Old-fashioned spring bulbs that form easy-care flower mats

Old-fashioned spring bulbs that form easy-care flower mats

Spring bulbs in the style group grandmother plants or "vintage plants" originate in woodland. Here are some flower bulbs that are typically old-fashioned, and also extremely easy to care for.

Wild tulips, white anemone and spring onions in bloom

Minimal care of the flower bulbs provides carpets

Old-fashioned plants multiply profusely and form large flower mats if left alone. The best care for grandma onions is to neglect them. This is because bulbs naturalize best when left to their fate. Let them wither in peace and quiet. Then they germinate and the new plants have time to grow. Some even put side bulbs, which take care of themselves best. This makes them very easy to care for. Flower mats that are found in the wild can originate from a time when there were buildings nearby. The bulbs can multiply for many generations, which is why we also associate them with cottages or buildings from times gone by.

Tip: Lawns and meadows with flower bulbs in them should not be mowed until six weeks after the last bulb has flowered. This gives the spring bulbs enough time to wither back naturally and by themselves.

Balkan anemone, crocus and lily of the valley

Buy high quality spring onions in our online store!

Choose a place for the spring onions

One thing is especially important to succeed with old-fashioned flower bulbs, which should come up in the spring - they prefer a place in the garden where the soil will remain undisturbed. Good examples of this are under deciduous trees or shrubs, in lawns and meadows, among perennials on the edge of the garden, or among low plants used as ground cover. If you plant them in these places, they are sure to thrive. Just sit back and enjoy!

Evening star, narcissus and snowdrop

Plant and put spring onions in the fall

In the autumn, flower bulbs are planted that will bloom in the spring. They should be inserted as early as possible after you have purchased them. The small bulbs from, for example, snowdrops and snowdrops dry up more easily, and daffodils must have time to take root before the soil freezes. The exception is tulips that can be planted until the frost comes. The packaging usually states how deep you are going put the bulbs, but generally applies to a depth of three times the size of the onion.

Tip: It is risky to buy small onions on SALE late in the season, but just check that they have not dried in. You can put them in pots, and then plant them out after they have flowered.

Read more: Snowdrops are the earliest sign of spring - so you grow them!

Lily of the valley, nunnery herb and summer snowdrop

Buy high quality spring onions in our online store!

List of old-fashioned flower bulbs:

Evening Star (Ornithogalum nutans)

Balkansippa (Anemone mix)

Russian Blue Star (Scilla siberica)

English bell hyacinth (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)


King bed lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)

Nunweed (Corydalis solida)

Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus)

Chives (Allium ursinum)

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

Snowdrop (Leucojum vernum)

Summer snowdrop (Leucojum aestivum)

Wild tulip (Tulipa sylvestris)

Snowdrop (Eranthis hyemalis)

White anemone (Anemone nemorosa)

Spring star (Scilla forbesii, alt. Chionodoxa forbesii)

Snowdrop, Russian blue star and snowdrop

PHOTO: Colourbox, Istockphoto

Read more about spring onions:

Plant spring onions at the right depth (Film)

Push spring onions in a pot

Deer-safe bulbs and tubers

Gallery with 26 spring onion arrangements in a pot

Succeed with spring onions in a pot

Open garden on Sunday 28 June

On Sunday 28 June, it's day again for Thousand Gardens. We are open between 10.00 and 17.00. At present the whole garden is rosy and perennials are in bud. Some clematis have started to bloom and so the healthy greenery, of course. Many seats are waiting for visitors. The book Feel the garden is available for purchase.

This year, due to Corona, I limit to a maximum of 40 visitors in the garden at the same time. Unfortunately, I can not lend my bathroom. Public toilets are available at the nearby Askimsbadet.

At the entrance welcomes my favorite rose, the Moschata rose 'Ghislaine de Feligonde'. Just new, many bloom the old-fashioned bush roses and honey roses at their best.

Gallica roses in the sunny rose and herb plantation.

‘Queen Elisabeth’ in the entrance plantation.

