In addition to cooler weather and plants with beautiful fall color one of the things that I like best about fall is the arrival of bulb catalogs in my mailbox. Every year I am inundated with catalogs from the US and around the world showing beautiful photos of fields of flowering spring bulbs. I love flipping through these catalogs and coming up with hypothetical combinations of plants to look forward to come spring. But I also end up feeling overwhelmed by the range of bulbs available, and the number of ways to incorporate them into my yard. Below are two great options for using spring flowering bulbs, and how to transition them into summer plantings.
Bulbs with Deer and Shade
Daffodil ‘Pink and Lemon’ with Ostrich Fern
Most spring blooming bulbs need full sun to flower year after year and many tend to flower in early spring when deer are at their hungriest. Avoid both these challenges by planting early blooming daffodils under deciduous shade trees. Trees that drop their leaves in fall don’t tend to leaf out again until after most daffodils are finished blooming, which allows you to add full sun flowers in an area that is shaded for much of the year. Consider planting these bulbs among deciduous shade loving ferns – which will put on their new fronds after the daffodils are finished blooming, masking their fading foliage. And, since both daffodils and ferns are deer resistant you’ll get a beautiful display that you won’t have to worry about.
Long Flowering for Full Sun
Tulip ‘Madame Lefeber’ Daylily ‘Joan Senior’
If deer aren’t an issue and you need a combination for areas that are full sun in both spring and summer, consider an early blooming tulip followed by a repeat blooming daylily. Early blooming tulips are available in a variety of colors, select a perennial variety for best repeat blooming from year to year. As the tulips begin to fade their foliage will be covered by a summer blooming daylily, which are also available in a variety of colors, many of which are repeat bloomers. In addition to providing more flowers over a longer period, this type of combination allows you to change your color palette as the season changes. Some people prefer hotter colors in the spring and cooler in the summer, and others vice versa. Think about other plants that will be blooming during these times and how you can select colors to accent these plants.
Bulbs make a great addition to any garden – need help designing a bulb display for your property? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!