It’s not too late to plant bulbs for spring blooming. With some help from my 16-year-old, I put more than 100 in last Saturday, and we plan to plant a few more over the MEA Weekend. One reason we planted so many is that the tulips I planted about 8 years ago have pooped out. Unlike daffodils and some of the minor bulbs that naturalize, tulips lose their flower power after awhile. Some gardeners even view them as annuals and replace them every year. I’m not willing to do that, since bulbs can be pricey, especially the bigger (and in bulbs, bigger is better) bulbs.
We needed to plant bulbs in the front yard garden I put in this year, which is another reason for the large number to be planted. Bulbs give an early blast of color, which is so welcome after a long winter.
To create impact, we planted the bulbs in groups of 20 in four spots in the front bed. This was relatively easy to do. Using a spade, I pushed the mulch aside and dug a wide hole the appropriate depth in each area. I put the dirt in a bucket so it was easy to add back. Then, my daughter moved in and placed the bulbs in a random group with appropriate spacing, added the dirt back, and pushed the mulch back in place. While she was placing and planting, I was digging the next hole. In about 45 minutes, we planted 40 Allium caeruleum, a 16-inch, blue allium that will complement the large alliums I planted in the front door bed, which bloom about the same time. We also planted 20 crocus Grand Maitre for early spring bloom, and 30 grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum), which bloom in mid spring.
In the bed near the front door, we’re planting about 50 tulips as well as 60 Allium sphaerocephalon, which has the wonderful common name of drumstick allium. It’s also a later blooming bulb. I have one problem with the tulips, however. I purchased them from the bins at Farmer’s Seed and Nursery in Faribault, and oops, I forgot to write on the bags which is which. I have 25 yellow ones (Daydream) and 25 purple ones, and it’ll be spring by the time I figure out which are planted where. Ah well, spring is a good time for surprises.