Spring flowers on a lawn.

How to Create Carpets of Color in Your Home Garden

Create spectacular effects, even on a small scale, by naturalizing bulbs in a lawn or under trees. Choose robust plants able to compete with roots and grass: snowdrops, daffodils, or crocuses (for example) are ideal. Leave them to their own devices and they will gradually spread, year after year, to form a beautiful flowering carpet.

When to plant: Autumn.

At their best: Early spring.

Time to complete: 1-2 hours.

You will need: Spring bulbs – between 15 and 25 bulbs per 1 square ft (90cm 2), slim trowel or bulb planter, spade, all-purpose granular fertilizer.

Prepare the ground

In autumn, remove any perennial weeds, such as dandelions and daisies, and mow the grass. Since bulbs dry out very quickly, try to plant them as soon as possible after buying them. When planting, choose a nice day when the soil is not waterlogged or frozen.

Planting random groups

To achieve a random, natural effect, toss the bulbs into the air and plant them individually where they fall. For each bulb, dig out a small plug of soil and turf, 2–3 times the depth of the bulb with a slim trowel or bulb planter. Add a little fertilizer, plant the bulb, and replace the soil plug.

Planting in smaller groups

For smaller groups of bulbs, cut an H-shape into the grass with a sharp spade. Holding the spade horizontally, slice under the turf and fold it back to reveal the soil. Remove more soil for larger bulbs, such as daffodils. Add a little fertilizer and plant the bulbs. Cover with excavated soil and gently fold back the flaps. Water well.