar of green leaves. Looking absurdly like buttercups in winter, they are not for the tidy gardener as they prefer to grow in large natural drifts and are ideal for underplanting among woodland trees.

10. Snowdrop is the classic bulb with endless appeal. Many and varied species to choose from and, for a natural looking drift, cast the bulbs across the planting area and plant where they land.


Paul has his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks and Spencers.

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