Now is the perfect time to plan and plant your spring bulb garden! Regardless of your gardening expertise, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, nothing will feed your soul more than a spectacular display of multicolored, spring bulbs planted en masse. The colors and fragrances emerging in abundance next Spring are something to consider now, ahead of winter and snow, and all of those things we’d rather not be thinking about!
By incorporating a mix of early and late blooming bulbs into your garden now, you can count on a display that will begin in mid-February and continue right on into June.
Allium ‘Ambassador,’ Blooming in early June
Plant in drifts and masses around perennials, define and enclose the base of shrubs in ribbons of bulbs. Incorporating bulbs in the landscape this way will ensure a grand display, especially after the lingering gray of winter.
In spring, the foliage of the emerging perennials will provide a lovely contrast to the blooms. Then, as the foliage grows, it will eventually hide the waning blooms of the bulbs.
Early daffodils in a rock garden
For the front border, concentrate on using dwarf or minor bulbs, which will magically appear in very early spring providing subtle color to the garden. If left undisturbed, these tiny bulbs will multiply and rebloom consistently each spring.
Snowdrops and winter aconite are the harbingers of the spring, emerging through snow and ice, unfurling in pale tones of ivory and yellows. Crocus, Scilla, Chionodoxa and Puschkinia spill out onto the late March landscape, appearing near doorways, lining walkways, popping up in lawns. Their ephemeral colors echo the unfolding spring giving each day a renewed radiance.
Kaufmanniana Tulip ‘Ancilla’–for front of the border
From April to May, all forms of daffodils in varying heights from 4″ to 18″ provide weeks of color. And in May, tulips—the grand dames of the garden—lend flirt and fancy while providing many weeks of color in a multitude of forms.
Tall French blooming tulips in late April
The dynamic and vertical lines of alliums, or flowering onions, continue the show into June–the globe-like flowers will dry and add texture and drama for early summer.
To complement the alliums, consider the yellow and orange tones of Eremurus or desert candles. They prefer sunny dry locations forming a large clump of sword like flowers for many weeks. Their tall and willowy plumes bloom in mid June and continue into July. Eramurus also has the benefit of being deer and rodent resistant.
Wild hyacinths or Camassia is an American native that thrives in wet areas–it forms tall, linear blue or white flowers in early summer after daffodils and tulips have passed. They are tolerant of all types of soil preferring sunny sites but will adapt to some shade as well. Camassia is a great plant to let naturalize at the edges of your property.
Lily-flowering ‘Green Star’ Tulip
Remember, the more the merrier when planting your bulb garden. To ensure a lovely spring, plant your bulbs before the snow flies which means to start now and finish by late November.
Whether your bulb garden is a carefully planned grouping of purple, pink and white lily-flowering tulips, a sunken meadow of differing daffodils, a lawn infused with snowdrops or crocus, or a large container of mixed, multicolored bulbs on your patio–they will all burst forth to enliven and renew your spirit next spring.
Medley of Peony-flowering tulips