Is this a good start - newbie needs help!

cmw21September 8, 2009

As many, I would love to have season long flowers. I currently have coreopsis creme brulee. I want to add the balloon flower sentimental blue in the bed as well.

For my bulbs, I would love to have daffs, crocus and hyanciths. Can I plant the sentimental blue over the bulbs? Will the timing for these work. I would like to hide the dying foliage and continue to have good blooms through the season.

2nd question: In a square foot, how would you plant those 3 types of bulbs. Would I layer them (front to back) in order of height or intermix them? thanks so much - complete newbie here!

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clumsygrdner

It depends on the look you're going for.

If you want a cultured look, try planting the ballon flowers among the daffodils and the crocus among the coreopsis, with the shorter plant in front and the taller plant on the back and sides.

If you want a mixed, more meadow-like look, dig a hole for the daffodils and hyacinths (usually around 6 inches deep) Arrange your bulbs and fill the hole half way up with soil. Then, plant your crocuses on top of the larger bulbs. Fill in the hole. The daffodils and the crocus will mingle.

The foliage of the daffodils will stick around the longest, so you might want to plant those around the center or scatter them around your design to make them easier to hide. Plant your coreopsis in or near the clump of daffodils so that the large mass of foliage will obscure the dying daffodil leaves.

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 4:20PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

I plant 2 hyacinths together. Much prettier look.

Here hyacinths are done before daffodils begin. Different zones, different bloom times.

I love the look when I take time to loosely braid the daffodil foliage and bend it in half, tying together with long leaf.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 12:21AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Over the years, I have found that bulbs look best planted in clumps. For instance, someone gave me six thalia daffodil bulbs several years ago. I planted all six in a circle next to (not around) a dead tree stump in my back yard. It's just a spot of color, but when it blooms, it is lovely. As the bulbs have multiplied over the years, I have dug them, divided, and moved the excess to other spots in the yard, always leaving the original six or so at the stump. It's easy to find the bulbs there too.
When you are starting with just a few like you mention, you don't really have enough plants to make a cohesive looking "bed". So, take each plant, or group of bulbs and look around your yard. The coreopsis is low enough to look nice in front of an evergreen shrub (a blue foliaged one would be a plus). The balloon flower would look nice in a mixed pot, with the advantage of being able to lift it without breaking its delicate taproot if you want to build a bed later on. Each of the bulbs could have a nice spot too: around the mailbox, at the base of a tree, among perennials that die back in the winter, like, say, daylilies, or planted under the outer branches of a deciduous shrub or clump of ornamental grass that gets cut back in late winter anyway. For now, think of them as accents. Later, if you decide you want to build a bed or border, you can always dig them up and move them into the bed. (I don't put bulbs into a border until I am sure that I have all the permanent plants where I want them. It's just too easy to cut bulbs with a shovel when you are doing the inevitable editing.)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 4:24PM
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