From our spring articles, but still a good read for the fall.
Ask a non-gardener about bulbs and they will likely roll their eyes and talk about the last time they were force to change a light bulb. Ask a gardener about bulbs and their face will light up and they will happily talk your ear off for hours about their garden and all the amazing colors and blooms they have!
Bulbs are a staple in every gardeners arsenal
From spring bulbs to summer bulbs to those used in planter displays we use a ton of bulbs! Bulbs provide us with one of our first hints of life as we head towards spring when the Snowdrops peek through to amazing displays of color and foliage with Cana Lilies in the summer that can stand over six feet high! Spring may not seem like the right time of year to be write about bulbs, especially as I look out my window here in Central Ontario and my gardens are still covered in snow, however, despite fall being the “typical bulb time” there are some great bulb lessons to be learned in the spring too! As we watch the Tulips and Daffodils quickly emerge from the garden, it is tempting to want to cut back the foliage once the blooms are finished. I am here to tell you this is a bad idea. By cutting back the foliage you reduce the strength of the bulb and therefore affect the quantity and quality of the blooms for the following year. While it may be hard to do, you are best to let the foliage die back naturally – cutting it back or removing it once it has completely died off/yellowed. A good way to avoid the unsightly “mess” this may cause is to companion plant. By planting perennials and/grasses close to your bulbs, they will help to hide the foliage as it is dying back. Spring is also the perfect time to plant your summer bulbs and replant any bulbs that you have “lifted and stored” from the previous year. This includes: Dahlias, Lilies, Cana Lilies, Calla Lilies and Crocosmia. While the bulbs we plant in the fall need that cold period to get ready to bloom, these bulbs need warmer temperatures, so once the soils warm up pop these in the ground and you will be amazed by the splashes of color! As with of all bulbs you can be formal in your planting approach (straight lines) or very random and naturalized (what I like to call “toss and plant”). Bulbs can add lots of color and interest to your garden. Give them a try this season. You will find displays of bulbs at your local garden centers now. If you are unsure of how to incorporate bulbs into your garden, consult with Blue Mountain Four Season!
* Bulb Trivia * It’s said that during the war the wounded Roman solders ate bulbs allowing them a painless death.