Planting bulbs that will bloom in the early spring garden is the perfect way to add a little bit of excitement and anticipation after what always feels like the dreariest season of the year. It will definitely fill you with hope, and helps to set our sights on tomorrow.
This has been such a long year. I find myself falling into patterns of sluggishness. It’s so easy to succumb to this uneasy feeling, especially while being stuck in quarantine.
Overthinking things and becoming focused on the worst is something that can be hard to avoid when life slows down and things get dull. The winter blues definitely feel stronger for me this year. I’m trying my best to fight it and stay busy.
So, I pushed myself and made sure I bought some spring bulbs at the end of the summer. I knew giving myself something to focus on would be healthy for me and keep me positive.
Having projects in my garden and planning for future blooms makes me feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve always been drawn to alliums. Those large showy flowers invoke visions of one of my favorite books written by Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears A Who!
Picking Out Bulbs
Winter is rough. It’s as simple as that. Here in zone 6a New England, we deal with sleet, snow and icy conditions from October to March. By February, I always feel like I’m going nuts and would do anything to see a form of life popping up from the flower beds.
I started looking up which flowers bloom the earliest. My yard is already full of crocus, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips. I was looking for something unique that I had yet to plant. I wanted to start a whole new project in a different area of my yard.
During my research, I learned that snowdrops and winter aconite are two of the earliest bulbs to bloom. I decided to sprinkle some of these bulbs in with my spring favorite (alliums) and create a brand new garden.
Prepping For Planting
I’m thrilled I finally have a permanent greenhouse in my yard! I still have yet to build any shelves inside, but that’s a different story. Drumming up the money and motivation for that has been a challenge in itself.
I decided to make a small garden off to the right side of my greenhouse. It gets a good amount of sun and is the perfect spot to start something new. I dug out a small trench earlier this year before I even ordered any bulbs.
To prep, I made sure to loosen up the compacted soil. I added in a few new bags of soil along with some compost. Once that was all mixed in, I made sure there weren’t any weeds or roots in the way. Once the area was loosened and cleaned up, I was ready to go!
Bulbs For Spring Blooms
Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) – This spring flower is one of the earliest to emerge. It can start blooming as early as February! This plant grows about 4″ tall making it a perfect border for small space gardens. The yellow flowers only bloom on sunny days and will remain closed when skies are overcast.
Snowdrops, Double“Flore Pleno” (Galanthus nivalis) – Can you believe that snowdrops can bloom even earlier than winter aconite? It’s true! They mark the first official sign of spring blooming in January until late February. This flower has pretty white, bell shaped flowers with pale green stripes in the inner petals. It will reach a height of around 8 to 10 inches.
Allium Nigrum ‘White Allium’ (Allium nigrum) – I have an obsession with white alliums mixed with purple alliums. This flower has showy, 4 to 5 inch spectacular blooms and grows 24 to 30 inches high. This bulb naturalizes well and also makes a wonderful cut flower. Bloom time is late spring to early summer.
Allium “Star of Persia”(Allium christophii) – This variety of allium boasts large 8 to 10 inch globes and will grow 18 to 36 inches tall. This allium blooms in the late spring to early summer.
Allium “Gladiator” – These are my absolute favorite allium. I can usually only afford a few, but they are still absolutely breathtaking. They grow to be 35 to 45 inches tall. The big blooms are up to 6 inches in diameter! This is another late spring to early summer bloom.
Allium “Persian Blue/Purple Sensation” (Allium aflatunense)– This was the very first allium I ever had success with. The flower globes are 4 to 5 inches wide and they grow to be 24 to 36 inches high. This is one of the earliest blooming alliums that starts putting on a show mid spring!
Tips + Tricks
Tip 1 Make sure to really loosen up that soil! Before planting any of your bulbs, don’t be afraid to get in there. Dig down at least 6 inches and till that soil.
Tip 2 Pick a spot that has well drained soil. Bulbs don’t like to sit in water for a long amount of time and get soggy. Make sure to amend the soil with manure, compost and/or peat moss.
Tip 3 Most bulbs love sunshine! Pick a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sun a day.
Tip 4 Plant your bulbs pointy side up. Can’t find a point? Don’t fret, most bulbs can right themselves if planted upside down. If I’m not sure, I like to plant them sideways.
Tip 5 A bulb is a tiny fertilization factory contained within itself! Each bulb is filled with all the nutrients they need to bloom. You don’t need to fertilize your bulbs until spring!
Tip 6 The most important tip. MULCH, MULCH MULCH. I’ve had much better luck with any bulb I’ve made sure to mulch in. Be generous and mulch deeply. It will allow the soil to maintain a warmer temperature and protect your bulbs from the elements of the harsh winters.
And Now We Wait!
As of right now, we have 92 days left until spring. I’m really happy I have a new little garden of blooms to look forward to. I will be sure to update you all with pictures and a blog post.
I’m hoping to add some decor and edging to my new garden bed come spring. Until then, thank you for reading my blog. It really means so much to me that I get to share with such a great community of people online. Happy gardening everyone!
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