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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Growing Garden Bulbs

There are few delights as universal as spotting the first buds of spring. The appearance of a bold tulip or a shy daffodil heralds warmth and changing seasons. These plants, as well as others such as nerines, lilies, irises, and hyacinths, begin life as bulbs. While they require careful cultivation, they can brighten gardens year after year.

With the expert guidance in Growing Garden Bulbs, readers will have the confidence and inspiration they need to get started growing fantastic bulbs. This practical and highly illustrated guide focuses on growing temperate garden bulbs in the outdoor garden. It walks readers step-by-step through all aspects of bulb growing, covering everything from buying to blossom. Chapters address the when and how of buying bulbs, selecting the best specimens, planting both outdoors and in pots, naturalizing, keeping pests and diseases away, and, for the more adventurous, propagating plants. In addition, a detailed planting guide takes readers through every season, making it easier to plan gardens. Because the book draws on more than thiry years of experience from one of the leading experts on bulbs, readers can be sure they are getting accurate and practical information.

From tulips to snowdrops, fritillaries, daffodils, and many more, Growing Garden Bulbs looks at all the popular garden bulbs and their relatives, highlighting plants that can be easily found in garden centers and local nurseries. Thanks to the book’s user-friendly style and rich illustrations, the hardest part will be choosing which bulbs to buy first.

64 pages | 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 | © 2013

Kew - Kew Growing

Biological Sciences: Botany


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"Richard Wilford has  a lot of useful tips about how to tackle the long-term care  of bulbs (feed with tomato food when the plants are in bloom, to avoid producing leaf rather than flowers); and has many pointers on planting, either in pots or in the soil. But of course the real fun is his choice selection of good flowering bulbs to run right across the gardening year, beginning with elegant snowdrops such as Galanthus elwesii in winter and ending with the bright sting of lilac provided by autumn cyclamen."  

The Independent

"Any book published under Kew Garden’s aegis is always first rate, brief, exact, with excellent information and photographs. This work presents details on bulbs by season of bloom, starting with winter, spring, summer, autumn, as well as South African bulbs, nerines, crocosmias, and ixias, generally autumn blooming. . . . A handy reference guide on bulbs"

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Table of Contents


Buying Bulbs

Planting and caring

      Planting depths

      Naturalising bulbs

      Planting in the grass

      Growing bulbs in pots

      Long-term care

      Pests and diseases


Bulbs by season




      Winter aconite

      Cyclamen coum

      Reticulata irises




      Hyacinths and bluebells


      Small blue bulbs

      Dog’s tooth violets







      Dahlias and begonias



      Autumn-flowering crocus

      Autumn-flowering Cyclamen



South African bulbs


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