By: Debra Olberg
Nothing says spring quite like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and friends blooming for all to see. Bulbs can bloom in succession from very early spring, to mid-spring, and late spring giving your garden a full season of color. Depending on the bloom time, you can plant for a show of color all at one time or it can be over a several month span.
Interplant flower bulbs with a carpet of low-growing annuals or perennials like pansies, violas, arabis (rock cress), aubrieta, campanula, cerastium (snow in summer), cotula, erodium, hardy geranium, iberis (candytuft), blue star creeper, wire vine, corsican mint, creeping phlox, creeping thyme just to name a few.
These combination plantings give you two layers of color and a longer blooming season.
Some great shorties to try are: Chionodoxa (glory-of-the-snow), crocus, eranthis (winter aconite), galanthus (snowdrops), miniature iris, muscari (grape hyacinth), miniature daffodils, puschkinia, scilla (bluebell), species and rockery tulips. Have fun developing planting patterns amongst your shrubs and perennials.
For maximum color impact, plant bulbs in masses of 40 or more bulbs of a single variety. Arrange in drifts (for an informal garden) or geometric beds (for a formal garden). Always avoid planting in single rows or isolated beds.