Spring bulb gardens are a beautiful welcome after a long winter. These are the first blooming plants in the spring and bring much awaited color and fragrance. The traditional and most popular flowers that are seen in gardens include crocuses, hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. There are several things to consider before starting a spring bulb garden. Careful planning before planting is suggested to make the most out of the garden.
Preparation for a spring bulb garden must take place the previous fall. A good place to start is planning the location, quantity and quality of bulbs for the garden. The first consideration is location. It must be free of major growth while the bulbs are blooming. It should be a well-drained area. Also consider the amount of light before and after the trees and other bushes leaf out. This will change so it will affect how the flowers are seen in the garden.
Also, for location, flowering size and bloom time is essential.
The quantity of bulbs is important. There are different planting methods such as mass plantings of hundreds of bulbs in one area or planting a few in and among other flowers in the garden.
Of course quality is also important. Bulbs begin to arrive in garden centers as early as the end of August. The bulbs should be disease free and undamaged. The bulb should be firm and have a papery skin around it.
The bulbs can be planted around the end of September to early October.
These plants are low to the ground and usually the first to flower in the spring. Snow crocus are smaller and bloom earlier. They can be orange, white, yellow or bicolored. The saffron crocus is slightly larger. They are purple and more fragrant. They require full sun with sandy well-drained soil. They can be used in rock gardens or in the front of borders and beds.
Hyacinths are adored for their flowers and wonderful fragrance that is one of the strongest scents of any flower. They come in a variety of colors. They need full sun to part shade and like acid to neutral soil to bloom. They can be forced in pots for decks and patios or in the garden with under planting of pansies or smaller bulbs.
Not all types of tulips have the same blooming height or bloom time. There are shorter and taller varieties as well as early bloomers and late spring bloomers. The taller varieties can be planted in the back as they will be seen well. Sandy soil is best with good drainage. These can be planted as late as November. The leaves will turn yellow and die as they are gathering nutrients for next year. It's important not remove the leaves until this process is compete.
As with tulips, not all daffodils have the same blooming height. The shorter varieties can be planted in the front of gardens. They can also be planted under bushes, in rock gardens or along walkways. Daffodils generally bloom in May. They require a well-drained, sunny place. Hillsides and raised beds are best. Drainage is also important. The soil should be amended if needed and sulfur added if the soil is alkaline.