Perking up public spaces
Ribbons of golden daffodils in verges along roads, clusters of crocuses in the park, plant containers full of colorful tulips on an urban square… These are just a few of the many ways to use spring-flowering bulbs in public spaces. They create impressive visual features in cities and towns. Combinations of two or more different varieties of bulbous plants are often used to experiment with a range of colors, heights and flowering periods. Planting them with other kinds of plants like perennials or flowering shrubs will also produce a lovely effect. Flower bulbs in varieties that produce bright flowers are particularly decorative.
Cyclists, pedestrians and drivers: all enjoy the color and variation that flower bulbs bring to public spaces. Plants have a beneficial effect on public health and well-being and improve our quality of life. Research has shown a positive connection between the availability of green space and physical activity. Some people use green spaces for recreation while others find them the perfect place to relax. Both kinds of users will experience a reduction in their stress levels. All kinds of plants – from flower bulbs to trees – contribute to these beneficial effects. What’s more, an extensive and varied range of green spaces increases the opportunities for using public space and engaging in social interaction.
Many kinds of flower bulbs produce flowers that are important sources of nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and bumblebees. The early-flowering bulbous plants in particular are the first source of fresh food for insects during early spring. Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrop), Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite) and Crocus tommasinianus (Early Crocus) are examples of these early-flowering sources of nectar and pollen. The more of these suitable varieties of flower bulbs are used – and the greater their variation – the more they will contribute to biodiversity.
When using flower bulbs in public spaces, two things are important: choosing the location and maintaining the planting. Insufficient maintenance leads to the neglect of green spaces; in turn, this can result in littering. Planting flower bulbs in the right place will get the most out of them. Some will thrive in shade, others in grassy clearings, and yet others will be perfect of pots and containers. Flower bulb suppliers can provide the right advice and assistance in this regard.