Want Long-Lasting Blooms? Plant in Layers!
Spring-blooming bulbs herald the arrival of warm weather with breathtaking colors and forms, but wouldn't it be nice if the show went on just a smidge longer? Unfortunately, all too often, spring and summer flowers are a one-and-done kind of situation - they pop up, put on an unbelievable show, and then call it quits until the following season.
So, what do you do when you want just a little more? Well, there are several simple ways to extend the bloom time! You can choose either one (or both!) of these methods, and for more information on planting techniques, check out our companion article, The Secret to Massively Increased Blooms in Same Space! – Flower Bulb Layering.
We all know what a bed of Tulips looks like, just like we know what a bed of Irises, Muscari, and Anemones look like, but when you choose your bulbs carefully based on bloom time, you get an interplanted display that doubles or triples the number of flowers at the same time!
The trick here is to choose species that bloom simultaneously, then layer them by planting above and below one another according to the recommended planting depth of each bulb. Essentially, you can plant large Tulips deeply below smaller Grape Hyacinths in the same space, and they will grow and bloom together.
Now, you already know that these bulbs bloom in the spring, but what you might not be aware of is that this blooming period is divided into early, mid, and late. Therefore, by planting various bulbs with different flowering times, you can have beautiful blossoms from late winter through late spring, all in the same garden!
You'll want to start by making a list of every flowering bulb you like, then do a little research on their individual bloom times. The goal is to choose bulbs that bloom in late winter, early-mid-late spring, early-mid-late summer, and fall. Plant them using the method outlined above, and you'll have waves of brilliant blossoms all season long!
Coordinated & Sequential
Alright, now who says you can't do both methods? Not us! Plan your garden out so that you have several bulb types blooming at once throughout the growing season. Yes, it's a lot of bulbs, but think about it this way - when they grow and naturalize over the years, you'll have a spectacular show that will knock your socks - and the socks of anyone lucky enough to see the display - off!
Planting Tip: Always remember to keep growing requirements of sun, soil, and water in mind. While most flowering bulbs enjoy similar needs like full sun and well-drained soil, others prefer slightly shadier conditions and more irrigation.
Beautiful Bulb Buddies
So, you might be wondering which bulbs make the best bloom buddies, and we're here to spill all the tea on who gets along and who doesn't! While there are endless combinations, some are more logical than others. For example, you shouldn't plant tall Tulips and giant Alliums in the same spot if they have the same bloom time, as one will overtake the other. Similarly, you should avoid planting tall bulbs in front of short ones, effectively blocking the short flowers from view.
Alternatively, try to combine taller blooming bulbs with shorter ones to fill in bare spots. Below are some of our favorite combinations, and hey, we'll even make it easy by packaging them together!
Can't decide between cheerful, golden Tulips and peaceful, cerulean Hyacinths? Well, now you don't have to with our Sunny Day Tulip and Hyacinth Blend! We've brought together two striking species to create the illusion of a sunny day in your garden beds or containers. The double yellow Monte Carlo Tulips pop perfectly amidst the lovely Hyacinth Blue Jacket flowers to create a floral masterpiece in your home or garden.
We couldn't ask for a more strikingly compatible combination for garden displays than cobalt blue blooms of Muscari Armeniacum and the snow-white flowers of Anemone Blanda. The delightfully fragrant clusters of cerulean Muscari Armeniacum contrast beautifully with the bright, daisy-esque blooms of Anemone Blanda. So let this petite duo spread springtime cheer in your gardens, borders, or containers! They're deer-resistant, early to bloom, easy to grow, and positively irresistible!
Give your garden the best of both worlds with the lively golden blooms of Winter Aconite and the snowy white flowers of Galanthus Nivalis. These cheerful cultivars are among the first to appear, blooming between late winter and very early spring. While both varieties are beautiful on their own, the combination is positively enchanting! Not to mention, both blooms are an early source of nutrients for pollinators, highly deer resistant, cold hardy, and happy in containers!
There's truly no better way to lend stunning architectural interest to the garden than with the soaring apricot spires of Eremurus Cleopatra and the perfect purple spheres of Allium Purple Sensation. While these two enchanting plants are fantastic on their own, together, they create a spectacular display that's impossible to overlook! Not only are they gorgeous, but both of these beauties are resistant to hungry critters and highly attractive to pollinators. Not to mention, they're easy to grow and make exceptional cut flowers!
- Katie Elzer-Peters