Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spring Bulbs

Fall is the time to plant your garden beds full of hope using spring bulbs.  It is best to buy them sooner rather than later so you can get a good selection, and plant them anytime before the ground freezes, but not too early, the soil should be around 55 degrees for best root development.

Bulbs like well draining and nutritious soil, otherwise they might drown or rot.  Some companies say that not much fertilizer is needed until spring, but since the soil in Central Oregon is almost sterile, I do suggest that you mix in some compost with a little bone meal to your planting area for best results.

Plant the bulbs where you will appreciate them the most, taking care to ensure that they get some sunlight. Daffodils need at least six hours of sun to really do their best, and look stunning when planted together with Muscari or other blue flowering bulb.

There are many shade tolerant or light shade varieties, usually called woodland varieties. Some of these are Squill, Snowdrops and Winter Wolf's Bane.  I would love to one day plant a woodland area with thousands of bulbs, allowing them to create a carpet of spring color, wouldn't that be amazing!

This is an image of English Bluebell taken by Clive Nichols at Coton Manor in England, stunning.

Other varieties to consider are Allium, Fritillaria, Camassia and Snake's Head.  Whenever I see these in a landscape it always makes me stop an extra moment to enjoy the view.  Do something different these year, plant Alliums and Fritillaria's!




Snake's Head
I think these Snake's Head would look great in a meadow planting, they bloom early to mid season so could be followed by Columbine (perennial, not a bulb) and Daisy.
Spring bulbs bring much joy and promise.  They are like a fantastic secret hidden under the cold soil waiting to surprise you come spring.  Plant bulbs in masses and add a smile to your garden.