Planning a Long Blooming Bulb Garden

Planning a Long Blooming Bulb Garden
  • Posted October 21, 2014

This fall as you are tidying up the landscape, you may find yourself dreaming of the sweet fragrance and brightly colored blooms of spring. There is no time for dreaming… now is the time to get started and turn that dream a reality! A spring bulb garden is just about one of the easiest gardens there is to grow and nothing signals the end of the winter season like the first crocuses poking their heads up through the melting snow.

Getting the bulbs planted is a reasonably simple task. The challenge, is selecting the right bulbs to guarantee a long season of blooms. Using the list of bloom cycles below as a reference; make a plan for your spring bulb garden. Start by choosing at least one or two types of bulb from each category to ensure that you will have something in bloom at all times.

Consider the location of where you will plant your spring bulb garden. Bulbs need a well-drained location where they will not sit in pools of water from the melting snow and spring rains. The amount of sun the blooms will receive is another factor to consider, however most bulbs, with the exception of the late bloomers, will bloom before the trees and shrubs are in leaf.

Select a beautiful fall afternoon and devote a few hours to planting. Once you have planted the bulbs, leave them to sleep all winter long. With the warm temperatures of spring, the bulbs awaken and emerge from the earth to form buds and begin to bloom. With very little effort and some thoughtful planning, you can enjoy a progression of blooms that begin in early spring and extend right into the glorious, first days of summer.

Glory of the Snow

Glory of the Snow Chionodoxa forbesii,syn. C. luciliae

Snow Crocus

Snow Crocus a.k.a Dwarf Iris Iris reticulata

Winter Aconite Winter Aconite Eranthis hyemalis
Siberian Squill Siberian Squill Scilla siberica


Crocus hybrid Crocus Crocus Hybrid
Tete a Tete

Early Blooming Daffodils Narcissus

varieties such as ‘Tete-a-Tete’,‘Little Gem’, ‘Barrett Browning’ and ‘February Gold’

Emperor Tulip Emperor Tulip Tulipa Hybrid
Tulip Pink Impression

Tulips Tulipa hybrid

varieties such as 'Pink Impression', 'Golden Apeldorn' and 'Daydream'

Ice Follies

Mid Spring Blooming Daffodil Narcissus

varieties such as ‘King Alfred’, April Queen, Ice Follies

Grape Hyacinth Grape Hyacinth Muscari
Crown Imperial Crown Imperial Fritillaria imperialis
Hyacinth Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis
Allium Purple Sensation Allium Allium Hybrid ‘Purple Sensation’
Narcissus Quail

Late Blooming Daffodil Narcissus

varieties such as ‘Quail’, ‘Cheerfulness’ and ‘Flower Record’

Miniature Iris Miniature Iris, Dutch Iris or Dwarf bearded Iris Iris pumila
Mount Tacoma

Late Blooming Tulip Tulipa Hybrid 

varieties such as 'Mount Tacoma', 'Catharina', 'La Courtine' and 'Menton'

Summer Snowflake Summer Snowflake Leucojum aestivum

Related Pages

Planting Containers of Spring Blooming Bulbs

Planting Containers of Spring Blooming Bulbs

Potting up containers of spring blooming bulbs is a wonderful option for multiple reasons. Foremost, it gives you a way to enjoy an up-close burst of spring, beyond the garden, or in place of one.

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Kay Bishop
About the Author

Kay Bishop is a greenhouse grower/owner, artist, and horticulturist at MasterTag – a horticultural printing company.

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Planning a Long Blooming Bulb Garden

After blooming;

Remove the spent flowers, but leave the foliage to absorb sunlight and nutrients that the bulbs will store for next year’s blooms!