Dixter Tulips

The best bulb suppliers: where to buy bulbs

If you're looking to buy bulbs online or want to to visit a garden nursery in the UK to buy your bulbs for the year ahead, here is a selection of some of the best bulb suppliers both in the UK and Europe offering a good choice of spring bulbs for autumn planting

Autumn is the best time to plant spring flowering bulbs. It helps to plan ahead, so you have your selection of bulbs ordered and delivered in time for planting. There are lots of wonderful nurseries both in the UK and in Europe who have an amazing range of bulbs to buy online and in store. If you’re looking to buy bulbs and need advice on planting, it might be worth visiting a garden nursery and talking to the staff so you can choose the right bulbs for your garden situation. This list includes many award-winning and specialist nurseries and if you can visit, it’s worth it to see the amazing array of bulbs on offer. Need inspiration for a bulb spring border design? Download our designer plan. 

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Avon Bulbs

The impressive Avon Bulbs stand at RHS Malvern Spring Show.
The impressive Avon Bulbs stand at RHS Malvern Spring Show.

Regular award winner with an impressive range of bulbs that includes many favourites alongside more unusual bulbs, rhizomes and corms, such as Dichelostemma from northwest America and the star-like Ornithogalum, including O. pyrenaicum or Bath asparagus, native to the west of England. Good pollinator-friendly choices are flagged up with a bee logo. Tel 01460 242177, avonbulbs.co.uk

Bloms Bulbs

Trading in bulbs and plants for 160 years with an extensive range of spring-flowering bulbs including old favourites and new cultivars that have proven their worth. Tel 01234 709099, blomsbulbs.com

Broadleigh Bulbs

A beautiful sight - Broadleigh Bulb's Agapanthus collection growing in the nursery fields.
A beautiful sight – Broadleigh Bulb’s Agapanthus collection growing in the nursery fields.

Full range of bulbs including exclusive collections chosen for specific locations or themes. But perhaps the real joy here is the Special Bulb List of more unusual choices, including an extensive selection of miniature daffodils, which are proving increasingly popular. Tel 01823 286231, broadleighbulbs.co.uk

Cambo

Renowned for its snowdrops, Cambo, located in Fife, Scotland, has been voted as Best Supplier of Bulbs ‘in the green’ by Which? Gardening. You’ll need to wait until just after flowering in spring for the clumps of snowdrops to be dug up from the Cambo Estate’s woodland and be offered for sale. However, you can order ‘damp packed’ snowdrops now for autumn planting. Tel 01333 450054, cambosnowdrops.com

Crocus

Search under ‘organic bulbs’ for an increasing choice of spring-flowering bulbs that have been sustainably grown without the use of pesticides (including neonicotinoids). This also includes dahlia tubers (available from winter). crocus.co.uk

De Jager

An established supplier for more than 150 years, and with 720 varieties available, including the rare and unusual Pancratium maritimum or sea daffodil, found in the wild on sandy Mediterranean shores.  Insect-friendly choices are flagged up with the RHS Perfect for Pollinators logo. Tel 01622 840229, dejager.co.uk

Fruit Hill Farm

Ireland’s organic farm and garden specialist – also delivering to the UK – offers a range of certified organic spring-flowering bulbs – and  (for veg growers) garlic too, which is another bulb that’s worth planting in the autumn. Tel +353 (0)27 50710, fruithillfarm.com

Great Dixter

Dixter Tulips

The nursery at the garden sells a small selection of bulbs for autumn planting. These have been supplied by other trusted bulb companies but you can be assured that the choices here will be good ones and thoroughly proven in their garden worthiness by the Dixter gardeners. Tel 01797 254044, greatdixter.co.uk

Hare Spring Cottage Plants

Run by expert Stella Exley, Hare Spring holds the National Collection of Camassia and as such has an excellent supply of camassia cultivars for sale as bulbs from the popular Camassia ‘Blue Heaven’ with its rich lavender-blue flowers to a rare pale-pink cultivar. Tel 07792 376805, harespringcottageplants.co.uk

Harts Nursery

Good range of bulbs from this award-winning nursery with a number of new introductions to the 2020 range and planting advice for each genus. While you are perusing the spring-flowering selection, note that Harts is known for its award-winning displays of lilies so take a look at its range, including oriental lilies, species lilies and martagon types (order this winter for delivery and planting come spring). Tel 07855 785540, hartsnursery.co.uk

