With winter not too far around the corner it might seem a bit premature to be thinking about spring. For the savvy gardener though, May is the ideal time to plan a spring flowering bulb display. The traditional bulbs of spring such as daffodils, jonquils, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, and tulips can be relied upon year in, year out, to put on a dazzling display. Tulips should be planted in the cooler months of autumn, around Mother's Day, to ensure a vibrant spring display. Tulips need good drainage to grow well. In sandy soils incorporate organic matter to improve soil structure and, in heavier soils, raise beds to improve drainage or, grow tulips and other bulbs in containers. You might also like to read: To give all flowering bulbs the jump on spring, renovate the soil before planting with the addition of compost and animal manures as bulbs love a rich friable well-drained soil. The general rule for planting depth of bulbs is twice the diameter of the bulb, this can vary depending on the species so check plant labels for accurate advice. Water in well and mark the area with a tag so that bulbs are not accidently dug up before they emerge. Daffodils are perennial favourite bulbs and can be left in situ for many years before the clump needs lifting and separating. Feed daffodils once they've finished flowering by watering every couple of weeks with liquid fertiliser. After flowering the bulb does all the hard work of building up reserves for next year, so this is a vital time to fertilise. Spectacular displays of bold colours can be achieved with plantings of mixed varieties of a range of bulbous plants such as daffodils, freesias, ixias, ranunculus, aparaxis, tritonia. For a cooler colour display spring bulbs offer some of the best flower shades of blue and lilacs, try grape hyacinth, bluebells, anemones, babiana and Iris reticulata. Purchasing mixed bulb packs online can take the guess work out of creating a dazzling display. Spring bulbs are not all about colour, if fragrance is more your thing, a planting of hyacinths, King George daffodils, jonquils or freesias will certainly stimulate the senses. Thinking ahead for spring will certainly brighten any patch, so get switched on with bulbs - the effort will be worth it in the months to come.