One of my favorite parts of springtime is watching the spring bulbs suddenly appear and then flower. There is nothing that says spring quite like a new crocus or tulip. This is the point where a little effort this fall will pay off huge dividends this spring. I love cutting some blooms and bringing them inside. I usually only do this when I have planted enough bulbs that there are plenty to spare in my flower beds.
The design with the biggest impact when using bulbs is massing them together in one spot in your landscape. When you have one here, and another there, you lose the bold effect that comes from having 20, 30, or even 100 bulbs planted together. These clusters of bulbs will double and triple the effect of the bulbs, turning them from just a little bit of color into the focal point of the yard.
My favorite bulb is the daffodil. The bright yellow trumpets seem to be announcing to the world, ‘Look at me!” Many times, daffodil bulbs will naturally spread out and colonize an area. I love this look mixed in with a grove of trees because it creates the look of a woodland meadow and really lightens the dark shady areas under the trees. Cut daffodils have a thick sap in their stems that is released into the water. When these daffodils are mixed with other flowers, the sap will clog the stems and kill the other flowers. They are best kept in arrangements with only daffodils. (Flower shops have several treatments that they use prior to adding daffodils to arrangements to fix this dilemma, but it is best for most homeowners to simply keep the daffodils with the daffodils).
Crocus are special because they are one of the first plants to bloom in the spring, often with snow still on the ground. They come in yellows, purples, and whites and are quite small. Their leaves blend into the grass which makes them hard to see until they bloom and seem to just appear. Mix some in with your lawn, create a border of them around your landscape beds, or simply add some next to the front door. These little sparkles are sure to delight!
Tulips are a favorite for many people. They come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors that there is sure to be one for everyone. Again, these do well massed together to create a stunning display. Tulips make great cut flowers. For a little known fact, they have an interesting characteristic called geotropism. This means that even when they have been cut, they will continue to stretch their stems vertically, against gravity. That means that a tulip placed horizontal in an arrangement, will soon begin to stretch back vertical.
Hyacinth is the last bulb we will discuss today. This is not to be confused with grape hyacinth, which is a different bulb. Hyacinth is one of, if not the most fragrant of the spring bulbs. I would guess its only rival would be stargazer lilies when it comes to perfume. Hyacinths produce a large cluster of purple, white, or pink flowers. They are one of the shorter bulbs, usually about 8″ tall; but there is nothing that can compare to its fragrance!
These are some of the most common spring landscape bulbs. Stop by your local Garden Center and plant some today! You will not regret the effort when spring comes.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow!” Audrey Hepburn