Spend time planning before planting bulbs in your landscape. Sketch the plan on graph paper
before purchasing bulbs. This advance planning will assure that the proper number of
bulbs are purchased. Since the foliage of spring
dies by early summer, this plan will provide a record of where the bulbs are
planted in case annuals or perennials
are mixed in later.
As you develop this plan, keep in mind that bulbs bloom at different times. Some spring bulbs have overlapping bloom periods, but they
still maintain the order in which they bloom.
Spring bulbs will bloom from early February to mid
June. Summer bulbs
will bloom from early summer to
Following is a general idea of various flowers bloom sequence: These bloom cycles are for general reference. The
following sequence depends a great deal on the weather in your area
as well as the variety of bulbs you plant. To see a sample of the bulbs that grow during each bloom cycle use our filters on the web site
to sort by bloom time.
You likely know which bulbs are planted in fall, and which to plant in spring. But by doing a bit
of bloom-time planning, you'll achieve a nonstop display of colour from early
spring through summer - just by using easy-to-care-for bulbs!
Very early spring:
Early spring bulbs like Snowdrops:
Snowdrops, or Galanthus, are often the first spring
flowers to appear in season - and they're a great choice for areas that stay cool a
bit later in the year. These short-statured plants with small white blooms are incredibly hardy,
and most flower before the last day of winter!
The early-blooming varieties within
the Crocus genus produces small
flowers, with a longer blooming season, than
. They'll start
blooming in late winter, and can flower in colours of pink, purple, yellow, white, or even blue,
depending on variety.
Imagine a golden floral carpet
replacing your winter snow cover! That's very nearly what you'll get from these early-blooming yellow
flowers. Winter aconite offers great coverage for bare flowerbeds in early spring. The leaves are
very attractive as well!
Early snow glories:
Glory-of-the-snow, or Chionodoxa, are another "northern"
plant that can actually perform well in both northern
and temperate climates. These fabulous blue star-shaped flowers are among the earliest spring
flowers you'll see each year. They're also great for naturalizing in yards or flower beds!
Dwarf iris mixture:
Some varieties of Dutch irises
bloom extra early
- usually low-growing dwarf irises
a mixture of dwarf irises, such as this one from Breck's. They'll grow year after year and offer early-spring
ground cover well before the larger bearded iris bloom.
Grecian windflowers, a
daisy-shaped species of anemone, bloom in shades of pink, blue, violet and white in
early spring. These perennials make a nice,
Just like smaller species
crocuses, giant crocus are great for naturalizing.
Plant a drift of giant Dutch crocuses
of a single colour, or mix colours for a more natural effect. Their larger flowers (usually 4" to
6" in height) provide a lovely, low-growing pop of brightness.
Trumpet daffodils are the classic daffodils, with cups longer than their petals.
They feature a single flower
per stem and are very hardy - and bloom soon after the snow melts!
Jewel-toned hyacinth flowers
bloom in dense spikes and are among the brightest colours you'll see in early spring.
They're often associated with Easter celebrations, and some gardeners "force" the bulbs to bloom
in indoor pots for spring decor.
tulips, such as the Wild Blue Heart tulip, are low-growing species that flower in early spring.
Emperor tulips, or Fosteriana tulips, also bloom
the season. Fosteriana varieties feature large-brightly-coloured cups on stocky stems.
include jumbo varieties, classic apeldoorn tulips Triumph and Darwin tulips. Many of these
tulips make up the traditional Dutch tulip fields, and are great for planting in large,
multicoloured drifts. Darwin and Triumph tulips are hybrids
bred for exceptionally long bloom times - they may last for a month or longer!
Giant daffodils, as well as
large-cupped and small cupped daffs, bloom in mid-spring. Large-cupped daffodil
cultivars feature a cup longer than one-third the length of their petals, but not as long as a trumpet daffodil's. Small-cupped
daffodils have (you guessed it!) smaller coronas.
Blue grape hyacinths:
blooms a bit later, and a bit longer, than standard grape hyacinths. The unique colour of blue
grape hyacinths really stands out among other mid-spring flowers, and their low habit - growing
6" to 8" - means they pair well with taller flowers.
Late season tulips
: Late-blooming tulips include some of the fanciest and frilliest flowers: ruffled
, peony-flowering double
, and some late Triumph
varieties. The bright colours of these unusual late spring flowers will put you in the mood for
English blue bells:
English blue bells bring a
magical, fairy forest feeling to your garden. These low-growing blue flowers work
well in shade, and they naturalize very quickly. Perfect for a cottage garden!
