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Timing Bulbs... a few tips

by chief cultivator

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Plant bulbs in drifts or clumps, staged by season of bloom!
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Capitalize on a bulb’s timeclock. <br/> <br/>Bulbs have their own internal clockwork that allows them to bloom on a schedule. From early-season openers to late-season bloomers, there are bulbs that will keep your yard and garden supplied with constant color from late winter through late spring--when the perennials can take over.

Early bloomers: As early as late February, the early birds rise, some pushing bravely through the snow. Undeterred by reports of cold weather, bulbs such as crocus, eranthis, galanthus (also known as snowdrops), anemones, Scilla siberica, chionodoxa, muscari, puschkinia, species and greigii tulips, early-blooming narcissus such as ‘February Gold,’ and Iris reticulata bloom. These tiny but mighty bulbs can even be planted under deciduous trees because they bloom before the trees leaf out and shade the garden. It’s fun to mix and match little bulbs, too. We like the bright blooms of ‘Mammoth Yellow’ crocus teamed with the neon-blue Chionodoxa gigantea.

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Midseason bloomers: While the early-bird blooms are just finishing up in the garden, these midseason bulbs will continue the color parade in your yard and garden. The most marvelous of the midseason bloomers are narcissus and tulips, with a colorful and fragrant backup by the sturdy hyacinth.

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Late bloomers: Late spring brings a flush of new color and flower shape. The brilliant Dutch iris bloom in striking blues and purples and form lovely clumps of lancelike foliage. Leucojum, with its nodding white blooms also creates clumps of attractive green foliage. Another white belle of the season is Ornithogolum umbellatum, whose starry pure blooms look great paired with the blue-hued Spanish bluebells. This is also the time that Allium christophii and Allium giganteum raise their purple, round heads in the garden. Another late-season beauty is the underused camassia, whose airy spires of blooms add color and shape to the middle of any border.

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Tags

Bulbs, flowers, cut flowers, spring blooming bulbs

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