Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Choosing small bulbs with big colors.

Spring flowering bulbs are a great way to add color and variety to your garden. In addition to tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, small bulbs (called minor bulbs) will add bursts of color from late winter through early spring. Minor bulbs are among the very first to bloom and they are available in a wide array of colors and styles. Here are a few of the choices for early minor bulbs.

Galanthus, known as Garden Snowdrop. Galanthus are very early to arrive, often blooming before crocus. Galanthus will do well in sun or partial shade. 

Scillia Siberica will appear soon after Galanthus, with dark blue flowers. Scillia can be planted under trees, because they bloom early, before the tree leafs out.

Puschkinia are very hardy bulbs, flowers are star shaped and striped in blue and white. Also known as striped squill, puschkinia are early blooming and fragrant.

Muscari, known as grape hyacinths, are hardy spring bloomers that produce blue or purple flowers that look like bunches of grapes, hence the common name. They will do well in sun or semi-shade and spread naturally.

Crocus are easy to grow and offer a wide variety of colors. They prefer sun and well drained soils.

Selection and planting tips. Pick the highest quality bulbs. We get our bulbs directly from Holland, from people we’ve done business with for decades. These bulbs produce larger blooms the first year and they naturalize (multiply and spread) in your garden, more readily. Pick a spot with plenty of sun and amend the soil with Sheep, peat and compost, or peat moss, then add either Bone meal or Dutch bulb food and plant about 2" deep. Scatter 10-15 bulbs per square foot, for a greater color impact. Water every 4-5 weeks during the winter. Leave foliage in place after bloom, to help the bulbs spread and bloom the following spring.

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