These crisp fall days before the ground hardens with frost are the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths. Bulbs planted now will cover your spring garden with a fragrant blanket of soft pastels and bold color.
After the endless gray days of March, it is exciting to discover the first delicate tips of green peeking through the soil, a happy harbinger of warmer, sunnier days ahead. Slender daffodil (Narcissus) leaves are among the first shoots to appear. Growing straight and tall, they inch taller until the miraculous day when a cocooned yellow bud appears and breaks free to trumpet the start of spring. Their bright yellow heads bobbing in the chilly spring breeze, daffodils provide a dazzling counterpoint to the gray remains of melting snow banks.
Soon tulips (Tulip) join the chorus, broad leaves unfurling to catch April’s raindrops. Cup-shaped heads balanced on slender green stems like inverted dancers, tulips bring a splash of bold color to spring gardens. Although their blooms are not as long-lasting as daffodils’, these floral ballerinas quickly steal the stage, dancing bright colors across garden beds in an exuberant celebration of spring!
Just as the final daffodils and tulips are beginning to fade, hyacinths (Hyacinth) emerge, their intoxicating fragrance wafting on the late spring breeze, enticing gardeners with a splash of Mother Nature’s exotic perfume.
To enjoy the wonders of spring, gardeners need to pick up some bulbs at their local garden center and put in a little spade work in the fall. When making your bulb selections, Master Gardeners offer two important tips to ensure a stunning spring display:
- Focus your floral color scheme on one major color with one or two contrasting or complementary accent colors.
- Plant bulbs en masse. A wide swath of the same color creates a far more dramatic display than tiny clumps of different colors.