Now’s the time to be purchasing and planting our Spring bulbs—remember the cheerfulness of the first daffodils that emerge in sleepy February, and the sophistication of the tulips that grace our containers and gardens come March and April . . . . But to have that wonderful greeting of Spring, we have to prepare and plant now.
Our BGC Nov. 15 speaker, William ‘Bill’ Welch, will be addressing these bulbs and many more, and will even have bulbs for sale. So I thought I would talk about what to plant with the bulbs for a wonderful Spring display.
When I plant daffodil bulbs in a garden, I like to use grasses or blue flowering plants along with the brilliant yellow of the daffodils: ornamental grasses will give the area a meadow-like feel, and the spring blooming forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) are a wonderful choice that will seed around for the following years also. But really, plant them anywhere for a joyous spring!
I usually plant tulips (after their 6 weeks of hibernation in the fridge, not near ripening fruit) in containers since they are a one time event in our moderate climate. They need the winter chill to gather their strength for blooming if left in the ground from year to year and we just can’t provide that here.
Ringing the base of the containers of tulip bulbs, I plant the winter blooming violas, again in blue/violet range so that the colors and uniqueness of the tulips are the stars of the show.
If you would like to plant tulip bulbs that will repeat bloom for many years in our moderate climate, select species tulips. At our local nursery I just picked up selections of Tulipa tarda (yellow petals with white tips), Tulipa saxatilis (yellow centers with lavender tips) and Tulipa chrysantha (creamy with outer pink petals). They are smaller than the hybrid tulips, but nevertheless enchanting in the garden.