Ideas for a Spring Bulb Garden

The first crocus or tulips poking through the ground, sometimes before the snow has fully melted, symbolize spring for many people. Colorful blooms are the gardener's reward for having had the faith to plant bulbs in the fall. Before most other flowers have revived, spring bulbs can provide swaths of color to your yard, color that can return year after year.

Formal

In formal bulb gardens, there's a place for every flower and a flower for every place. Choose four or five varieties of bulbs to showcase in a formal garden. Arrange like flowers together. Bulbs lend themselves to planting in geometric shapes, so consider a diamond of daffodils or interwoven triangles of different color tulips. Plant short bulbs such as grape hyacinth in front of taller blooms such as tulips.

Naturalized

Instead of formal plantings, some gardeners prefer a naturalized bulb garden, as if the flowers popped up of their own accord. Spade the planting area, then toss a handful of bulbs onto the dirt. Plant each bulb where it lands. You can also mix different types of bulbs and different colors. In spring, that section of your yard will look like an informally assembled bouquet.

Masses of Color

The more bulbs you plant, the bigger the impact. Choose bulbs of a single type and color to plant in one area for the boldest statement. A hundred or even two hundred red tulips filling a flower bed will stand out far more than clumps of red tulips all over the yard.

Window Boxes and Planters

You don't have to have masses of flower beds to plant spring bulbs. Bulbs like daffodils and tulips work well in window boxes and planters. Plant the bulbs close together and a little crowded in the planter to make the biggest impact. Keep the planter well watered even after the blossoms have faded in order to keep the bulbs healthy for next year.

Keywords: spring bulbs, formal bulb garden, naturalized bulb garden

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.