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With some of the best flowers in the entire plant kingdom, bulbs are the ambassadors to Spring. Plant bulbs for both fall and spring blooms. From the tulip to the daffodil, these plants make gardening seem easy.

Designing a garden with bulbs is a little like decorating a Christmas Tree... there are so many choices, colors, shapes and sparkles that can be combined in an infinite number of ways! They are such an easy addition to an existing garden, or, make a fabulous display all their own. Plant a bulb garden and you will get years of enjoyment! Bulbs are one of nature's most foolproof flowers. Dig a hole, drop in a bulb, wait for winter to bluster through town, and then-voila! It's spring and the bulbs are a-bloomin'! It's really that easy.

Bulbs are often grouped with corms, rhizomes and tubers. Bulbs have fleshy scales that are either very tightly overlapping, often incased in a papery covering or tunic, or naked and loosely arranged. A corm is an enlarged stem base, also often having a papery covering, like that of a crocus. Unlike bulbs, corms only last a year, and then are replaced by a new one the following year. Tubers, such as dahlias, are a solid, underground portion of a root or stem, seldom having papery tunics or scales. And finally, rhizomes are modified stems that sit just below or at the soil surface. They can be swollen and fleshy, such as the bearded iris; or thin and wiry, such as lily of the valley.

Bulbs typically have a very specific period of time that they grow and bloom. While they can come and go quickly, designing a bulb garden varying bloom time can offer a full season of magnificent color, fragrance, texture and shapes for your garden. After flowering, the foliage provides nutrients for next season’s show, and should be left until they fade to yellow and die back. Once the foliage is gone, the bulb sits patiently, building energy for the next bloom cycle.

Designing with bulbs offers the formal and informal gardener a wide range of choices. Naturalizing bulbs, which spread and propagate season to season, create a wonderful natural garden design with a free-flowing quality. Hybrid tulips can make a formal border burst with precise color and shapes. And dahlias offer an enormous palette of bloom shapes and colors for a late summer show.

Please explore our bulb categories in the database, and be sure to browse member posts about bulbs. We also encourage you to share your bulb garden photos, designs, stories and questions here!



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