Autumn is definitely here. The brisk mornings and early twilight leave us no doubt. But time in the garden doesn’t have to end just because summer’s drawn to a close, and with half term coming up, it’s the perfect time to get the kids active in the garden.
A new book, ‘A Year of Nature craft and Play’ by Becky Goddard-Hill and Catherine Hughes, is packed with projects to keep the youngsters having fun outdoors all year round. Planting a spring bulb lasagne is a great activity to do together at this time of year, and Becky and Catherine have kindly shared this planting project from their book with us.
Planting a bulb lasagne
Autumn is the perfect time of year to plant spring bulbs. They stay under the ground all winter, and in spring they grow into gorgeous flowers.
Spring bulbs are happy growing in pots, so you don’t even need a garden to grow them. A bulb lasagne is a clever way of doing this. You plant the bulbs in layers, which is a bit like making a lasagne with layers of different ingredients – hence the name. This means that when the first bulbs have finished flowering, the next layer will flower, and so on, giving you a succession of lovely flowers.
You will need:
A hand trowel
A variety of spring bulbs.
When you’re choosing your spring bulbs, check the flowering month on the packet and try to choose bulbs that flower in different months. Here are some ideas to help you: Bottom layer: tulips, hyacinths Middle layer: daffodils, muscari (also called grape hyacinths) Top layer: crocus, miniature iris.
How to plant a bulb lasagne
1. Lay out your bulbs in the order that you’re going to plant them. The first ones to plant will be the bulbs that flower last, followed by the bulbs that flower before them, and so on. The bulbs on the top layer will be the ones that are going to flower first.
2. Add some compost to your pot until it’s about one third full.
3. Gently push your last flowering bulbs into the compost. The pointy end of the bulb should be pointing upwards. Leave a bit of room around each bulb.
4. Cover your bulbs with a layer of compost, then plant your variety of bulbs that flower before the bottom bulbs on top.
5. Add another layer of compost to your container, then plant your bulbs that will flower first at the top.
6. Cover your top layer of bulbs with compost.
7. When you’ve finished planting, water your container.
Tips and ideas
Where will you put your bulb lasagne? Choose a spot that you walk past regularly and you’ll be able to enjoy the flowers more often.
How does seeing the colourful flowers make you feel?
Could you plant a bulb lasagne for someone you know who doesn’t have a garden?
Always wear gloves when handling bulbs as some types can irritate your skin.
Never put bulbs in your mouth – some are poisonous.
Wash your hands when you’ve finished planting your bulb lasagne.
Extracts from A Year of Nature Craft and Play (Collins).
There’s a giveaway, too!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
To celebrate the launch of ‘A Year of Nature Craft and Play’, we’re giving away a bundle of our National Trust ‘Get Me Gardening’ kids’ gardening gear. There’s a copy of the new book too, to keep you inspired with lots of ideas for getting the kids outdoors and active, all year round.
There are two prize bundles up for grabs. Each prize include a spade, digging fork, rake, trowel and fork set, bucket, watering can, Kneelo® memory foam kneeler apron and gloves from our National Trust ‘Get Me Gardening’ kids’ range.
Designed in collaboration with the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity, this delightful collection includes everything needed for a fun day in the garden, whether that’s planting flowers and seeds, making a fairy garden, or exploring with bucket and trowel on a mini-beast safari! Sized to be comfortable for smaller hands to use, and featuring cheerful colours and cute garden wildlife characters, these adorable children’s garden tools are sure to help little ones’ green fingers to grow.
To enter, you’ll need to head over to the website of Collins, the publisher of ‘A Year of Nature Craft and Play'. Giveaway closes midnight 31 October 2021.
We hope you enjoy a spot of gardening with your youngsters this half term. Happy planting – and good luck in the giveaway!