Plant these brilliant beauties in the fall for spring drama.
Written and photographed by Dig.Drop.Done .
Planning ahead pays off big when it comes to springtime blooms. These bulbs are planted in the fall to come alive in the spring with dramatic colors and shapes. Read on for tips on how and where to plant for a stunning spring garden.
How’s this for unique shape? The upside-down, bell-shaped flowers of Fritillaria Imperialis are capped with spiky leaves. Due to a distinctive odor, their bulbs are deer and critter resistant.
Patterns with Power
Use pattern for impact. Fritillaria meleagris, sometimes called checkered lily, lack the height of the Imperialis variety, but more than make up for it in their unusual markings. The name fritillaria is derived from the Latin name for a dice box (fritillus) and probably refers to the checkered pattern.
Be bold! The hot colors of fuchsia hyacinths and red tulips heat up a flowerbed carpeted in white pansies.
Eranthis, or winter aconite, steals the show. It starts flowering extremely early, sometimes flowering through the snow that is still on the ground. The buttercup-like flowers are enclosed by a collar of green leaves and open only when the sun shines.
A Punch of Purple
Purple is the new black. The Queen of Night tulip is as dark as you can get. It appears almost black, but it is actually dark purple. It makes a nice contrast for brighter blooms.
Add interest with texture. The petals of the Apricot Parrot tulip, with their curled and fringed edges, are fun to watch as they blossom. Over time, parrot tulips open so widely they appear to flatten out.
Plant En Masse
Mass is eye-catching. Hundreds of white, lavender and purple Dutch crocus encircle a tree.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Repetition draws the eye. Rows of pots of pink hyacinths bloom on a ladder underneath a tree.
Bursts of Color
Spot color turns heads. This shock of bright Shakespeare tulips display a pop of color in an otherwise green landscape. These petite bloomers are part of the Kaufmanniana group, which do well in rock gardens.
Shape stands out, especially when paired with contrast. The distinct, pointed shape of the lily-flowered tulip is striking, even from a distance.
Layers of Color
Layer color for depth of palette. Here, Purple Voice Hyacinths are underscored by matching pansies.
Height and Dimension
Add dimension to your flowerbeds. These Round and Purple alliums grow three feet tall. Taller alliums (like the Allium Giganteum) are particularly impressive towering over lower-growing plants and groundcovers.
Contrast is arresting. The Estella Rijnveld tulip is part of the parrot group. Its red and creamy-white colored petals look showy from a distance, but romantic up close.
A "river" of white muscari meanders down a wooded path, banked by red tulips.
The repetition of the circles, seven in all, shape the theme of this planting. Starting with a circle of white tulips surrounded by a circle of Top White hyacinths, the theme continues in the urn, shrubs, plantings and edging.
The spectacular Fritillaria Imperialis has drama in shape and height. It can grow up to 44 inches tall, towering over other spring bulbs like hyacinths.
Contrast bold colors. Hot oranges and jeweled purples contrast in this mix of Negrita, Orange Cassini, Purple Flag and Hermitage® tulips.
This yellow blossomed 'bed' of flowers is punctuated by apricot tulips.
Double the Impact
Pair mass with contrast for high impact. A path of blue muscari is edged with large pockets of bright yellow daffodils. The contrast in color makes it particularly stunning.
Clean and Bright White
All-white is striking. The white tulips complement the color of the house and interior furnishings, creating an all-white palette punctucated by greenery.
This display repeats the flower and the container for an eye-popping arrangement of White Splendor anemones.