In the face of urbanisation putting increasing pressure on public green spaces, citizens continue to place great importance on the quality of public spaces. In these circumstances, an attractive planting scheme will win much praise, while also reducing the risk of vandalism.
Early-flowering bulbs add appeal to green areas and look great in combination with grass verges. A distinction should be made between grass verges that receive regular mowing and those that are only cut once or twice a year. Early flowering bulbs are preferred, because the foliage will have a chance to die off completely before the mowers move in. This usually takes some six to eight weeks.
Flower bulbs thrive on sunshine, which gives countries further south something of an advantage. Nevertheless, in our colder northern climates excellent results can also be achieved. Ask any resident of the Dutch town of Arnhem. A broad single strip runs right through the middle of the town, planted with summer bulbs and corms as well as less common annuals. Starting off as a one-off bulb festival, it was received so enthusiastically by the city and the Mayor and Aldermen that it has since become an annual flower festival.
Critical factors in achieving a success like this include adequate financial resources, a sound planting plan, a solid understanding of summer bulbs and corms, a committed maintenance team and preferably a passionate area manager. When it comes to appealingly planted public spaces, the town of Eemnes also has a great deal to offer.
A bulb planting machine was used to insert 200,000 narcissus bulbs in a two-metre wide strip in the grass verges around Venlo's busy Europa Square. The cheerful spring flowers form a showpiece for the local authorities of Venlo, venue for the 2012 Floriade floral festival. The "Bulbs in the Verge" project was an initiative from Dutch bulb growers.
"Bulbs in the Verge" at the Prins Clausplein.
Some 150.000 narcissus bulbs were mechanically planted in grass verges around Den Haag's Prins Clausplein traffic node. This was the grand finale to the "Bulbs in the Verge" project, which has seen some 400.000 narcissi planted, enough to provide 5.000 m2 of spring flowers. The cheerful flowers in the Den Haag city colours will bloom again each year from April onwards. The bulbs were a gift from the 150-year-old Koninklijke Algemeene Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur (Royal Association for the Cultivation of Flowering Bulbs) to the Directorate for Public Works and Water Management. Flower bulbs can continue to be planted until the first frosts. (Source: Bloembollenvisie 17 November 2010)
In 2008, some 35.000 flower bulbs were planted in the central reservation of the Dijkgraaf Poschlaan in Nieuw Volendam, providing a welcome splash of colour each spring.