How to Plant a Bulb Garden in One Container


We can’t all go to the Netherlands in the springtime, but we can create smaller versions of the famous Dutch bulb gardens—even in one container!

Layer different bulbs in one container, with the larger bulbs lower and the smaller bulbs higher.

Here’s a simple “two ingredient” container recipe with bulbs that will bloom around the same time:

12 Split Corona daffodil bulbs
12 Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) bulbs

Choose a container that’s 1-foot deep and 2-feet across.

Scoop in 4 inches of potting soil.

Set the daffodil bulbs firmly into the potting soil, pointy end up, spaced evenly. Add 2 inches of potting soil.

Scatter the Grape Hyacinth bulbs over the surface, then cover them with potting soil, and fill the container almost to the top (leaving room for watering).

Water the container well and press gently on the soil. Soak thoroughly with water.

Keep the container outdoors in a sunny spot and in March or April you’ll see blooms! These bulbs are widely spaced, so can stay in the container year to year, with the addition of bulb food.

If you want a big show, pack the bulbs in tightly, then dig and store them for garden planting later, as Tricia shows in our bulb video.

For a smaller container, plant our Dutch Iris mix .

Other combos to try are bulbs that bloom at different times, like daffodils, which would be followed by tulips. Any of the hardy outdoor bulbs will work well together in containers—daffodils, tulips, crocuses, scilla, chionodoxas, muscari,  or hyacinths.