English wood hyacinth:
called Spanish bluebells
plants produce spouts of dangling, bell-shaped flowers.
Plant in patches or along the back of a bed to add a bit of mid-height interest. They're very
Golden Bells daffodils:
species daffodil with large golden cups, the Golden Bells daffodil
will add plenty of
spring colour to your walkway or rock garden. These daffs have a low-growing habit, and perform
wonderfully as a carpet or ground cover.
Asiatic lilies are the earliest bloomers of the lilium family, and the easiest to care
for! Several types of asiatics
- from single-bloom standards to short and spunky border lilies to multicoloured tango lilies - are available to
bring your spring garden into bloom.
Among the most popular perennials in the late-spring
set, bearded Dutch irises grow in a vast variety
of colours -
and it seems new varieties become available every season! Dutch irises grow from rhizomes, and come back year
after year. They're a great "stand alone" planting, or can be mixed
with other tall flowers for a garden with heightened style.
Another high-rising late-spring
bloom, alliums feature a single star-shaped or
"pom-pom" bloom per stem. These whimsical spring flowers can be a bit tough to find at big-box
stores, but they're worth ordering online or by mail!
The corms, or roots, of
hardy glads are a bit less tender than those of traditional gladiolus plants - so,
they can be planted in fall in zones 5 and warmer. Glads grow large spikes of big, brilliant
flowers, and hardy glads are so easy to grow!
Mountain bells are actually a low-growing allium variety. Perfect for
borders or rock gardens, these short plants sprout hundreds of yellow, white and purple
flowers every spring. Just like tall alliums,
mountain bells are very resistant to deer and other animals!
It's hard to resist the cute, stocky spring
flowers of Ranunculaceae, or anemone plants. They're quite hardy and can be planted in
fall. In spring, you'll see prolific blooms in shades of red, blue, violet or white. Some anemone
varieties look similar to poppies
- making them perfect for the poppy-loving
gardener who wants a carefree plant! Others have small, daisy-like flowers. Anemones are sometimes called windflowers.
Beardless irises bloom
alongside their bearded cousins in late spring. Iris ensata, or Japanese iris, along with Louisiana and Siberian iris species, are low
to the ground, and feature fluid-looking, butterfly-shaped petals. These relaxed flowers add a
touch of elegance to any bed or planting.
Lavender mountain lilies:
mountain lilies, ixiolirion tataricum, provide of a mass of fragrant violent-blue flowers.
Plant these in fall for a shot of lavender colour in spring! Lavender mountain lilies perform well in bunches,
whether planted in a bed, rock garden or border.
Daylilies bloom at the same time as Dutch irises - and just like irises
, there are hundreds of
cultivars in dozens of
colours, shapes and textures! You'll find daylilies (Hemerocallis)
in shades ranging from classic red to pastel pink to neon green. Look for candy-coloured daylilies with
beautifully-hued centers or piped edges. Try short dwarf daylilies, or big and bold
double-flowering varieties. Many daylilies are the "reblooming" sort, meaning that you'll get a
second round of flowers later in the season.
These fragrant lilies bloom near
summertime, and include such classic flowers as tiger lilies
, stargazers and, of
course, the standard white Oriental lily. Try staggering Oriental lilies with earlier-blooming Asiatic lilies for a
nonstop show running from late spring through early summer!
Glads bloom just at that point
of late spring when the weather turn toward the tropical. These big and beautiful
flower spikes work well when arranged in a variety of colours - bright Glamini glads
dahlias to oversized "dinnerplate" types, dahlias have taken over American
gardens in recent years. Dahlia tubers are planted in the
spring, and bloom in summer. These high-impact flowers grow in a rainbow of colours, and,
increasingly, you'll find massive flowers with amazing
patterns. A great way to add a touch of whimsy to your garden!
Begonias are one of those
quintissentially "summertime" flowers. Hardy begonias, unlike the annual begonias sold in
many garden centers, will bloom year after year, and many constantly-blooming varieties will
flower for several weeks or months. Try cascading begonias for the perfect hanging
basket, or plant frilly double-blooming begonias to add
texture to a bed.
Cannas bloom in August or even
September in some regions - making them excellent fillers for the post-July fade that may
happen with other flowers.Canna's tall stems sprout
vivid, tropical flowers, and their foliage is glossy, too. They're a great way to wind down the
Don't let their short stature fool you:
fiery crocosmia flowers have a big impact in the garden.
These red- or orange-coloured blooms add a lovely pop of energy
to beds or borders, and their presence won't go unnoticed by butterflies and hummingbirds!