Landscaping with Bulbs

    • King Alfred daffodils, those big, showy, golden, trumpet-flowered daffodils, can be planted now from bulbs for glorious spring flowers.
    • Dress up your interior landscape with some new houseplants for the holidays ahead.
    • Rake and destroy leaves from fruit trees that were diseased this year.
    • Spray for peach leaf curl with a copper spray. Peach and nectarine trees may suffer from this fungus disease without a protective spray.
    • Liquidambar and Chinese pistache trees can’t be beat for fall color. Choose them now while you can see their bright colors.

Landscaping with Bulbs

One of the things gardeners look forward to in the fall is planting bulbs that will bloom in the spring. It is a simple job that brings big results, but it should be done by the end of November.

Spring bulbs, with their great variety of 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 sign 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, snowflakes 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, creeping thyme or low-growing sedum. 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, grape hyacinths and narcissus, followed by hyacinths, 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. 

In small areas, bulbs of one color will 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 primroses or other early flowers. 

Try some fun combinations like blue hyacinths or yellow tulips with miniature narcissus. Add some blue pansies for a living bouquet. Plant pink and red tulips together for a living Valentine. Or try a bold mixture of fragrant hyacinths that will light up the border next spring.

Enjoy painting your landscape with beautiful bulbs.

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