by Catalogs.com Info Guru Terri Wallace
Bulbs provide easy, reliable results with minimal effort.
From fragrant and fancy to dramatic and showy, there is a bulb for every garden type. Rock gardens, lush lawns, cottage gardens, and manicured flowerbeds can all benefit from the benefits that bulbs bring. Here are ten of the best spring flower bulbs for beginners.
Tulips provide a vibrant pop of color. Available in a variety of hues, tulips provide dramatic impact and create a cascade of reliable color. Perfect for cut flowers as well as for a garden showpiece, tulips are a good anchoring flower for any spring garden.
Crocus are one of the first harbingers of spring, and often poke their heads out of the snow as a reminder that winter can’t last forever. These elegant flowers may be small, but they provide a much needed flash of color to early spring’s otherwise dismal landscape.
Hyacinth is another flower that may diminutive in size but not in impact. Available in a variety of spring soft hues, these bulbs are a graceful planting that can be planted in cheerful clusters or en masse. Hyacinth is perfect for bridging the space between woodland and lawn and creates a lush and showy wash of color.
Irises have a timeless appeal. From delicate pastels to vibrant yellows and spicy oranges, the iris has long held a nostalgic place in the spring garden. Easy to grow, these bulbs are both classic and colorful. Irises provide a vintage beauty to the garden and provide a lovely backdrop for some of the more diminutive plantings of the spring garden.
Lilies are equally at home in the garden or gracing a crystal vase. Wonderfully fragrant, bold and dramatic, the lily provides a colorful contrast to the garden’s shirking violets. Speaking of which, brilliant yellow lilies juxtaposed with a cascade of violets creates a romantic yet memorable landscape.
Peonies may well be the bulb that best represents the cottage garden. Peonies boast large, showy flowers that emit a nearly intoxicating aroma. These reliable bulbs provide the garden with a potent mix of dramatic green foliage, as well as fragrance, and large splashes of color.
Paperwhites are a bit of a transitional bulb. After the barren landscape of late winter, and before the heady—sometimes garish—colors of spring, the Paperwhite makes its lovely and subdued arrival. The crisp white petals echo the colors of winter, but against the slowly greening landscape, the Paperwhite seems elegant. No need for gaudy or showy…simply elegant.
Muscari is a sweet little flower with a sweet grapey fragrance that is clean and soft as spring itself. It is deer-resistant, and when planted in thick borders or in large meandering “rivers” of flowers along a rocky garden or across a swath of lawn, Muscari is reminiscent of dappled woodlands, walks in the country, and quaint villages.
Due to their early bloom time, these little beauties are commonly known as “The Glory of the Snow.” Due to their hardiness, the deer-proof Chionodoxa are excellent naturalizers, and they boast up to ten star-shaped flowers per stem. These bulbs are best planted in rolling, river-like drifts, or tucked into a rock garden planting.
For those who want a little more drama in their garden, the Eremurus is the perfect planting. Also known as “Desert Candles” or “Foxtail Lilies,” this bulb blooms into graceful spires of dense flowers. Not for the faint of heart, Eremurus is a spectacular, early-summer choice for the spring garden.