Sumptuous and free-growing honey rose 'Lyckefund' in the slope.

In almost all rose bushes, different clematis meander around. Here it is 'Blue Pirouette' that complements the Gallica rose 'Aimable Amie'.

Clematis 'Arabella' winds around in the Gallica rose 'Tuscany Superb', still in bud.

Or they climb into different positions, like 'Prince Charles'.

The garden is more important than you think - here are the experts' best tips for biodiversity

Of course, you can create a beautifully designed garden while promoting biodiversity. We asked Sofia Ewerlöf and Raisa Gunnarsson from Livfulla trädgårdar to share their best advice.

By Hus & Hem, Published 2020-05-13 17:14, updated 2020-05-13 21:23

Photo Lively Gardens, Getty Images

Biodiversity, or species richness as it is also called, is everything that exists in nature - plants, birds, snakes, krill, bees, bumblebees and so on. Everyone has their place and their function. Bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other pollinators are absolutely necessary for us to get fruit and vegetables. Beetles cause organic material to rot and the worms eat up leaves and other plant remains, and on the other side comes fantastically good and nutritious soil. They also dig miles of tunnels under the ground so that the roots of the plants get oxygen and so that rainwater can sink away.

Here are the experts' best tips on how to benefit diversity in the garden.

1. Let the lawn become a meadow

By making part of the lawn a meadow, diversity is promoted. If you choose many different plants that contrast with each other in size, shape and color and that bloom from early spring to late autumn, it makes a big difference. You can plant shrubs so that they form a shrubbery, or why not a pleasant arbor. Planting trees is also a good way to contribute to species richness, preferably fruit trees and trees that bloom early, such as willow and maple.

Or why not build a pond that benefits aquatic animals such as frogs and newts.

2. Plant more trees

Trees create a pleasant place for both insects, birds and humans. When designing a garden, it is common to use trees as a skeleton that gives the garden a clear design language. Trees also provide height in the garden and create protective roofs. The trees are also the backbone of biodiversity, in a large tree there is food and housing for about 1,000 different species. Maple, linden and rowanberry are three examples of trees that provide a lot of nectar and pollen. Rowan berries are also important food for the birds that stay in Sweden during the winter.

Shrubs are liked by hedgehogs

Dense shrubs are important for birds, hedgehogs and other small insects. They need a sheltered place to crawl into. With shrubs you can also create cozy rooms in the garden where you can sit and read a book or drink coffee and just enjoy nature. You can get a lot of inspiration for garden rooms and arbors from old gardens around turn-of-the-century houses or old crofts. At that time, it was very common with cozy creepers, preferably in combination with classic croft plants such as peony, knight's spur and phlox of various kinds. Shrubs are also very easy to care for and are available in a lot of beautiful colors, shapes and sizes. Classic lilac is great as it blooms early and is full of nectar. The lilac works in both sun and partial shade. The seed stands that remain after flowering are good food for the birds, so let them stay.

A diversity of different species is absolutely necessary for us humans to be able to live a good life here on earth. Insects are real superheroes so see
to attract them to your garden. Photo Lively gardens

4. Bet on perennials

A diversity garden blooms throughout the summer, from early spring to late autumn, to provide food for the earliest insects and for those that last well into October. Another rule of thumb is variety, in terms of varieties, colors, shapes and scents. Different insects are attracted to different kinds of flowers and they have different opportunities to eat nectar and pollen depending on how they look. Contrasts also make the garden more interesting and also highlight each plant. Examples of perennials with plenty of pollen and nectar are aster, columbine, aniseed, sun hat, lavender, wreath veronica, anemones, love herb, star cluster, nepeta, steppe sage, stone candle, funkia and knight's spur.

5. Onions eaten by deer

Put bulbs in the fall and look forward to beautiful spring flowering when the heat starts to come back and most of the nature is still gray and brown. Spring onions as a spring crocus are important for the first insects, especially for the hop queen who wakes up already in March and goes out to collect food for her larvae. There are a lot of bulbs in stores or to order online. If you have a lot of deer, skip the tulips and plant different kinds of lilies and allium bulbs instead. They are beautiful, strong in shape and are left in peace by the deer.

