If you’re planting spring-flowering bulbs this fall, why not add some interesting new colors and combinations to your garden? Many new types have been introduced in recent years, offering an almost unlimited choice for spring flowers. Following are a half-dozen that offer a new twist on some old favorites:
- Pink daffodils – Usually offered in packages with a mixture of several types, pink daffodils have white petals complimented by solid pink or pink-ringed cups at their center. When planted in clumps, they create a soft pink cloud in your garden
- ‘Apricot Beauty’ tulip – Classified a single early tulip, this beauty lives up to its name with big blooms shaded from soft rose to warm apricot in color. Groupings create a warm glow in the garden.
- Waterlily tulip ‘Monsella’ – These eye-catching flowers are tulips, but look like water lilies. The yellow flower cups are streaked with dark red for a spectacular display.
- Feather hyacinth – Feathery, plume-like flowers create a soft haze ranging from mauve to purple-blue. They are excellent for cut-flower bouquets.
- Snow crocus ‘Blue Pearl’ – With cups of soft blue on the outside and creamy white in the inside, these early-blooming flowers have an almost iridescent quality that will light up your spring garden.
- Muscari ‘Dark Eyes’ – This unique grape hyacinth’s flowers are a brilliant sapphire blue with white tips that turn a soft pink as the blooms mature.
These bulbs are widely available at garden centers, home improvement stores, and online garden retailers. If these aren’t exactly what you’d like, browse the stores and Web sites – you’ll be amazed at the variety of colors you have to choose from.
When you’ve purchased your bulbs and are ready to plant them, follow the directions on the package and plant the bulbs pointy side up at the recommended depth. A rule of thumb is to plant bulbs with their base at a depth equal to three times their height. Plant your bulbs in fast-draining soil that is amended with plenty of organic matter. You can use individual soil amendments such as sphagnum peat moss, organic compost, or manure – or a pre-mixed product.
Add high-phosphorus plant food to the soil at the bottom of the hole. Phosphorus is the most important nutrient for root and bulb development.
Follow up in the spring after shoots appear, but before they bloom, with a feeding of a complete plant food containing high percentages of nitrogen and phosphorus. Continue feeding every two months to encourage increased blooms.