I don’t think there is a more perfect way to usher in Spring than through the brightly colored petals and beautiful fragrance of bulbous flowers. Crocuses, daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are a wonderful addition to any garden. They make gorgeous bouquets to enjoy inside and brighten up a yard when most other plants are still awakening.
Going for early Spring walks in our subdivision has inspired me to duplicate some of the creative bulb planting I’ve seen in our own gardens this Fall. I’ve noticed a few reoccurring themes in professionally landscaped gardens. Color, size, and placement of bulbous blooms are important in a well-planted English garden (my favorite style).
Here’s how to incorporate bulbs into your landscape for maximum visual appeal.
Consider the blooming order of the bulbs you wish to add. Crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, and allium bloom consecutively in that order, with some overlap. Crocuses are usually solo bloomers, showing off when little to no other greenery is evident in the garden. They are finished before hyacinths and tulips makes their debut, so if you want a continuous stream of purples and yellows in a particular spot of your garden, you might consider planting crocus bulbs in front of a batch of tulip or hyacinth bulbs in the same color.
Daffodils and hyacinths bloom at the same time, typically in complementary purples and yellows, which means they look absolutely stunning when you pair them together. Daffodils have long, slender leaves and stems, while hyacinths tend to be shorter and wider. If you’re planting them together, keep the daffodils in back and let the hyacinths take front stage so they don’t get hidden in a sea of yellow.
Tulips are often in bloom during the same time as flowering shrubs are trees, and overlap for a short time with the planting of annuals. Tall and available in a vast variety of colors, you can create calming monochromatic theme or an energizing display of complementary hues.
Medium-purple hued allium spheres bloom in late Spring when lush green garden foliage is at its peaked. Since their stems are tall and slender, alliums are the perfect bulbs to plant in the back of a garden where a cloud of purple can float above other perennials that have not reached their full height.
Plant bulbs in clusters instead of individually. You will create a much bigger impact if you group several bulbs together in a few clusters instead of scattering them sparsely throughout the landscape.
Locate bulbs immediately next to, or in the middle of another perennial. This will eliminate any glaring bare spots from appearing in your garden after the bulbs have finished blooming and the leaves begin to brown.
These next few photos are from Three Dogs In A Garden, on of my favorite Canadian gardening blogs. It is chock full of beautiful photos, inspiration and gardening advice. I’d love to see her garden in real life one day, but for now, I enjoy gleaning ideas at my desk with a cup of coffee in hand.