Landscaping with Bulbs

    • Plant Paperwhite narcissus in pots for Christmas gifts.
    • Dress up your interior landscape with some new houseplants for the holidays ahead.
    • Spray for peach leaf curl with copper sulfate. Peach and nectarine trees may suffer from this fungus disease without a protective spray.
    • Plant bright red amaryllis in pots now for Christmas gifts.

Light Up Your Garden With Spring Bulbs

Flowering bulbs, with their great variety of bloom color, flowering time, plant height and shape are an important addition to any landscape or garden.  Since bulbs give us our first spots of color after a long winter, they are always welcome harbingers of spring. In addition, they need no watering except the winter rains.

Bulbs always look nice planted in front of a section of evergreen shrubs.  Many houses have plants up against the house which make a nice backdrop for groupings of bulbs.  A border of bulbs planted along the edge of the lawn will add a splash of color to the lawn area.

Spring bulbs can also be planted under deciduous trees.  The bulbs will bloom before the trees leaf out, giving them plenty of light to make strong stems.  Some bulbs that perform well under trees and shrubs are grape hyacinths, crocus, leucojums and daffodils.

In a perennial bed or border, spring bulbs will bloom during March, April and May before most perennials start to flower.  Locate the bulbs in the planting bed so that the dying foliage will not be noticed.  Spring bulbs used in the perennial border can be left in the ground the year round or they can be removed and replaced by other plants after flowering is complete.

Some bulbs can be planted with low growing ground covers like ajuga, violets, vinca minor or English ivy.  Choose bulbs that are at least twice as tall as the ground cover.  Small bulbs like crocus can also be planted in a lawn.  They will be finished blooming by the time you get out to mow the grass and they look very cute popping up out of the lawn. 

Spring bulbs will bloom between early February and mid-June.  First to bloom are crocus and grape hyacinths, followed by daffodils and tulips through April and May.  The visual feast ends with Dutch iris and elegant Alliums.

Planting bulbs of one variety or color in mass will have greater visual impact.  Never plant bulbs in a single straight row or in a single circle around a tree or bush, except in very formal gardens. Bulbs look better and more natural when they are planted in masses.  Plant bulbs of one color in small spaces in the landscape.  One color will have greater impact and make the planting space look larger.  In large spaces, a planting of two or three colors can be effective. Plant each color together, don’t intermix them. The color of spring flowering bulbs is enhanced when interplanted with pansies or other compatible early flowers.

Try some fun combinations like blue hyacinths with grape hyacinths and white, miniature narcissus. Add some blue pansies for a living bouquet. Plant yellow-and-white daffodil ‘Ice Follies’ with ‘Golden Apeldoorn’ Tulips, or cream-and-pink ‘Elegant Lady’ Tulips with a mixture of pink -and-white daffodils. 

Enjoy painting your landscape with beautiful bulbs.

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