Jacques Amand

La Belle Epoque
Tulipa ‘La Belle Epoque’ is one of many, many beautiful bulbs on offer from Jacques Amand

Large and wide-ranging selection of autumn-planted bulbs, especially narcissi and tulips, including a good selection of species tulips. Nursery at Clamp Hill in Middlesex can also be visited for picking up orders Tel 020 8420 7110, jacquesamandintl.com

J Parker’s

Reliable selection of bulbs here to satisfy both the expert and those keen to try out bulb growing for the first time. There’s a handy RHS Award-Winning Tulip category, corralling together those options that have been given an Award of Garden Merit helping you make good, tried-and-tested choices. Tel 0161 848 1100, jparkers.co.uk

Natural Bulbs

As a Dutch company working with a small group of organic growers, Natural Bulbs offers a good range of spring-flowering bulbs, including a selection specifically chosen for bumblebees and bees, and another with varieties chosen for their suitability to naturalising and landscaping schemes. Tel +31 (0)235 477 900, naturalbulbs.co.uk

Nijssen Bulbs

Dutch bulb company with plenty  of choice of bulb varieties including a large range of historic tulips and specially chosen Bee-Friendly selection packs. Do take into account the cost of delivery to the UK, but this established bulb nursery uses no neonicotinoids and has a page outlining the company’s environmental approaches to growing bulbs on a large scale. Tel +31 (0)23 547 1056, nijssentuin.nl

Organic Bulbs

Garden designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt set up Organic Bulbs to offer gardeners a stylish selection of ecologically friendly bulbs – all pesticide and chemical free with a particular emphasis on bulbs that look good in naturalised schemes and return year on year. Tel 01373 888720, organicbulbs.com

The Organic Gardening Catalogue

Along with its full range of organic seeds, veg, fruit and plants, the Organic Gardening Catalogue includes a small but perfectly formed collection of organically produced bulbs, including the insect-pleasing Camassia leichtlinii. Tel 0344 967 0330, organiccatalogue.com

Peter Nyssen

This display by Peter Nyssen includes Muscari 'Blue Spike', Narcissus 'Mount Hood' and Tulip 'Yellow Flight'.
This display by Peter Nyssen includes Muscari ‘Blue Spike’, Narcissus ‘Mount Hood’ and Tulipa ‘Yellow Flight’.

Over 60 years in the business, Peter Nyssen has moved with the times and now guarantees that its spring-flowering bulbs are neonicotinoids free and packaging is bio-degradable where possible. Good for bulk buying too with free delivery on orders over £100. Tel 0161 747 4000, peternyssen.com

Pottertons

An expert in dwarf bulb cultivars. While some species are better suited to the expert grower able to provide specific conditions, there’s plenty for the general enthusiast too and the chance to really extend your range of spring-interest flowers. Tel 01472 851714, pottertons.co.uk

Riverside Bulbs

Suffolk-based Riverside Bulbs have a very wide selection of bulbs on offer at prices that are not at all harsh on the wallet. Many of the bulbs offered by Matt, Imogen and Sally Long are on the larger side, so will likely add drama to any border they are placed in. Tel 01449 741551, riversidebulbs.co.uk

Sarah Raven

The Venetian Tulip Collection from Sarah Raven is made up of Tulipa 'National Velvet', T. 'Havran' and T. 'Prinses Irene'.
The Venetian Tulip Collection from Sarah Raven is made up of Tulipa ‘National Velvet’, T. ‘Havran’ and T. ‘Prinses Irene’.

Helpful site for making stylish choices of bulb combinations, perfect for the garden and also the cutting garden. Sarah tries and tests all the collections she offers, and adds new choices to the list each year to reflect current styles and trends. There’s also a section for more naturalised displays and a selection for indoor growing. Search for Sarah’s article ‘Pollinator Super Plants’ for extra advice on pollinator plant choices. Tel 0345 092 0283, sarahraven.co.uk

Scamps Daffodils

This multi award-winning, family business based in Cornwall, is best known for its daffodils – although it also offers other bulbs. Expert and owner Ron Scamp has daffodils for sale in all 13 of the RHS divisions along with descriptions of what distinguishes each of those divisions and an interesting selection of historic examples. Tel 07826 067175, qualitydaffodils.com

Shipton Bulbs

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Based in Wales, Shipton specialises in garden-worthy bulbs native to the British Isles and bulbs originating elsewhere that are also suitable for naturalising in this country. These will all be reliable choices for UK growing success. Tel 01994 240637, shiptonbulbs.co.uk