We’ve all been there. We enter the home improvement or grocery store and see a rack of boxes with the most beautiful bulbs pictures printed on the outside of each, enticing us to purchase one of each. Come spring, we see a discordant mixture of colors, shapes and sizes in the landscape, leaving our yards with a somewhat disheveled look.
We get a lot of questions about bulbs that don’t have to be pulled up and replanted anew year after year. These are our most trusted, hardy, and pest resistant favorites:
- Reticulated Iris – these dwarf irises (6 inches tall) appear in early spring and though small, they deliver bold purple color. Tucked in masse along the edges of planting beds or paths, they’re very impactful. They will spread over time, and are drought tolerant, so they also work well in spring rock gardens (bonus!).
- February Gold Daffodil – daffodils are always a cheerful site in the landscape, so we like to plant lots of them in a landscape. This version is a narcissus. It blooms early, is known to be small but sturdy, and is a reliable, reblooming perennial bulb. When planted in front of evergreens, they make an especially happy showing.
- Siberian Squill – pests don’t mess with this little lovely. These bulbs sport a brilliant blue color, and bloom profusely. They are spreaders and will also self-seed – so we plant them in landscape areas where we want to achieve a naturalized look and growth habit. Very cold hardy.
- Allium Globemaster – up to five-foot tall with spherical flower heads and are long lasting. These showstoppers appear in late spring and early summer (and create interesting looking seed pods that linger well into the next winter if left uncut). They are best planted in groups for impact.
- Autumn Crocus – the pick me ups of a fall garden. They put out long green leaves in spring, which fade as summer heat comes on. Then in fall, just when you’ve forgotten about them (and are thinking Fall thoughts), their pinkish/purple flowers grace the garden, looking every bit the woodland or meadow garden hero.