No matter what conditions you have in your garden, you can plant spring-blooming bulbs. Check out our list of bulbs for all purposes and garden spots!
Nothing delivers quite the WOW factor that a big stand of tulips does. Because most tulips give a huge show the first spring after planting and then come back poorly if at all, think of them as annuals. If you want to increase the chances of your tulips returning, John Scheepers recommends choosing from species tulips, Kaufmanniana hybrids, Greigiis, and giant Darwin hybrids.
We love bulbs that come back year after year. Instead of putting on a big show and then petering out after a year or two, these bulbs return and even increase in number. Tops in this category are any kind of daffodil, squill (Scilla siberica), and grape hyacinth (Muscarispp.). Crocus will also naturalize, IF you can sneak it past the squirrels, who love to snack on it.
The Early Risers
For a hit of spring when you need it most, choose very early-blooming bulbs. White snowdrops (Galanthus spp.) and yellow winter aconite (Eranthic cilicica) may bloom even while snow lingers on the ground. Other woodland flowers that make an early appearance are grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.), Crocus species, squill, and Anemone blanda (pictured above).
If you love indoor flowers, be sure to order your forcing bulbs when you order those for outdoors. Paperwhites and amaryllis are tender bulbs that can be forced to bloom from Christmas to early spring. Many hardy bulbs, like daffodil, hyacinth, and crocus, can be forced indoors to bloom long before they would bloom outdoors.
Add something a little out of the ordinary with these flowers, which look like they were designed by Dr. Seuss. Ornamental onions (Allium spp.) are a terrific late-spring to early summer bloomer. Their round, purple blooms seem to float over the border. Checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris) and other Fritillaria spp. (like the one above) bloom mid spring.