November 1, 2011

Fall Bulb Planting

Despite my decision to go easy on the bulb planting this fall, somehow I find myself in the middle of planting several hundred bulbs. Last spring the 'Gypsy Queen' hyacinths, above and below, were so pretty that I had to add a few more for next year.

You can see how their color gets pinker as the flowers age. The true blue 'Spring Beauty' Scilla siberica make a nice contrast. I should mention that the scilla produced VAST amounts of seed this year. I assume they take a few years to progress from seed to flower-producing sized bulbs, but they are terrific naturalizers.

In this photo the 'Salmon Impression' tulips are exactly the same shade as the 'Gypsy Queen' hyacinths. Tulips are hard to plant because they have to go so deep - 8 to 10 inches if you want them to have a chance of coming back more than one year. Thankfully, I only have 60 tulips to plant this fall.

Although they were pretty, I didn't order any more of the 'Salmon Impression' tulips. The Impression series tulips are good perennials for up to five years, so last year's crop should show up again next spring.

Instead, I added a bunch of 'Jap Groot' yellow tulips. This photo was taken at my church's nearby temple. The soft yellow color plus a 'strong perennial tendency' (quoting the catalog) convinced me that they'd be a nice addition to my spring garden.

These next photos show 'Pink Fondant' hyacinths that are several years old. The flower clusters weren't as large as they were the first year, but they still smelled wonderful last spring.

The other bulbs I've been planting include: 'Oxonion' fall crocus (Crocus speciosus), 'Blue Spectacle' tulips, 'Blue Shades' windflowers (Anemone blanda), 'Pink Giant' glory of the snow (Chionodoxa), Allium 'White Giant', and more 'Golden Bunch' crocus, 'Tete-a-Tete mini daffodils and Chionodoxa luciliae.

I love this photo from last spring so much that I had to repost it. Above are violet 'Grande Maitre' crocus, blue 'Spring Beauty' scilla, and yellow 'Tete-a-Tete' daffodils. I just have to wait for four months until the bulbs start their show again.


  1. Hi VW,

    Beautiful! I too had a few hundred bulbs to plant. I'm hoping that from now on I won't need to plant so many each spring as my numbers are slowly increasing and I'm managing to fill areas that previously had no bulbs at all.

    I look forward to seeing you bulbs early next year! :)

  2. Hi there! Good for you! You'll have a great display in spring. I can't plant as many bulbs as I want since there is no enough sunny spots in my garden with good drainage.

  3. What a wonderful payoff that will be for your hard work. Aren't bulbs great?

  4. Beautiful! You know, I've never grown hyacinths. Now, I don't know why! Love those yellow tulips! What a beautiful shade.

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  6. Those bulbs will be up and blooming before you know it. Such soft pretty colors you have picked! I was wondering about the scilla. How did you notice the seeds? Or have you seen seedlings? I planted about 200 'Spring Beauty' just a few weeks ago and hope they naturalize well but that has not been the case with scilla in the past.

    Thanks for the tips on photography. I will check out the books. I always admire your beautiful photographs here and know you have worked hard to train yourself. You'd think it would be easy for all of us but I get so confused on aperture and shutter and so on. I'll go check those books now before I show just how dumb I am with photography. Thanks!

  7. It is so wonderful to see the photos of your bulbs in bloom, thanks! Bulb planting has to be one of the very bestest gardening endeavors, full of surprise and wonder as to what things will thrive, what they will look like. I dearly love Hyacinths. They do bloom smaller in subsequent years, but as you say, the fragrance is still just as strong.

  8. Bulbs are a staple in my garden. There are hundreds planted. I like the selections you have shown and the color pairings too. I love hyacinths, but they really only look their best the first year, even with proper feeding. But they multiply nicely though.

  9. I enjoy these romantic flowers. Thank you for these beautiful photos.


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