How is it that some people's spring gardens look so, well, put together? We'll let you in to a poorly kept secret: it's a question of careful combining! We've put our heads together and come up with a gorgeous selection of fantastic spring combinations. They'll work brilliantly in your borders or, for even more impact, planted in pots. And to inspire your planting just that little bit more, we're giving you
Just pop them in your shopping basket and receive your discount at checkout.
* Offer open until September 28th 2019 or as long as stocks last. Offer limited to a maximum of 4 packs of the minimum quantity per variety.
Let our bee-friendly bulbs transform your garden this spring.
With autumn approaching we’re rushing around and making the most of the last of summer’s bounty. The dahlias have been trimmed (in the hope of another flush of flowers) and we're thinking about our tulips for the spring!
In 2018 we decided to source all our spring-flowering bulbs free from neonicotinoid pesticides. These chemicals have been found to adversely affect the health of our precious pollinators so we've decided to demand all our spring bulbs are ‘bee-friendly’.
What are Neonicotinoids?
Neonicotinoids are a type of pesticide that has gained popularity within the agricultural world as they are effective against a wide range of insects. In the flower bulb world specifically, neonicotinoids are used to drench bulbs to keep aphids and other sap-sucking insects off plants. However, research has found that this is harmful to our favourite pollinators and because of this, there is a growing trend to produce bulbs that are free of pesticides.
Thankfully, neonicotinoids have now been banned in the UK and Europe, meaning there is a lot more choice when buying bulbs and you can be assured that our bee-friendly spring bulbs have not been treated with neonicotinoids.
Where we haven't been able to guarantee these chemicals have been used we've had to replace many of our tried and true favourites with new, but equally fabulous spring bulbs that are indeed bee-friendly. So, if you're hankering after the gorgeous tulips you grew a few years ago, but they're no longer available, fret not: here's our list of brilliant replacements.
- Tulip Cheers replaces Tulip Calgary Flames
- Tulip White Dream replaces Tulip Royal Virgin
- Tulip Yellow Flight replaces Tulip Yellow King
- Tulip Silk Road replaces Tulip Verona
- Tulip Gorilla replaces Tulip Curly Sue
- Tulip Daytona replaces Tulip Swan Wings
- Tulip Continental replaces Tulip Cafe Noir
- Tulip Jackpot replaces Tulip Fontainbleu
- Tulip Mascara replaces Tulip Jan Reus
- Tulip Lighting Sun replaces Tulip Orange Sun
- Tulip Salmon van Eijk replaces Tulip Sake
- Tulip Florijn Chic replaces Tulip Cistula
- Tulip Cartouche replaces Tulip Belicia
- Tulip Royal Virgin replaces Tulip White Marvel
And for completeness sake, some tulips are no longer grown or the harvest was particularly poor. We've done our best to replace them with good alternatives where possible:
- Tulip Ayann replaces Tulip Recreado
- Tulip Big Love replaces Tulip Survivor
- Tulip Amazing Parrot replaces Tulip Irene
- Tulip White Rebel replaces Tulip Super Parrot
- Tulip Dragon King replaces Tulip Colour Spectacle
Browse our collection of bee-friendly spring bulbs now or for help and advice, call our team on 0161 747 4000.
Top Tips for September Gardening
- Keep dead heading summer perennials like helenium, echinacea, and penstemon to prolong their flowering through to the end of the month.
- Divide hardy perennials that have become too large from the end of September.
- Plant prepared hyacinths now for Christmas flowering.
- Add organic matter to improve clay soil before winter.
- Dispose of any diseased plant material at the first signs of attack. Never compost it! This can risk the spread of spores.
- Start planning your spring garden. Look around your garden and take pictures of any space you want to fill as a reminder when making your bulb order.
- Start planting spring flowering bulbs like crocus, iris, narcissus and snowdrops. Wait a little longer to plant tulips: they do best planted after the first frosts in October.
- Collect seeds from finished flowers and store in envelopes with their names ready to sow in the spring.
- Wash out any empty containers with Jeyes Fluid to remove any harmful bacteria.
- Start a compost heap with fallen leaves. Leaf mold is highly nutritious and can be used next spring for mulch.
- Plant autumn flowering crocus for a final shot of colour before winter
In July 2018 we announced we swapped the majority of our plastic packaging (around 1.5 tonnes!) for a GM free, fully compostable, plastic replacement made from potato starch in Finland. Just dispose of it with your food or garden waste or, if neither of those are available, pop it in your general waste bin. (Don't put it in your recycling: it will contaminate the plastic processing!).
Our gorgeous Apricot Foxx tulips in their new non-plastic packaging
We are all horrified about the ever growing plastic pollution problem. We saw Blue Planet II and last night's BBC documentary "Drowning in Plastic" with its harrowing shots of a seal strangled by plastic, sea birds so heavy from eating plastic they can't fly and other aberrations of the natural world and, like many of you, we're despairing of what can be done to turn the tide on the world's plastic addiction.
At Peter Nyssen we have been pondering this question for some time. We wanted to reduce the amount of plastic we were putting out in to the world but it was not an easy journey. Initially we investigated the idea of more widely recyclable plastics. This was a complete minefield! We deliver to customers all over Europe and each country, and even different regions in the same country, have different recycling capabilities. Add to that the fact that currently only 11% of plastic is recycled in Europe we quickly realised this would not be the right solution for us.
Tulip Apricot Foxx
Our next port of call was a biodegradable alternative to plastic. Again, this was not a straightforward quest. Our first inquiries resulted in materials that broke down during industrial composting but still used petroleum based ingredients. This would mean that while the bags would break down, they'd leave behind non-biodegradable microplastics which would wash out in to the environment. Clearly NOT the solution we were looking for.
Finally, we came across Bioska Plastiroll. It's a fully compostable, GM free, potato starch based plastic replacement made in a Finnish factory that uses only renewable energy. It sounded too good to be true! We were heartened to find that they already had a track record in packing vegetables with Abel and Cole but no one had used it to pack bulbs yet. We were in uncharted waters as to whether the new material would be suitable for our packing machines or whether it would maintain the high quality Peter Nyssen is known for. What's more, it's quite a lot more expensive than plastic so, for our small, family run company, it was quite a gamble.
So, we ordered a few rolls and the great day of testing arrived. There were a few bitten nails but, with a few minor adjustments, Plastiroll was whizzing through our packing machines as though they were made for each other. Have a look at our packing machines in action here!
We are deliriously happy with this small success on the path to de-plasticising our operations but we know we can go further. We're already looking for a good alternatives to the P9 black plastic pots we use for our plants and for a durable alternative in which to pack our narcissi. We are also very keen for more bulb companies to try using Plastiroll and have stored spare rolls with a local packaging company for any company that would like to get in touch to test it on their own packing machines.