Bulbs are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to achieve color in the garden or landscape. Natureworks carries an extensive collection of bulbs both in the spring and in the fall. We plant bulbs in all of our demonstration gardens so it is easy for you to learn about them. We offer seminars on how to design with bulbs and force bulbs for winter blooms.
In September, our retail store overflows with perennial, spring flowering bulbs. Because we add bulbs to almost all of the gardens that we maintain and install, our selection is vast, focusing on deer and vole resistant varieties, over a dozen Allium varieties, bulbs for naturalizing, and even fall blooming bulbs such as Colchicums and saffron crocus.
In the fall, we also carry certified organic hard neck seed garlic. The hard neck types are long keepers for winter storage. Garlic is planted in the fall, at the same time that you would plant daffodils or tulips. It is harvested in July.
In October, we stock many bulbs for winter forcing as well as bowls, decorative gravel, forcing jars, and our own custom-made kits. We always have gigantic Amaryllis bulbs (these sell out very quickly) as well as pre-cooled hyacinths and many types of paperwhite narcissus. We start bulbs for forcing weekly and offer them for sale all throughout the fall and holiday season.
Each spring, we carry a wide assortment of summer blooming bulbs such as Calla lilies, dahlias, fragrant Abyssinian gladiolus (Acidinanthera), and many others.
Some Design Tips for Spring Flowering Bulbs
- In the many years of helping people with their gardens, we have learned a few basic design fundamentals that will help your investment in flower bulbs pay off in a breathtakingly beautiful garden each spring.
- Always plant bulbs in masses or groupings.
- The smaller the bulb, the larger the grouping. The tiny bulbs (often called “minor bulbs” because of their diminutive size) such as Scilla, snowdrops, crocus, and winter aconite should be massed in groupings of 9-11 bulbs for the best effect.
- Always pay attention to the bloom period of the bulbs. Natureworks offers a Succession of Bloom Chart for spring blooming bulbs that illustrates how to spread out the color from February until early July.
- Plant the bulbs in clusters BETWEEN the perennials in the garden.
- If a plant emerges from dormancy late in the spring (such as ornamental grasses, butterfly bushes, Asclepias, etc.) surround it with early spring bulbs. This fills in the gap. As the plant starts to grow, it will hide the ripening bulb foliage.
- Try to match spring bulbs with early spring blooming perennials.
- Bulb plantings look more natural if they are done in sweeping curves or graceful drifts.
Related handouts can be found by clicking here.