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Planning a Long Blooming Bulb Garden

Planning a Long Blooming Bulb Garden

This fall as you are tidying up the landscape, you may find yourself dreaming of the sweet fragrance and brightly coloured blooms of spring. There is no time for dreaming… now is the time to get started and turn that dream a reality! A spring bulb garden is just about one of the easiest gardens there is to grow and nothing signals the end of the winter season like the first crocuses poking their heads up through the melting snow.

Getting the bulbs planted is a reasonably simple task. The challenge, is selecting the right bulbs to guarantee a long season of blooms. Using the list of bloom cycles below as a reference; make a plan for your spring bulb garden. Start by choosing at least one or two types of bulb from each category to ensure that you will have something in bloom at all times.

Consider the location of where you will plant your spring bulb garden. Bulbs need a well-drained location where they will not sit in pools of water from the melting snow and spring rains. The amount of sun the blooms will receive is another factor to consider, however most bulbs, with the exception of the late bloomers, will bloom before the trees and shrubs are in leaf.

Select a beautiful fall afternoon and devote a few hours to planting. Once you have planted the bulbs, leave them to sleep all winter long. With the warm temperatures of spring, the bulbs awaken and emerge from the earth to form buds and begin to bloom. With very little effort and some thoughtful planning, you can enjoy a progression of blooms that begin in early spring and extend right into the glorious, first days of summer.

VERY EARLY SPRING

Glory of the Snow Chionodoxa forbesii,syn. C. luciliae

Snow Crocus a.k.a Dwarf Iris Iris reticulata

Winter Aconite Eranthis hyemalis
Siberian Squill Scilla siberica
EARLY SPRING
Crocus Crocus Hybrid

Early Blooming Daffodils Narcissus

varieties such as 'Tete-a-Tete','Little Gem', 'Barrett Browning' and 'February Gold'

Emperor Tulip Tulipa Hybrid
MID SPRING

Tulips Tulipa hybrid

varieties such as 'Pink Impression', 'Golden Apeldorn' and 'Daydream'

Mid Spring Blooming Daffodil Narcissus

varieties such as 'King Alfred', April Queen, Ice Follies

Grape Hyacinth Muscari
Crown Imperial Fritillaria imperialis
Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis
LATE SPRING
Allium Allium Hybrid 'Purple Sensation'

Late Blooming Daffodil Narcissus

varieties such as 'Quail', 'Cheerfulness' and 'Flower Record'

Miniature Iris, Dutch Iris or Dwarf bearded Iris Iris pumila

Late Blooming Tulip Tulipa Hybrid

varieties such as 'Mount Tacoma', 'Catharina', 'La Courtine' and 'Menton'

Summer Snowflake Leucojum aestivum