Springtime flowering bulbs get a lot of attention, but there are bulbs that bloom in summer and autumn too. Here are a few of the most popular.
After a long, grey winter the vibrant colours of tulips are a warm welcoming into spring. These classic flowers give stunning displays of colour, and require little maintenance. Although tulips are quite simple, there are a few tips to plant them in their prime conditions to ensure a beautiful display, and hopefully re-bloom for the next season.
Within the Tulipa genus there are many varieties, colours (ranging from white to pink, yellow and even blue), heights and even flowering times. The most common tulips for mass plantings are Triumph, Darwin Hybrid, Single Early and Landscape types. The other types of Tulips (Doubles, Parrot, etc.) are usually novelty or special interest types.
Mid-Spring (April - May) Flowering Types: Landscape, Single Early, Double Early and Triumph.
Late-Spring (May) Flowering Types: Lily Flowering, Single Late, Parrot and Darwin Hybrids.
Heights of tulips can range from 8 to 30", depending on the variety. Plant tulips in the Fall once temperatures are consistently below 13 degrees C.
First year bulbs don't require any fertilizer, but in subsequent years, feed them in the Spring by gently working organic fertilizer, compost, well-rotted cow manure or a slow-release bulb food into the soil. Never use bonemeal, it adds little nutritional value and may attract animals that dig them up.
Daffodils & Narcissis
Daffodils, their flowers symbolize friendship, and are some of the most popular flowers exclusively due to their unmatched beauty.
Daffodils and Narcissis are a bright cheerful welcome of warmer weather. These perennial bulbs come in hues of yellow, white and even pinks. Daffodils usually flower at about the same time, typically in mid-spring (April-May).
The difference between the different types of tulips is their height and colour combinations. Trumpet daffodils usually range in height from 14-20", Doubles range 14"-16', and Dwarf 6- 10" in height.
Daffodils are also a great cut flower.
Crocuses are the most popular of the late-winter/early spring bulbs. Spring flowering Crocus are always one of the first signs of spring sometimes even peeking through the snow. Spring flowering crocus come in colours of white to purple, yellow and mixtures of those.
They are fairly small in size, not normally reaching more than 4" tall. Small bulbs like crocus not only provide winter garden colour, but they naturalize, meaning that they spread and come back year after year-with minimum care-for an even larger display. As a bonus; deer, squirrels and rabbit rarely bother the early liitle bulbs. They are quite stunning when planted in a lawn area.
Most Alliums flower later on in the summer months, making it a great way to extend the season of colour. They vary in size from 4-48" tall and can have very large flowering heads. They range in colour from white to purple, even blue. Alliums are great at the back of the garden for the taller types, planted in containers and can be used as cut flowers.
Favoured for their intense colours and heady fragrance, hyacinths are a staple of the spring garden.
The plants' stately appearance makes them prized in formal bulb plantings. Flower colours include rich magenta and deep indigo as well as paler pinks, baby blues, yellows and whites. Hyacinths flower in mid-spring (April-May). They are normally about the same height around 10" tall.
Hyacinths are also very fragrant making them a great cut flower and are very effective for forcing indoors.