Can you share ideas for perennials that bloom with bulbs?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAOctober 19, 2008

I was just looking at photos from last spring and thinking I would love to have some other perennials blooming with the daffodils I have. Some of them bloomed last year on April 11th and others on the 5th of May here in Massachusetts.

The only things I have blooming at that time are Pulmonaria and some Hellebores. Any other ideas?

Thanks :-)

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stephen_e(PA Zone 6)

Are mixed with my bulbs yellow daffs and red Apeldoorn Darwin Hybrids) in a woodland margin area and the neighbor kids (transplanted urbanites) love to look at them. They die back early and between the bulbs and bleeding hearts, there are huge gaps. I'm probably going to add astilbes and salvias to fill the gaps later in the season.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 1:33PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Uvularia is a possible. Primroses and polyanthus. Possibly Corydalis. Aubrieta/Aubretia. Saxifrages. Brunnera leaves could be up, even if not in flower. Omphalodes. Violets. Arisarum (hunt for the mousie tails...) Wallflowers - sort of temperennials but good while they last, as are Calendula. Different spp of Helleborus - dark green leaves and pale green flowers can be good background - and they're tough.

Trilliums and Epimedium spp for a woodland-y area and the daffodils in the edge between the two habitats.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 4:15AM
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duluthinbloomz4

The only thing blooming with bulbs here would be forget-me-nots and Johnny Jump Ups.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 1:01AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Don't discount shrubs that berry in the winter or that have colorful bark. They can be great backgrounds for bulbs. Also, very early blooming shrubs: daphnes, quinces, corylopsis, etc.

That being said, you might try visiting a public garden in the wintertime (you know you're a garden kook when....:) and see what they have blooming or showing at that time. Then go buy some! :)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 10:48PM
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gardengal48

Moss or woodland phloxes, candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), leopard's bane (Doronicum) and bergenia are all very early spring bloomers that can be combined with bulbs (in addition to the great suggestion mentioned above). And I wouldn't discount the effect of just foliage either - the hardy euphorbias (several appropriate to zone 6), heucheras and evergreen grasses are good bulb companions also. Free-seeding early annuals/shortlived perennials like violas, calendula, myosotis and rose campion and English daisies (Bellis perennis) should be going nuts about the same time as well.

And every dicentra I've met blooms in conjunction with most popular spring bulbs (as well as some long after the bulbs have faded), so would definitely include them and columbine in the mix.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 11:28AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Alpine columbines bloom very early. They are the earliest perennials in my garden (apart from primroses); start really after the bulbs but with overlap with the later tulips and daffodils.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 9:49PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Some newly-emerging perennial foliage is very beautiful when planted with bulbs. Scilla with Tradescantia "Sweet Kate":

Tulip with Heuchera "Green Spice" (croaked this year for no reason):

Brunnera "Jack Frost" looks fantastic with tulips and has great foliage all year:

Phlox subulata makes a pillow of color:

Peach tulip with newly emerged Penstemon "Husker's Red" (sorry abt the focus):

Fuchsia tulips with Polonium "Blue Pearl" and Chromacolor daffodils

Asao clematis overlaps the late tulips a bit:

So does Veronica "Waterperry":

Sorry if the pics slow down anyone's computer!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:16PM
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