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How to grow flowers from bulbs

It’s the season again guys!! The time has come for bulbs prepping and planting for the next season’s spring. Whilst I still consider myself to be very much an amateur bulb gardener, I’ve enjoyed mostly successes and I simply can’t stay away. I love this more than growing plants from seeds! My favourite flower, the tulip, is a bulbous type so it’s very hard not to go crazy when this season is upon us. 

Like with seeds and seedlings, make sure you educate yourself on which season your bulbs flower and how far in advance you should be planting them into the ground. Many beautiful bulbous floral varieties, like ranunculi, irises, daffodils and tulips are spring-flowering. Typically, this means that you should be planting them in autumn when it has just started to cool down but is also not too cold, so that they can grow out their roots properly. 

flower bulbstulip bulbs

So far, I’ve had some experience growing tulips, ranunculi, daffodils, lilies, chincherinchee and anemones from bulbs. What I’ve found useful is to do some quick research on each one in advance of planting them. This is how I discovered that it’s widely recommended to refrigerate tulip bulbs 4-6 weeks before planting them out. Some other bulbs should be soaked in water for 24 hours before planting, such as anemones, whilst others can be planted directly into the ground. All these techniques help in pre-conditioning the bulb to a better state, ready to be planted into the ground. 

The process of actually planting the bulbs is very easy, simply follow the instructions for the bulb you are planting in terms of depth and spacing. Generally, you should plant around 2-3 times the depth of the height of the bulb. Note that with some bulbs, you plant them with the scraggly roots pointing upwards and some downwards - it all depends on the type of bulb.

Make a hole in the soil the appropriate depth, push the bulb down in the correct position, cover with soil and then water! Easy peasy. Observe it every day (at least I do, but I’m obsessed), waiting for the first sign of growth and just make sure that it’s not over-watered - you don’t want the bulb to rot.

planting bulbs

In terms of fertilising, I highly recommend adding nitrogen to stimulate leaf growth and more importantly, phosphorus for root growth and flowering - particularly if you don’t have very healthy, quality soil to start with. I tried this out with the second batch of anemone bulbs last season and the difference to the first batch was incredible - definitely fertilise if you can!

I hope this helps! In a nutshell for those of you that just want a quick checklist:

1. Research the bulb: when to plant, how deep, how far apart and which direction the roots should be facing.

2. Plant the bulb correctly (into the ground or a container), cover with soil and water.

3. Fertilise with nitrogen and phosphorus if you can.

If you want to try some spring-flowering bulbs, then quick, go get them now!

From experience, I can recommend these two online sellers that I’ve used personally: Garden Express and Bulbs Direct - both have produced great successes and fairly well priced. Last month, I also purchased some new bulbs from Lake Nurseries for the first time so I can’t say just yet if they’ll be any good, but I do hope so. 

I hope I’ve gotten you excited to try bulbs if you haven’t already! Good luck and feel free to ask any questions if you have any. To end, here’s a few of my favourite successes from last season to provide some beautiful inspiration :)

growing tulips from bulbsgrowing daffodils from bulbsgrowing anemones from bulbs

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Make Fresh Mint Tea

Hey everyone, thanks so much for all your support following the sad news from last week. I’ve been happily surprised by the love and friendship throughout these hard time and I wanted to be soppy just for one second to thank you all with my heart :)

…and now getting back to what I wanted to share with you today, a real simple DIY on making fresh mint tea. One of my favourite green things and drinks!

making mint tea

Tea is one of my go to drinks, apart from orange juice and coffee. I love tea! I would consider mint/peppermint, oolong and green tea to be my favourite kinds. If you grow things or you’re looking to grow something super easy to take care of, I highly recommend mint or peppermint.

It’s a vicious hardy plant, so don’t grow it with other things, keep it to its own pot and just make sure that it gets plenty of water (it loves it) and a low-moderate amount of sunshine. 

making mint tea

What I like to do is pick plenty of mint leaves off the plant, wash it, let it dry and then when I’m in the mood - which is most of the time - use it to make mint tea. It’s not too empowering and you can taste how fresh the mint is, so it’s a really nice, delicate brew of tea. 

If you can, I recommend going to one of my favourite stores Daiso and picking up a 100-pack of ‘Filter Bag for Tea’, you won’t regret it! It’s the best thing to use with loose tea leaves: they’re little pouches for you to store your tea, fold it over to seal it and you’re done!

No more loose tea leaves swimming in your mug that you have to constantly filter with your mouth and spit out. I know that feeling, ick.

daiso tea bagstea bag

And there you go, I’ve spilled my secret for keeping loose tea leaves at bay ;) Have a great Easter weekend my friends and go brew yourself some tea!

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Hey guys, I’m back in Sydney after cutting our Tasmania trip short. It’s been an emotionally driven week, with sadness, relief and love all tangled up in one big lump.

Our short stint in Tasmania (3 days) was a nice super-mini break whilst it lasted. A day spent walking about in Launceston soon after we landed. We filled up our stomachs at a Thai place we found open near where we were staying and took a relaxing walk around the well-known Cataract Gorge.

