Well, we made it! Day 15 of Blog-tober! If I had known that 31 days of straight blog posts would be this difficult, I’m not sure I would have taken on the task – but, I’m enjoying it nonetheless. With tons of orders of spring seeds and bulbs landing on my front porch every day, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the easiest ways to add some spring color to your life.
Spring is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Being able to finally thaw out and spend time outside is such a precious gift. However, when this was all new to me, I was majorly neglecting the garden and had very little more than some mud puddles to look at. As it turns out, the key to a beautiful spring (and having gorgeous blooms when others don’t) is planning ahead. If you’re anything like me, planning ahead is not exactly your cup of tea – but, in this case, I definitely think that the payoff is worth the time and effort.
Spring blooms can take many forms. There are several wonderful hardy annuals that can be planted directly into the garden in the fall- depending upon your climate. Even in my cold zone 6 winter, I can still successfully fall sow a lot of annuals. Bulbs are another option. While many bulbs may offer a little less impact per dollar, there are tons of unusual varieties that may be the perfect fit for your garden.
Fall Planted Bulbs – In this section, I’ll use the term “bulb” loosely (some are corms, etc) – but there are tons of bulbs that are simply planted in the fall and create a beautiful show in the spring. My personal favorites are ranunculus and tulips. Ranunculus may be tricky to grow here, but since finding the recipe for success – I’m addicted. Since I have sufficient cold in the winter, tulips are an instant winner for me. Since they aren’t reliable perennializers, I’ve seen them get a bad reputation for being a waste of money. With the parrot and double peony varieties that are easily found online, I find it almost impossible to pass up these gals. Other easy garden bulbs include daffodils (which may naturalize nicely), hyacinth (with an amazing fragrance), muscari (talk about stinkin’ cute), anemones, dutch iris (dwarf – and tall for cutting), fritillaria, crocus (for landscape), and tons of alliums.
Of course I can’t forget to mention that many bulbs work quite nicely when it comes to indoor forcing. Fall is the time to buy bulbs for the winter. While some don’t require a cold period (paperwhites, for example), many do require some time in the fridge. When properly chilled, it often isn’t difficult to have lovely indoor blooms around the end of December when things are looking dark and snowy. Hyacinths are great for this – post coming soon!
Hardy Annual Seeds – Another option that will result in earlier blooms is to plant hardy annuals in the fall. Around September 20th, I cleared out my beds and got to seeding. Currently, the yard is covered with seedlings ready to take on the winter chill. Current easy favorites – Larkspur, Shirley Poppies, Bachelor’s Buttons, Agrostemma, Mignonette, Love-in-a-Mist, Scabiosa, Bells of Ireland, Calendula, and Laceflower.
If you’d like to find out what bulbs and annuals I’ve planted so far, the link to my 2016 Planting List can be found on Pinterest. If you see something you’d also like to try, you can click through to the source directly on the pin. While you’re there, please don’t forget to follow!
What are you growing this spring? What should I blog about next? Hope you’re having a great day, much love!