Have you started planning your garden for Spring 2015? It’s easy enough to overlook planting bulbs in the excitement of fall harvest and clean-up, but you’ll thank yourself in the spring when splashes of colour start cheering your winter garden!
Why plant in the fall?
Fall is a great time to plant bulbs. Although our weather is starting to cool off, the soil is still relatively warm, which means that plants’ energy is focused on root growth rather than vegetative growth. You’ll need to make sure to plant before the first hard frost though.
3 spring-blooming bulbs to try
Here are a few different suggestions of bulbs to try planting. They are all hardy, so they will survive our cold winter climate to produce gorgeous blooms in the spring.
1. Gallanthus (snowdrop)
Say goodbye to snow with Gallanthus.
Flowering in early spring, it’s delicate white blooms will brighten your garden as the weather warms. It’s easy to see how Gallanthus got its common name ‘snowdrop.’
2. Muscari (grape hyacinth)
Muscari also blooms in early spring. Its common name, grape hyacinth, is actually a misnomer, as Muscari isn’t a hyacinth. A very hardy bloomer, Muscari will multiply quickly, so it is recommended choosing an area where it can spread freely.
Did you know that onions aren’t just for eating? Flowering onion varieties (alliums) produce beautiful spheres of flowers in the late spring. Alliums, like Allium ‘Globemaster’ shown in the photo, are a tall-growing species, so it is recommended planting them among lower-growing plants.
Where to purchase bulbs in Metro Vancouver?
Retail nurseries across the lower mainland will carry different selections of bulbs. If you’re after an unusual variety, you could try asking your favourite retail nursery to place an order for you from a wholesaler. Wholesalers like Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd. in Langley might carry what you’re looking for.
When trying new species, it’s always a good idea to check planting depth, soil conditions, spacing, flowering height, and shade recommendations before planting.
Photo credit: Thank you to PoCo Garden Club member Dale Wilkie for supplying photos of her garden for this post.