6. Spices are loved by everyone

Spices are loved by bees, bumblebees and butterflies - thyme, oregano, borage, mint, honey facelia and lemon balm. If you do not want a spice garden, it is just as well to plant spices in pots on the terrace or to plant them in the usual flower bed.

If you mix different flowers, you attract more animals
to the garden. In the foreground is Akleja 'Black Barlow'. Photo Lively gardens

7. Let the lawn bloom

The time when the lawn would look like a golf green is coming to an end, at least if you want to contribute to biodiversity and at the same time have a beautiful natural and lively garden. The lawn is lovely and of course there should be room for the summer games and games, but do not mow the whole lawn. Save a piece that can grow and become a meadow. Exciting to see what comes up - probably different varieties of clover, daisy, goldenrod and other meadow flowers that are loved by winged superheroes.

8. Make homes for bees

The number of wild bees in Sweden is declining, and a third of them are threatened with extinction. This is partly due to the fact that their natural housing is declining. You can invite wild bees to your garden by setting up beehives and beehives or leave some logs stacked in a corner of the garden. There are different varieties and models to buy in stores. An easy way to do it yourself is to drill holes 5-7 centimeters deep in a piece of wood and place it in a sunny and protected position.

9. Arrange bird baths and drinking stations

Even birds and insects need to drink during hot summer days, a bird bath will be a beautiful eye-catcher in your garden. A drinking station for bees, bumblebees and butterflies as well. It is important to remember that the drinking station must be shallow, otherwise they will drown. Primer by placing beautiful stones or balls, for example. There are plenty of stylish birdbaths and drinking stations for insects in the shops.

10. Do not use pesticides

If you take cabbage on pests, the useful animals will also be ironed. Instead, take advantage of the natural enemies of the pests you have in the garden, such as ladybugs, two-tailed deer and spiders. These are significantly more effective than any pesticide.

Remember to enjoy too! A big advantage of a garden is that it is very forgiving. If you do not have time for everything you intend to do, there will always be a new season.

By creating nests and drinking places for insects and birds, you get a more species-rich garden and thereby increase pollination. Photo Lively gardens

Sit among roses

Since I have mostly old-fashioned roses that bloom intensely during the summer, it is important to take the opportunity to enjoy while there is time. And it is now! From the beginning of June, they excel and the weather is warm and the air is still like living in a lovely perfume shop.

A blue bench is strategically placed against the fence, completely embedded by the noisette roses 'Madame Plantier' and various gallica roses. The picture was taken in mid-June and the roses are budded. In the foreground the blue planning with edge mustard and contrasting yellow splendor troll 'Credo'.

In mid-June, the roses have sprouted and 'Madame Plantier' has taken over more and more of the space. The pink and red gallica roses are barely visible. Garden fist ‘Rozanne’ throws itself under the roses, and also climbs a bit up into the bush where it finds support.

Something I wonder is how each flower can feel cool against the skin, even if it's scorching hot outside? Feel free to try!

The view from the blue bench leads the gaze up via the blue and purple plantation along the south side of the house. The rose in the foreground is 'Jacqueline du Pré'.

‘Jacqueline du Pré’ is a modern shrub rose with wonderful, strongly fragrant flowers. The shrub is healthy and grows well on ordinary soil. Blooms until late autumn.

‘Jacqueline du Pré’ again, seen from the other direction, with the edge nepete ‘Walkers Low’ in the foreground.

‘Madame Plantier’ again, with its pink buds. The white roses were bought as a wedding gift from my now deceased mother-in-law Ulla, and it feels good to have a memory of her in the garden.

Along the fence is also an apple tree and a honey rose 'Helenae' with its small golden yellow flowers. Even 'Madame' has thrown up some of her branches high up in the tree. It is very nice with the small yellow flowers and the slightly larger white ones together.

