If you have, over the years, looked at gardens where there is a profusion of color with spring-flowering bulbs and wished for the same showstopping display in your garden, then now is the time to think about planting spring-flowering bulbs.
I had been remiss some years and did not plant certain bulbs or as many as I should have, and then came spring, and I had regrets. So, this fall, make time for spring color in your garden and plant fall bulbs in the perennial bed and beneath trees and shrubs. If space is a problem, fall bulbs can be planted in pots, containers and window boxes, and even be forced to bloom indoors.
Not all bulbs are the same. That is, some fall bulbs work as perennials, others are considered annuals. Daffodils and scilla are reliable as perennials. Tulips and hyacinths have become annuals for me. The National Garden Bureau suggests treating them as annuals, and to check bloom times so you can enjoy a long season of flowers. Since tulips and hyacinths often bloom as annuals, the National Garden Bureau suggests experimenting with new color combinations every year.
Some of their tips for planting spring-flowering bulbs:
• The best times for planting are mid-October through mid-November. Early December is the latest for planting. Plant bulbs about three weeks before the soil begins to freeze.
• Well-drained soil and about six to eight hours of sun are the ideal locations for bulbs.
• Your selection of bulbs should include bulbs with different bloom times. Early-, mid- and late-season-blooming bulbs will guarantee a colorful spring show of flowering bulbs.
Carole McCray resides in Cape May, New Jersey and is an award-winning garden writer who has been writing a monthly garden column, The Potting Shed, for regional newspapers for nearly 20 years. Her articles have been published in The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper, Coastal Living Magazine, Cape May Magazine, Growise Garden Guide and Ideals Magazine. She won the Garden Writer’s Association Award for newspaper writing for The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper.