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The Dreamworthy Bulb Garden
To Start Or Improve A Garden
Top Ten Successful Spring Bulbs
Paperwhites: Old fashioned white Narcissus are earliest "daffodil" type to bloom. Returns for dozens of years. Plant where spring sun is warm. Simple flat stars on many stems per bulb. Amazing strong perfume.
Daffodils: Also called Narcissus, Jonquil. Look for small flowers for early bloom like Minnow, and Tete a Tete which are multi-flowered. For the next bloom, look for sturdy stemmed daffodils that will survive winds and rain. For mid season the choice is yours in single or double blooms, multi-stemmed or huge singles. Colors are every shade of yellow, white, cream, orange accented, and even PINK. Many daffodils return year after year.
Scilla: Also called Squill, Wood Hyacinth, and Bluebells. Blue, pink or white flower bells on lush leaved plants. Charming small plant in dappled sunlight. Naturalizes easily.
Muscari: Often called grape hyacinth, multi short stems covered in tiny purple bells.
Snowdrops: Tall stems arch and dangle pure white small bells, each petal ending with a green dot. Not to be confused with Snowflake which bears wing shaped white flowers. Mid-season bloom.
Tulips: Planted in fall along with the other bulbs; in some zones used as annuals because the climate does not match optimum conditions and new bulbs are planted each year. For a chance at returning tulips, growers recommend Species bulbs. Planting in an area not watered through the summer may bring bloom again next year. Bloom times span from very early to very late. Try a wild painted Tulip or pool of one color in several styles. Get some new ideas at Brecks Bulbs: Brecks.com.
Ixia and Spraxia: Sometimes called windflowers, pretty, splotchy or striped in white, pink and orange upturned small open trumpets. Blooms in mid to late spring. Plant once and forget, they spread and return.
Freesia: Wirey stems remind you of a candelabra with an upturned row of scented bells. Many pastels bloom in late spring. Small plant, best tucked in among shorter plants or in pots. Your grandmotherís garden may have had drifts of pale cream freesia with yellow insides, unavailable now. For a very close match see freesias at www.oldhousegardens.com.
Iris: Dutch Iris (really a rhizome) is an easy to grow simple iris. Plant a counterpoint blue among the yellows, many shades and white, graceful leaves and stems. Blooms early to mid-season.
If your dreamworthy bulb garden has performed its magic, perennials will be arriving and youíll be stocking up on annuals. Let the leaves of your bulbs fade back among the foliage of other plants and trim out when the have become dried and unsightly. Watering through the bloom time if it is not raining will prolong the flowers. Congratulate yourself for designing the framework of an annual spring garden.