Help with Fall bulb planting ideas, number, etc.

phiwwyAugust 25, 2013

So the new shrubs and annuals made it through the summer heat waves and pouring rain with little casualties - just some browning on the sides of the boxwoods. Would love to know if I should invoke the warranty and have them replaced?

I'd love to bring color this spring with some bulbs - looking at White Flower Farm mail order. Is that an economical way to go?

I love tulips and daffodils seem to do well and are economical. Would love any ideas about color combinations, where to plant and how many to plant?

Considerations are - the 2 front beds (mostly shade)

The long bed along the hedge in the next photo

The tree bed in the last photo.


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Here's the side - I wonder if there is space on our side of the hedge to plant some bulbs?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:52AM
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And here's the tree bed in front of the house, by the road.
Hope you can see with all the shade - it's a very bright morning!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:53AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

You may want to inspect your boxwood a little closer to make sure that you do not have the dreaded boxwood blight that has taken hold in New England.
If you're unfamiliar with it, do a google search and you'll find lots of info from the Extension Servive with excellent photos + cultural info.

A "little browning" is not enough to ask for a refund but if you purchased diseased shrubs, that is another story altogether.

White Flower Farm sells high quality bulbs. They are not inexpensive but you can rely on their quality and they provide a catalog with great color and styling info, this can be helpful if you need a little artistic direction.

If you have a large area such as yours, an idea of how to blend colors and "over plant" with a flowering cover crop then I would suggest buying from Van Engelen .
Van Engelen bundles their bulbs in larger quantities at a semi-wholesale price.

From looking at your photos , your yard could easily gobble up several hundred to a thousand bulbs .

The front raised bed in the last photo could take 3 to 500 for a full on display, but if that is not in your budget I would start with at least a minimum of two hundred and cluster them in drifts or clumps of 35 to 50 each ( no less than 35 or it just looks skimpy wimpy.) Fill in between with spring blooming color cover crops such as pansies, alyssum or forget-me-nots OR use smaller carpet like grape muscari bulbs.

As a proportional example the pots in the photo below have about 12 tulip per 18 inch pot. I can fill 4 pots with a sack of 50 tulips / $ 25.00

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 2:17PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Also, remember that most of your bulbs will be doing their show before the big trees have completely leafed out. There would be enough sun for the display. Will there be enough for them to recharge? Probably! I have seen them do well in worse situations.

You might want to also check with your local garden center to see what bulbs they will be offering. You can get them whenever and you also keep the money in your community. Nothing against online places, I have done lots of business that way, just a thought.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:32PM
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White Flower Farm is far from economical, I would check with your local garden center as Jim suggested and for the very reasons. What they sell will likely do well for you. Critters love bulbs so be aware of what might come 'round to munch your purchases. Pretty place, I hope you find some perennials to put in for when the bulbs stop their show.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 10:52PM
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While it's nice to include bulbs as part of the show, it's not much fun to plant them (initially or when they must be replaced) in areas where roots of trees or woody shrubs (like hedges) compete. In the 3rd photo, it looks like the shrubs are arranged without a lot of organization. For the sake of nice bulb showing, you might wish to consolidate shrubs more and create spaces for bulbs that are farther away from tree and shrub roots. Where you can't get far enough away from woody roots, it might be best to lean toward bulbs that can naturalize and don't need replacement.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:40AM
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I had the hardest time finding this post again. thanks for the suggestions. I ended up ordering about 200 or so bulbs for now. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths for starters. After having spent years on indoor projects and renos, we are now just learning about the outdoor projects. So we'll see how much we dislike planting bulbs and if it's really hard, then we'll pack pots I guess. Love the pots you show dev-dez! Just beautiful. Can you tell me more about how you organzied? you obviously had to know how to arrange based on height, right? When could I plant these in pots, and can I put in the garage or shed to protect from snow and shovels and bring out in Spring? Or should they stay outside in the elements all winter?
Can anyone recommend some perennials to plant for after the bulbs have their show? I have PRM rhodies, a dward lilac, azeleas on the side, 1 peony on the side and a few others. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:27PM
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