6 Tips for Planning a Beautiful Spring Bulb Garden

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Experts at Longfield Gardens offer tips on alternating color, bloom time and shape to make any outdoor space pop

Longfield Gardens, Garden Media Group
One option is to choose a single color scheme. The effect is simple and always has a big impact.

Plant tulips, daffodils, crocus, alliums and other spring-blooming bulbs in the fall for a spectacular spring garden. Get the best results for spring with tips from Longfield Gardens.

Pick a Color Theme
Interior designers often work with a color palette — a selection of colors chosen to give a room or a home a particular look, mood or style. This technique is equally effective in gardens and landscapes.

“One option is to choose a single color scheme,” says Marlene Thompson, creative director at Longfield Gardens. “The effect is simple and always has a big impact.”

Thompson says choosing to build a design around a pair of colors like pink and white is an easy way to get a designer look. Another approach is to use the color wheel and choose a several related colors, such as pink, lavender, burgundy and purple or cream, yellow, orange and red.

Include Different Bloom Times

From early-blooming crocuses to late-blooming tulips and alliums, the spring bulb season can stretch for as long as 8-10 weeks. When choosing your bulbs, be sure to include a few from each bloom time: early, midseason and late season. This way the flowers will keep blooming for as long as possible.

Plant in Groups

Fall planted bulbs look best when the plantings are generous and the bulbs are spaced just a few inches apart.

Plant small bulbs such as scilla or chionodoxa in groups of at least 25. Tulips look best in groupings of at least a dozen. Daffodils and alliums can be planted in threes, though clusters of 7 to 9 bulbs look even better.

Repeat Shapes and Colors

Landscapes are more pleasing and cohesive when the same plant or grouping of plants appears in multiple locations.

“Our eyes connect these similar shapes or colors into one scene rather than a collection of separate elements,” says Thompson.
For a formal look, plant bulbs in squares, rectangles or circles.

For a more natural or informal look, use ovals, triangles, kidney shapes or a free-form shape that fits the location.

Plant Both Annual and Perennial Bulbs

Many spring bulbs, including daffodils, scilla, chionodoxa, alliums and muscari, can be considered perennials, as they return and bloom again every spring. In fact, most of these hardy bulbs will naturalize and multiply over time.

Tulips and hyacinths are often treated as annuals. These bulbs usually put on their best show the first spring after planting. In the right growing conditions (full sun, well- drained soil, hot dry summers), tulips such as Darwin hybrids re-bloom for several years. To ensure the most dramatic spring display, treat these bulbs as annuals and plant a fresh batch every fall.

Shop for Large, High Quality Bulbs

When shopping for flower bulbs, pay attention to bulb size. Larger bulbs produce bigger plants with better flowers. Keep in mind that bulbs are perishable, so purchase the freshest bulbs possible and store them in a cool, dry place until it’s time to plant.

Longfield Gardens is one of America’s top importers of quality flower bulbs. Longfield’s mission is to bring bulb gardening into every home, offer common sense planting information and stretch your dollar by offering competitive prices that are transparent. This simple approach to selling bulbs saves their customers time and money while increasing gardening success. Longfield Gardens carries an impressive selection of spring-planted, fall-planted and winter product lines, as well as information and inspiration. For more information, visit the website at http://www.longfield-gardens.com/ or visit the blog at http://blog.longfield-gardens.com/.

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Samantha Arcieri
since: 08/2012
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Longfield Gardens, Garden Media Group