Now is the time to decide where you should plant bulbs subsequent fall. Here’s what I do:
I wander around my assets every yr inside the spring to peer what spots are naked of bulb flora. I deliver the white plastic markers used for labeling and write “add crocus right here” as an instance. Then within the fall — whilst it’s time to plant extra bulbs — I should not depend on my memory to understand what to plant and wherein.
When planting bulbs, I label what I’ve planted. That way, I’ll see what has been executed properly and not forget to buy extra of the same. For example, I’m usually keen to get shade within the garden at the same time that the white snowdrops bloom. Two crimson-blue bulbs bloom about the equal time: Glory-of-the-snow is one plant that overlaps with snowdrops. However, it is a bit later, as is scilla.
This spring, I saw a crocus categorized as “Blue Pearl” blooming with my snowdrops — and before those different. So I’ll buy one hundred of these for fall planting. I bought them at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs — I recognize them because they consist of tags with each bag of bulbs. And I can organize them now for delivery then.
This year I am thrilled to see that the winter aconite that produced seed years in the past goes to bloom. Last yr I diagnosed the leaves, but they did not produce blossoms. It is a totally early brilliant yellow flower that has 1-inch extensive, six-petaled plants. I’ve grown it before but misplaced it to cold, rodents, or negative drainage and re-planted it in other spots. This new patch will provide me 50 or so “loose” flowers.
I generally tend in charge of bulb failure on drainage issues, now not rodents. I mix in plenty of compost at planting time and want hillsides, which enables drainage. Wet soil is hard on bulbs. Our cats tend to keep rodents away. South-dealing with hillsides is first-rate for early bulbs because the snow melts off weeks in advance than north-facing plots and drain nicely.
A bulb plant that I’ve taken into consideration fussy is a low-growing iris, Iris reticulata. It is only a few inches tall and has medium-sized blue, crimson, or (on occasion) yellow flora. Doing some research, I noticed why I notion they’re fussy: once they bloom, the bulbs divide, generating numerous little bulblets. This received’t bloom for a few years. So I want to plant some each yr until I actually have a mature colony of them. I also examine that they like soil that dries out nicely in the summertime, including a rock lawn or sandy hillside.
My garden is complete with snowdrops that have planted themselves. I assume that they produce seeds that wash into the lawn at some point during summer rains. The bulk of my snowdrops are planted on a hillside above the lawn. But you could plant early spring bulbs within the lawn, too. Just don’t plant daffodils or something with huge leaves because you gained’t be able to mow the lawn wherein they may be growing until the leaves are yellow and dry off — around July Fourth. Bulb plants need to re-fee their batteries, if you will, using getting sunshine and storing energy.
Little bulbs like snowdrops, crocus, and grape hyacinths have quick leaves that disappear early and received’t disrupt your early mowing. You can continually set the garden mower blades high to guard the leaves if they are nonetheless green while you need to reduce the garden.
Grape hyacinths (Muscari spp.) are high-quality little vegetation that comes in many distinct sun shades of blue and crimson. I’ve planted many dozens in my day but discover they tend to lose vigor and disappear with time. So I plant them once more. Whenever I see grape hyacinths on the market in pots at the grocery shop, I buy them. I enjoy them immensely in residence. Later, whilst the soil is thawed, I plant them outside. I hold the pot in a cool space indoors, as though they get too warm, they flop over.
Tulips I treat like annuals. Why? They do well the primary 12 months; however, the speedy move downhill or disappear in the next years no matter what I do. I plant 100 maximum years in a bed that I reserve for them. Later I plant zinnias in the same mattress, so I don’t hassle to coddle them. My corgi, Daphne, continues the deer away.
Daffodils are slightly poisonous to deer and rodents, so they aren’t eaten — and may bloom for years. You can plant them in open woodlands, and they will do great. By the manner, if you forced paperwhites this iciness, don’t trouble to plant them outdoors — they’re now not hardy here.
I’ve been attentive to bulb plants, at least for the reason that I become nine years vintage. I currently found entries in my diary that tell me so. My access for March 7, 1956, in its entirety, turned into this: “Spring is getting right here at closing the snowdrops are in bud & will bloom in some days.” Then on April five, I wrote, “Today our first crocus turned into in bloom it’s miles beautiful.” As a guy who does his residing writing, I no longer keep a day-by-day journal. I tend to file my existence now with a virtual digital camera — and this column.