BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL: Donna Gibbs is waiting eagerly to see her gorgeous hippiastrums in full bloom.
BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL: Donna Gibbs is waiting eagerly to see her gorgeous hippiastrums in full bloom. CONTRIBUTED

Bay garden guru shares hot tops for spring gardening

SPRING is just around the corner and I am very excited waiting for my bulbs to flower.

Most bulbs don't do well here but there are some that will thrive.

Hippeastrums, lillies and gladioli all produce big colourful blooms in the spring.

The paintbrush lillies are flowering and look spectacular.

I have been watching my hippeastrums every day eagerly awaiting for the flower spikes to form.

The dutch iris and tiger lillies have also come up so I'll have the pleasure of their company again this year.

I have left my bulbs and corms in the ground but the hippeastrums are the only bulbs I have that cope with this.

Corms really need to be lifted from the ground and stored for four months after they have flowered.

This gives them a chance to rest and will insure robust growth and lots of flowers.

In Queensland we need to refrigerate our corms as it does not get cold enough to put them to sleep.

Place them on dry shallow trays about two-and-a-half corms deep in one layer and leave a space of about two inches between the trays to allow the air to circulate.

Hubby's beer fridge in the shed is perfect for this.

Bulbs will multiply in the garden and can look great in large clumps.

Eventually they'll need to be separated and spread out to new garden beds. Make sure you don't replant them too deep and that the pointed end is at the top.

Bulbs also do very well in pots that can be moved in and out of the sun.

They make great personal presents or you can sell your excess bulbs.

Bulbs in pots are great for unit balconies and renters who like to take their garden with them when they move.

If you want a really flashy display for a coming event, buy new, fresh bulbs and corms.

They have been bred in the southern states and are ready to impress when they bloom.

They will flower well in their first season but don't be disappointed if they don't come up again as our subtropical climate is not suitable for these cold-loving plants.

Only my day lillies and hippeastrums do really well.

As much as I love the bulbs you need to be very dedicated to grow them well here.

Father's Day is just around the corner and I'd like to say thank you to my father for teaching me to garden the organic way.

We spent many happy hours together in the garden and I didn't realise how much info I absorbed until I grew up.

Column submitted by Hervey Bay resident Donna Gibbs.