Roses and clematis

By co-planting shrub roses with clematis varieties that can be cut down completely in the winter, you give the shrubs extra color and life, especially if it is old-fashioned roses that "only" bloom in the summer. So I have pimped most of my roses with clematis of viticella and integrifolia varieties, sometimes in harmonious colors, sometimes in contrasting.

Here are four successful combinations.

Modern bush rose 'Queen Elisabeth' and viticella clematis 'Mme Julia Correvon'. The Italian lady blooms profusely and for a long time, and so does the rose.

Climbing rose 'New Dawn' with large-flowered clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchard'.

Integrifolia clematis ‘Blue Pirouette’ with Gallica rose ‘Aimable Amie’.

Viticella clematis 'Södertälje' and Gallica rose 'Hippolyte' match each other perfectly.

Clematis of these varieties together with durable shrub roses form easy-care compositions that last a long time. The roses begin to bloom around the second week of June and are most beautiful all the way into July and longer than that if they remount. The clematis finds itself through the branch to the light and blooms profusely, especially if its vines are allowed to hang horizontally on the way up.

Cut down the clematis already early in the winter, so they do not look rusty into the spring winter when the spring bulbs of the plantings look up. These varieties do not have nice seed stands to save on. Fertilize the couple with a little chicken manure in the spring, and then with grass clippings until midsummer. Feel free to cut withered rose flowers if you have the time and desire.

Inspiration from Dutch garden design

Are you in the process of planning a brand new plot, renovating an old garden or maybe just renewing a little neighbor back home in your own plot. Then there is a lot of inspiration to be found from Holland, one of the pioneering countries in garden design right now. There are several garden facilities built up of many both small and large idea gardens that you can walk around for hours in and get new ideas from. Some idea gardens are cool, disrespectful and modern while others are old-fashioned romantic and sweet. There is something to pick up for every taste. Be inspired by the goodies from four different visitor gardens built by smaller idea gardens.

Appeltern's gardens

Appeltern is the largest of Holland's many idea garden facilities and contains no less than 180 idea gardens. And there will be more, for every year garden designers are invited to build new gardens that we visitors can enjoy and follow the development of from year to year.

Already in the parking lot, the garden expectation is beginning to tickle your stomach, because this looks very promising with slanted yew hedges that give a very exciting impression together with beautiful trees along the sides of the parking lot. It is barely possible to recover the approximately ten minutes it takes to walk from the car park to the entrance. And you will not be disappointed when you enter because here an eldorado for garden lovers appears in search of inspiration for the plot at home. An entire day is easily spent among Appeltern's gardens and when the stomach begins to churn for a little more than just inspiration, there is both a café and a restaurant that are pleasantly integrated into the garden environment.

Who said lawns need to be big enough to play badminton? These round plates are far too small to be used for that, but they are delicious. The biggest one can actually also settle down for a picnic if you wish. An advantage of such small lawns is that you can keep them fresh, well-kept and free from weeds without much effort. To the left in the foreground, eagerly blooming pink autumn anemones can be seen, and to the right, lush bamboo bushes give a room-separating wall.

The apple, dust and painted concrete wall

With a generous garden pond next to the wooden deck and a painted concrete wall in the background, you can make such a delicious patio in your garden. It is actually quite possible to create this impression in our northern Sweden as well. The large-leaved giant thinner, Gunnera manicata, which can be seen on the right in the picture, is admittedly only winterable in the southern parts of Sweden and then with cover and a good portion of cultivation habit. But why not replace it with tab rhubarb, Rheum palmatum, which is also large-leafed, gives a very exotic impression and does well well up along the northern coast. Another, but not quite as hardy, alternative is parasol leaves, Astilboides tabularis. In the foreground are the shiny leaves of heart bergenia, Bergenia cordifolia, which has started to change a little in red. The black narrow leaves that spread around the stone towards the wooden deck are dark snake beards, Ophiopogon planiscapus. In the roundel behind the sunbed, the large ornamental grass elephant miscantus can be seen, Miscanthus x giganteus.