Eventually heading back into the centre of the city, I checked my phone on a whim at a particular set of traffic lights. It’s at that point that I discovered that my grandpa had passed away only a few hours ago.

I’d never been in so much shock. Gareth asked where I wanted to go and I remember saying I wanted to continue walking about, towards Launceston City Park. There, we stumbled across the lusciously colourful John Hart Conservatory where I sat on a bench inside for some time, staring at a variety of vivid coleus. I sat there absorbing the silence and greenery all around me.

In my head, I recall going through a stream of different conversations with myself: about death, about the circle of life, about the memories I had whilst growing up with my grandpa. I couldn’t stop thinking and arguing with myself about how I should feel. Feeling happy that he no longer felt any suffering, feeling sad that I won’t get to hug or converse with him. It was a painful moment, but the nature calmed me down immensely. 

Logically, I knew that dwelling too much in the pool of sadness and grief wouldn’t make any difference to reality. There isn’t much point to spend too much time in that dark corner. I do however consider crying to be a part of the process, as a way to empty out all the sadness. This is a time when you should be crying.

Having the picturesque and peaceful Cradle Mountain and its leafy surrounds was more than I could have asked for, on the next day. This ended up being our final full day in Tasmania too. We trekked the Dove Lake Circuit trail for two hours and in mostly silence.

It was magical and so soothing. The fog kept moving in and out of the mountain, it was truly a sight to behold. One of the best, most personal moments of the walk was near the end: the empty boathouse in the foreground and a touch of fog covering one peak of the mountain tops in the distance. 

You did real good Cradle Mountain. Thank you for being there and being so quietly beautiful and pacifying for me during a time of pain. I’ll return in happier times and sear this moment and view in memory forever.

RIP Grandpa 06.04.2014

What’s Growing? March 2014


Yay, it’s officially coming into Autumn now and the change has already started to show in the balcony garden.

All the summer harvest has been eaten and cleaned up, which has made way for more spare pots and room for the cold season. It’s the first time in some time that I haven’t had to go to Bunnings to purchase more soil, pots or container bags!

The big thing I took away in the previous month was to minimise. The garden really needed a bit of a stripping back. Too many pots and varieties was making it very difficult to keep everything in order. I’m happy to announce that over the past few weeks I did do exactly that, and you’ll see by the simplicity of photos featured that the garden is much smaller and basic. 


I had previously jotted down a list of seeds to sow, which I did in early March and it’s looking great so far. Thanks sporadic heavy rainfall! You’ll see that the bok choy, red giant mustard, dinosaur kale and red russian kale seedlings has been growing well. 

The broad beans are doing even better, as you can see from the above photo. I’ve just staked them this morning - just in time before I head to Tasmania for seven days! I tried growing broad beans last year but to no avail, so here I go again for the second attempt. This time I’ve planted them in a larger sized pot so… fingers crossed?


It was really important that I get the garden back into a tidy state too, I’d left a few things alone for too long. The rosebush in particular was looking very sickly and flower-less, so I cut it down by 50% a few weeks ago and check it out! Yay, new rosebuds!

The load of succulent cuttings I ordered from Attila’s Garden in Victoria arrived a short while ago and I’ve since planted them in various pots. It’s been probably around a month now? I checked them out today and I was so excited to notice the new growth! This always makes my heart sing as it means it’s doing well and not dying from shock, hurrah!


March wasn’t much of a harvest month. Some pickings of basil here and there and one remnant eggplant. It was mostly a period of rejuvenation so I’m looking forward to the coming month, hopefully some greens soon.

It’s on my checklist for April to sow some more seeds (but not too many), like radish and beans to add to my collection of edibles. I’ve also begun to refrigerate some of my tulip bulbs, so I’ll start planting them out soon once they’re ready.

I’ve literally put two sets of reminders in my calendar for each tulip variety: the first date being refrigeration and the second for when to plant them. Having had such a successful experience last year, I’ve gone a bit wild this year and added several new varieties to my collection so here’s hoping for an amazing year of homegrown tulips! It’s my favourite flower, this is why I’m incredibly excited :)

The frangipani is going strong - see below. Check out the obvious growth between today and what it looked like just a month ago! I think it’s cool how you can count the number of new leaves grown.


I have to admit that there’s a little bit of sadness in the garden: one of my earliest plants, the lavender, has died! I’m not sure what happened as it’s such a hardy plant and I haven’t treated it differently recently in any way so it’s been a real surprise :(

And with one death comes a new growth, I guess? I’ve been gifted a jacaranda tree seedling from a colleague. Look at it, it’s so quaint! This will be a bit of an experiment since I’ve never grown anything like this before. I’ll need to transplant it and hopefully it will grow into a bonsai. Clearly I can’t have a fully fledged jacaranda growing out of my balcony, ha!


How’s your garden coming about? I really enjoy checking out other people’s gardens, so do share yours! And if you guys have any tips on growing jacarandas or broad beans, I’d appreciate hearing them.

What’s Growing? is a monthly post that tracks the progress of my balcony garden in Sydney, Australia. It’s also my contribution to The Garden Share Collective! Check out the wonderful gardens of all the members!


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