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More Bulbs Please

A bigger portion of purple please.

Do you do what I do, even though we should know better? Do you get seduced by the bulb catalogs, and then place an order without knowing exactly where you?re going to plant these babies. When the box arrives, will you walk around the garden with sacks of bulbs trying to imagine where you?re going to need jolts of color?

This year it is going to be different.

I am taking images of what my garden looks like now and will continue to do so as the spring progresses. I will make notes. These images and notes will be my reference library when I begin to put my bulb order together. I?m going to take into consideration what perennials and shrubs are also providing early season interest, and plan for partnerships.  No more lonely Hellebores or Galanthus. My goal is for an early spring symphony.

Stachyurus chinensis ‘Celina’ will be in bloom soon, but still waiting for the perennials to emerge.

While we’re waiting for the Hakonechloa and Hosta to emerge , how about some more purple here?

Helleborus multifidus

And don’t you think some little purple tommies will set off the lime green blossoms of this species Hellebore?

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ with Iris ‘Kathryn Hodgkin’

 Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about!

a young Helleborus ‘Golden Lotus’, looking lonely

 She’s too young to be alone… I think Helleborus ‘Golden Lotus’ would enjoy the company of Corydalis solida...

Corydalis solida will follow as Crocus tommasinianus fades

I have some Snowdrops to move. We forgot their location when we planted a prostrate Chinese Plum Yew, and now they are hidden….

Partially hidden snowdrops…now is a good time to move them.

How about next to a black hellebore?

Helleborus hybridus ‘Slate’ just emerging.

I’ve taken a number of  images for my reference library but won’t bore you with them now.  Next spring I’ll show off my “after” pictures, and let you ooh and ah then.

16 Comments

  1. Fantastic idea! Here in Milwaukee, spring plants are just starting to poke up out of the soil, so it’s perfect timing to start from the very beginning. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    Reply
    • I always say I’m going to do this. Now I’ve made an attempt!

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  2. I am on the same mission. I thank you for the picture of Katherine with the crocus as my Katherine looks quite lonely. She needs a royal purple skirt. I am going for rivers and pools of snowdrops and they do move quite readily. I have loads of H. foetidus with green flowers and now I know just what will set them off. Great ideas, Kathy. Today is a photo forage of bulbs in bloom and future possibilities.

    Reply
    • A happy accident. Didn’t expect to bloom at exactly the same time. last year “Kathryn” was up and gone before the Crocus.

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  3. Photos of your garden are never boring. Please publish as many as you like!

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    • Go on, Christine. Encourage me more.

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  4. What a wonderful idea Thank you for starting me off to a good plan.

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  5. Thank you for the inspiration! I hope you succeed. I’m going to try to do the same but I am going to mark the areas I want to add bulbs. I’m thinking maybe color coded (with paint or Sharpies) tongue depressors or golf tees to mark the “plant here” spots.

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    • Susan, That’s a thought.Almost a color by number game for fall. I like it.

      Reply
  6. I’m with Christine, Kathy, more photos please!

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  7. That Helleborus ‘Slate’ is just amazing!

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    • It’s mesmerizing. Onyx Odyssey is just opening in the garden in another spot, and it is really black!

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  8. Have been mulling over ideas of how to replant some bulbs where they have become lost in other increasing perennials and evergreens. The photo and other suggested ideas should answer my questions. Have enjoyed our Helleborus beds and with the addition of bulbs should increase their visibility.

    More ideas and pictures are welcomed.

    Reply
  9. beautiful pictures! and great ideas – last year I put my new bulbs in my vegetable garden so I could plant them where needed this spring

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    • We always think bulb planting is for fall only, but you can certainly lift and move them clumps around in the spring. The only problem is that they will be rather floppy afterwards, since the roots aren’t anchored well.

      Reply
  10. I walk around with the Brent and Becky’s catalog, while the bulbs are blooming, to see what should get moved where, and what lovelies should be added, and your article last year was inspiring….

    Reply

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