Bulbs Where You Can See Them

May 5, 2016 | Gardens

When I moved to this area I was told that on Cape Cod we have January, February, March, March, March, June. I soon discovered that even the beginning of June can be dicey. Last year we have some lovely, warm spring weather. So far this year, we’re having the traditional sea-breeze generated repeating months of March.

Other parts of the country also have spring weather that is less than balmy. We might all be longing for sunny, 70 degree days but Mother Nature doesn’t always deliver.

This year I’ve been especially appreciative that I planted my Behlen Country 50130028 Round Livestock End Tank, 2 by 2 by 4-Feet with a mass of hyacinths and tulips. Yes, I get pleasure from all the bulbs that are planted on Poison Ivy Acres. But what’s especially nice about these planters is that I can see them from the house. So now, in the beginning of our third month of March, I see their cheerful spring colors as I work next to the fully stocked wood stove.

If you’re shivering right now in your part of the world, put this on your fall calendar: “Plant a large container of bulbs where I can see them from inside the house.”

Since hyacinths flower before tulips, mixing these together in a jumble makes a pretty planting. The hyacinths emerge first and bloom while the tulips are getting going. As the hyacinths begin to fade and fall, the tulips take over the show.

Since hyacinths flower before tulips, mixing these together in a jumble makes a pretty planting. The hyacinths emerge first and bloom while the tulips are getting going. As the hyacinths begin to fade and fall, the tulips take over the show. Some spring days are sunny, and you’ll enjoy the flowers then…but the real payoff comes on wet, cold days when you can see the ever-developing spring from indoors.

 

But best of all, on a cold, rainy day in the third month of March, I can see these cheerful tulips from indoors. I sit writing as the wood stove cranks out its lovely, radiant warmth, and smile at this tub of spring cheer.

But best of all, on a cold, rainy day in the third month of March, I can see these cheerful tulips from indoors. I sit writing as the wood stove cranks out its lovely, radiant warmth, and smile at this tub of spring cheer.

Tip for success: When planting bulbs in containers that will stay out over the winter, use a large tub or pot such as this Behlen trough. Don’t plant in old, root-filled soil either…use fresh potting soil and be sure your container has very good drainage. Planting in last year’s soil or not having good drainage produces rotted bulbs come spring.

2 Comments

  1. Chrissy Maier

    What do you do with the bulbs after they have flowered?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Since these tulips are really bred to be annuals I don’t always save them. I have no problem throwing them out. But this year, once they’ve gone by (next week is my guess) I’ll pull all of these up and plop them en masse in a trench in the cutting garden and next year we’ll cut the ones that make it. After that the Hyacinths will make it a few more years but the tulips will decline steadily, so they will get pulled out.

      Reply

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