Spring Bulbs: 2011 Picks
One of the most optimistic tasks for gardeners each year is planting spring bulbs. As gardeners we are use to working hard and being able to stand back at the end of the day and see the results of our labors. When planting bulbs, the best results are when it looks like we where never there! This being said, the labor of tucking bulbs into the cool fall soil is worth every effort. If you choose your bulbs wisely, you can have blooms from February to June.
This year, I would like to share with you some of my favorite and time tested performers. In order of bloom times, I recommend the following:
Snow Drops: Galanthus nivalis, with its bell-shaped flowers is the earliest of all bulbs. And, yes, they will come up through the snow!
Crocus: Blue Pearl is pale blue with a yellow throat
Iris reticulata: Harmony is a small bluebird-blue with bright yellow blotches.
Scilla siberica: Spring Beauty has sky blue flowers on strong stems and is great for naturalizing.
Fritillaria: Small flowered Meleagris, with its checkered pattern bell is also known as Snake’s Head.
Muscari or Grape Hyacinths.: M. armeniacum is bright cobalt-blue and flowers for weeks. Great planted under daffodils and early tulips. I love this bulb!
Narcissus: I pass on the strong chromium yellow daffodils but I do plant lots of creamy white Mt. Hood bulbs. This is a classic trumpet narcissus that is tall and strong and blooms for a good two weeks.
Small-cup Narcissus are early blooming and naturalize beautifully. I love Tete-a-Tete which is buttercup-yellow and the all-white Toto. These are early enough to benefit from an under-planting of brilliant blue scilla siberica.
Tulips: This is the toughest category to make recommendations because there are so many amazing choices. I do not plant tulips as perennials but rather treat them as annuals because you cannot be sure they will come back year after year. So this year, I am recommending a color combination I love which is Apricot Beauty, Queen of the Night (deep purple to black) and White Triumphator tulips.
Good luck and if you need any help from us, I hope you won’t hesitate to call.