Wednesday, May 11, 2011


By planting a wide range of bulbs that bloom at different times, you can extend your growing season with beautiful, colorful blooms.  It's possible to have blooms from the beginning of the bloom season clear to the end--right up until a hard frost hits in the fall!  However, know that it's hard to generalize about blooms seasons--the bloom time depends not only where you live, but also where the bulbs are planted.  A place against a south-facing site next to a rock wall, for instance, will bloom first.  The same species planted in a protected, north-facing  site could take even up to several weeks later before they bloom.  So, to be sure you have blooms all through the spring season, plant cultivars that are designated to bloom "early," "mid-season," or "late.  You could start off with "late winter to very early" spring iris reticulata and crocus, and move onto "early" spring daffodils, then show more color with "early, mid and late" tulips.  Then, with such bulbs as dahlias and gladiolas, which bloom in "summer," and then finally allium or lilium in the "late summer to early fall" bulbs to fill your beds with color all season.   I jot down a note in my bloom journal reporting the bloom time, and, if necessary, mark the spot where more bulbs are to be planted in the fall.  Always plant a perennial next to the bulbs--daylilies or poppies make good covers for the yellowing leaves of the tulips and daffodils.  When the perennials grow, the yellowing leaves won't be seen--and that's the worst part of having tulips--their yellowing leaves, which I think are very unsightly.  Right now, my 30-34" tall late season single tulips are starting to bloom--their extra long, thick ram-rod stems support blooms that, when open, are a good 8" or more across!   They are long-lived in arrangements, lasting as long as two weeks or more, and are some of my favorite tulips!   
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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