Dutch courage: Eden Project drafts in 25,000 bulbs from Holland in a bid to brighten up Britain's street corners

The Eden Project's creator, Tim Smit, absolutely loves to get people together (maybe, as a Dutchman, he thinks we uptight Brits need a bit of Netherlandish help to love our local communities). Earlier this summer, he was all about the Big Lunch, where we were encouraged to close down local traffic and hold a street party with our neighbours. And now, as autumn rolls in, it's the Big Bulb Plant.

Eden definitely sets a good example when it comes to bulb planting; its spring display is both outrageously bright and on a huge scale. But when it comes to local communities trying to brighten up their corner of the world, what are the Eden Project's starting tips? Well the first thing is to get over to its Big Bulb Plant website, www.thebigbulbplant.com, where the first hundred communities to register receive a package of 250 free bulbs straight from Holland. There's a poster to print out and put up to publicise your effort, as well as a great video by the prolific garden writer Martyn Cox to reassure the most inexperienced of gardeners that bulb planting is very, very easy.

The next stage is to work out what bulbs you need and in what they are going to be planted. In 2007, one street near me planted tiny daffodils around the base of all the street trees, and the results were really sweet and cheerful. Be prepared to ask permission from your council for planting on public land, but also bear in mind that some councils will give out bulbs for planting by community projects – Dartford in Kent, for example, gives away hundreds of daffs. It's worth doing a bit of research.

On the other hand, if you prefer to choose your bulbs yourself, opt for one of the big bulb companies, possibly even ordering wholesale if your quantities are large enough. Parker's Wholesale offers great prices for bigger orders at www.dutchbulbs.co.uk. You don't even need to have soil to plant in – bulbs grow happily in containers, even in B&Q orange plastic buckets, as long as there is some drainage (that probably means drilling a few holes).

And while the Big Bulb Plant website is relentlessly cheerful about pulling together, I'm going to add one more piece of advice: for maximum impact, some sort of co-ordination is a great idea. Just a single colour restriction will triple the effect of your planting next spring. For example, ask everyone to bring white bulbs only. Or make sure that each container contains either red or yellow. Everyone will look at you strangely right now, but, come spring, hopefully they'll grudgingly admit that you were right.

Beautiful bulbs: Little spend, big impact

Daffodils

The cheapest way to buy daffodils is by weight – Parker's Wholesale does 25 kilos of the gorgeous yellow "St Keverne" for £22. Flowers very early, and you really will need community help to get them all planted. www.dutchbulbs.co.uk

Narcissi/hyacinths

Kids love scented flowers – as do more sophisticated grown-ups. Narcissus "Avalanche" is great in April, at £13.50 for 100. Add some outrageous hyacinths, preferably in Barbie pink. Try "Pink Pearl" (£16 for 100). Both from www.dutch bulbs.co.uk. Also available from www.unwins.co.uk

Anemones

For a more discreet effect, how about a nautical-themed mix of anemones? Thompson & Morgan's "Blue and White Windflower" (60 bulbs for £9.99) will top off spring tubs perfectly. www.thompson-morgan.com

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam