Bulbs are among the most anticipated flowers — their appearance signals a new garden season along with the return of color to the gloomy late-winter landscape. However, this fall, before you plant a smattering of tulips here and also a bag of daffodils there, consider what impact you want and the way you can replicate the bulbs’ dying foliage that’s necessary for the following season’s blossoms.
All these 10 design ideas can help you achieve the best impact from the spring and summer bulbs you plant in fall.
The Todd Group
1. Let them multiply. Few springtime sights are as spectacular as masses of naturalized bulbs — informal sweeps that seem like Mother Nature did the planting herself.
When choosing bulbs for a naturalized planting, then look for species and varieties that will multiply readily without becoming invasive. Also search for a location where you can live with all the relaxed look of dying bulb foliage once the flowers are gone.
Excellent choices consist of small bulbs like crocus, snowdrops and scilla for yards; grape hyacinth, species tulips and ‘tete-a-tete’ dwarf daffodils for rock gardens; along with larger daffodils and checkered lily (fritillaria meleagris) for areas and woodland settings.
The Todd Group
Among the most striking regions to plant bulbs to multiply freely in is beneath deciduous trees and along woodland paths. The bulbs will get ample sunlight before the trees leaf out.
Great Oaks Landscape Associates Inc..
2. Mix with companion crops. The trickiest part of gardening with bulbs involves getting through the inevitable ugly stage — that the time required after flowering for foliage to die back and store energy for next year’s blossoms. Now, you are going to want nearby plantings that can disguise the leaves and take over.
Don’t worry about the minor foliage of smaller bulbs like species tulips, muscari and crocus. Team midsize bulbs with perennials like rockcress, lady’s mantle, Oriental poppy, catmint, chrysanthemum, shasta daisy and candytuft. Tall later-blooming bulbs require larger companies, such as hostas, little shrubs and shorter ornamental grasses.
Glenna Partridge Garden Design
3. Fill containers with color. Surprisingly, maybe, bulbs perform too in containers as they do from the floor. Plant portable baskets in fall, then overwinter the plants in a cold garage or storage shed before putting the containers out in spring. You will have the benefit of being able to put color directly where you want it.
Denise Dering Design
4. Play with color schemes. As a rule of thumb, plant bulbs in large groupings for the most impact. (Aim for at least 12 larger bulbs and 50 or more if they’re small.)
Even though it’s advisable to maintain bulbs of the same variety together, you can occasionally incorporate a random additional to create the happy accidental look of a cottage garden.
Verdance Landscape Design
In monochromatic schemes, the bulbs’ most important role is to supply design interest rather than color. Because of this, you can use fewer bulbs to accomplish the target. In this picture, little staggered groupings of tulips provide rhythm and repeat, leading the eye down the route to front door.
Small Miracles Designs
5. Reinforce your garden’s style. Precisely the exact same bulb can appear formal or informal depending on how you utilize it. For casual landscapes, set bulbs in an intermittent manner to mimic how they would grow in character.
The New York Botanical Garden
For a more formal look, plant that same bulb in rows alongside a route or a driveway. This more manicured look works great with larger-flowering bulbs like Darwin hybrid tulips or tall alliums.
The Todd Group
6. Use shrubs as perfect backdrops. Spring-blooming bulbs pop if planted in front of evergreen shrubs in a boundary or a foundation planting. Even white seems dazzling in comparison to the shrubs’ dark green.
7. Plant for a layered effect. Create greater impact by using the same room to plant small, medium and large bulbs on top of one another.
For instance, in the same 8-inch deep gap, it’s possible to first plant alliums or massive tulips and protect them with a few inches of soil. Insert hyacinths or mini daffodils that you also pay for, then finish with little bulbs like crocuses, species tulips, and grape hyacinths.
Inside this picture, alliums are preparing to bloom, while daffodils and hyacinths are going strong.
Layering can choose an abundant, natural look that’s perfect for casual gardens and meadows. Here, agapanthus and culture garlic set onto a multilayered show.
See more of this landscape layout in Greece
Summerset Gardens/Joe Weuste
8. Create a view. If you’re like most anglers, you long to look out of your window and peek that colorful bloom. Look at planting with this in mind. Mark places in your lawn that can easily be seen from the windows you frequently look through.
B. Gardening Landscape Design
9. Keep color. Use a mixture of bulbs that bloom early, midseason and late in the summer to supply sequential color in your garden. Plant them near perennials that will peak a bit later, pay the remnants of those dying bulbs and maintain the color alive.
Conte & Conte, LLC
10. Edge the garden. Use smaller bulbs like grape hyacinth or scilla as a colorful border to frame a formal bulb garden or the early-season greens in a vegetable plot. Here, elevated beds of pink and coral tulips are accentuated by grape hyacinth. Though a planting like that is magnificent, you will want to remove the bulbs after they bloom or include sufficient perennials or annuals to give interest until the foliage obviously dies.
More: 6 Unsung Bulbs for Fall Planting