The apple, wooden deck with reeds

Not everyone may be able to create a wooden deck like this at home in their own plot. But if you have a cabin that is next to the water, it can be a good idea instead of chopping off reeds and making a regular jetty. With a sawn-around hole, you can easily get an easy-care small pond with good fishing opportunities in the middle of the patio fenced by a room built of reeds.

The apple, funny house-feeling

The wealth of invention and imagination is absolutely wonderful in Appeltern's gardens. Here almost anything is possible. Or how about creating a curved boardwalk with the hilarious house feel in the middle of a garden with common traditional plants like Chinese junipers and boxwood. Notice how the gravel and the irregular stones in the middle of the circle spruce up and further enhance the impression.

Boomkamp's gardens

In Boomkamp's gardens, there are 55 idea gardens that provide a lot of inspiration, both large and small. Here are many small intimate rooms that can be realized on a small terraced house plot, but also some environments for slightly larger areas. Adjacent to the display gardens is a restaurant with excellent hot sandwiches and also a well-kept nursery if you happen to be so inspired that you can not resist the impulse to buy something to take home.

A classic beautiful wooden chair next to some large terracotta garden urns is enough to create garden magic. If you then supplement with lush plants and a traditional brick wall in the English way, the atmosphere becomes even more dense. The ground behind the chair is effectively covered by the grateful perennial finger rodgersia, Rodgersia pinnata, which thrives best in partial shade.

Boom fight, opening between garden rooms

An opening in the hedge that lets us guess that there is more out there, but not what, makes it tickle my stomach with curiosity and anticipation. Something that also enhances the impression of the garden room you are currently in. It as well as the effect of a softly shaped stone coating that protrudes into the lawn, color play between red and green foliage, variations in shapes and appearance of leaves and needles have been effectively used in this little garden of ideas.

Cubes, cubes and cubes again. It's not just boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, cut into balls that are effective in garden contexts, cubes are at least as useful. They break nicely against free-growing perennials and shrubs' lush greenery and flowers and are effective for tightening up a garden room. In this garden room, the whole thing has been tightened up further with a little statue placed on a rectangular pillar.

Ada Hofman's water gardens

Water is the theme of this visitor garden, which is built around three large ponds in the middle of the facility. In thirty different small idea gardens, you can take part in more than fifty smaller ponds and different types of water arrangements such as streams, waterfalls and outdoor aquariums. Chemical agents are banned by the gate and the goal is to keep the water clean, fresh and free of algae in a natural way. And they have succeeded because the water is really clear and nice and it springs from life in the form of fish, water insects and small frogs. The entrance hall of the entrance building shows an instructional film on how to create ponds that are healthy, easy to maintain and filled with insects and animals that help to keep clean. If you tell them that you come from Sweden, you can even see the film in Swedish. If you do not tell them that you come from Sweden, they seem to be able to hear it anyway.

Ada Hofman, emerging aquarium

Aquariums that protrude from the pond and that fishermen can swim in are available in several different variants in Ada Hofman's water gardens. It looks delicious and gives us the opportunity to see more of the fish than we would otherwise do. On the water of the pond, waterlily leaves float as a soft horizontal contrast to the aquarium's angular vertical lines.

Ada Hofman, architectural pond

A pond in a simple geometric shape such as a rectangle or a circle usually does better near a house than a shape that seeks to mimic a natural watercourse. And you do not have to give up aquatic plants because the pond has a more architectural shape, as this stylish example from Ada Hofman shows. Plants with upright shapes form a much-needed contrast to the horizontal surface of the water surface. Wide, shallow planting vessels with ground-covering plants on both sides soften and give shape contrast to all that is rectangular. Metal grilles on the ground and deliberately cracked glass quadrants on scaffolding reinforce the modern, cool impression.

Ada Hofman, wooden deck rounds

Here it is rounded shapes that apply. With two circular shapes that meet, an effective water surface is created in between. The fact that one of the circular shapes has water in the middle makes the whole thing even more effective. The raised cultivation bed behind the neat chairs on the wooden deck roundel picks up the circular shape. Playing with geometric shapes in this way that can be repeated in several places is a thankful way to create a garden room that has that little extra.

Ada Hofman, fruit and flower doll

A mannequin decorated with seasonal fruits, flowers and leaves awaits at a protrusion between two of the largest ponds in Ada Hofman's garden. Even if it is not something that we ourselves can have in the garden, it cheers up when you walk around and look for ideas for your own plot. It's a bit of a reminder that you do not have to take it so seriously, but that it can actually be more important with something that makes us smile - that everything is perfectly laid out and well maintained.

Mien Ruys Gardens

Landscape architect Mien Ruys (1904–1999) is one of the greats of 20th century European garden design. As early as 1924, she planted the first model garden at her parents' nursery in Moerheim, Dedemsvaart, and since then there have been more. Most of the 28 small idea gardens have been designed by Mien Ruys herself, while some have been added after her death. There are several gardens in a functionalist sixties style, but also modern facilities and examples of old-fashioned traditional garden rooms.

Mien Ruys, modernist pond

An elongated pond with a modern water sculpture is the focal point of this soberly elegant garden room. The water that flows down for the rectangle-based shape creates a pleasant porl at the same time as it gives the pond's water surface a life-giving curl, which is probably as important in this modernist environment that might otherwise feel too sterile. Glansmiskantus, Miscanthus sinensis, ‘Morning Light’ planted in a flowerbed with the same elongated shape as the pond frames and softens.

The most famous of Mien Ruys' idea gardens is probably this water and wet garden that appears in many English garden books, although it is usually not exposed that the picture is from here. Like most of the idea gardens, it is quite small, about 400 square meters. The planar rectangles that provide effective horizontal lines are in fact made of recycled plastic material that is not only environmentally friendly but also ages beautifully.

Mien Ruys, dust and red geraniums

From the spice garden you have a view into the next garden room along the long straight corridor that runs between. It contributes to a sense of depth and space. And if you want to be hidden, just retreat to the garden bench under the protection of the thuja hedge. In the flowerbed in front grows lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, and one-year-old Danish chervil, Anthriscus cerefolium, A small brick wall with red geraniums in pots reminiscent of southern European monasteries.

Visitor information

The Gardens of Apple
Walstraat 2a, 6629 AD Appeltern
Phone: +31 487–54 17 32

Boomkamp Gardens
Hesselerweg 9, 7623 AC Borne (ov.)
Phone: +31 74–26 64 181

Ada Hofman
Westeindigerdijk 3, 7778 HG Loozen
Phone: +31 524–56 24 48

De Tuinen Mien Ruys
Moerheimstraat 78, 7701 CG Dedemsvaart
Phone: +31 523–61 47 74

Here and there

  • The Quarry - Quarry with Flower Garden February 3, 2017
  • Climb craters on Monte Corona January 13, 2017
  • Porta Portese Flea Market January 10, 2017
  • Los Patios de Córdoba March 31, 2016
  • Lucca and three Tuscan villas January 17, 2016
  • Sezincote - English garden with Indian touch December 20, 2015
  • Ellen Keys Beach December 10, 2015
  • Mayflowers in September 13, 2015
  • No! - Elsa Andersson has been burned down! August 22, 2015
  • Roses and Krantz in Wij Gardens August 9, 2015
  • Six tips for the lawn - for you who are lazy July 10, 2015
  • Mayflowers in Uppsala Botanical 13 May, 2015


Comments or questions are welcome.

About us and the material

All pictures and all text are from Dan and Ann-Christin Rosenholm. We and our company Rosenholm greenrooms AB own the rights. Read often and often. If you want to do a screen dump to create a link, for example, it's okay. If you want to use materials for your own use or otherwise get in touch with us, you can use the contact box.